August 5 2011 

Norman Baker has spoken out against Veolia, the operators of the Newhaven incinerator, claiming that residents deserve a "seven-figure sum" as compensation for the building of the controversial energy recovery facility.

The Lib Dem MP said, "I am asking Veolia to recognise that and make a contribution to community facilities in the town".

Veolia and ESCC said that the waste plant, which will be fully operational in the autumn, brought jobs and a £900,000 investment.

However, Mr Baker said the amount secured by the Conservative-run council was "pitiful".

"All the people of Newhaven are getting from this development are a few trees," he said.

Keith McGurk, Veolia's project director at Newhaven, said about £8m had gone into the local economy through the use of contractors and services and one third of the workforce was employed locally.

"With regard to direct impact during the planning process, we agreed to invest £900,000 into the local community," he said.

"We paid that money over to the planning authority and they, together with Newhaven Town Council, are determining how to use that money."

Conversely, County Councillor Carl Maynard said the incinerator plant was actually a very good deal.
The company sponsored local events including fetes and festivals and had recently pledged another £150,000 for community projects.

"Veolia is engaging with the local community and has been since the start of this project," he said.

Haven News will be speaking to both Norman Baker and Veolia over the coming weeks in order to gain a more in-depth view of the various opinions and issues.
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