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Incinerator: Anger at leader’s trip to Caribbean

Published on Thursday 24 May 2012 12:10

ANTI-incinerator campaigners say it is “astonishing” that Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy is advising a Caribbean government on democracy.

Mr Murphy visited the Turks and Caicos Islands earlier this month on a fact finding trip after being asked by the Foreign Office to advise the Caribbean administration on re-establishing representative government there.

The British territory was self-governed until 2009 when direct rule was imposed after allegations of corruption were made against ministers.

County officers will also be mentoring civil servants there.

Mike Knights, one of the leading campaigners against plans to build an incinerator in Saddlebow, said: “It is staggering that anyone would think that Derrick Murphy and the county council are credible for going anywhere to mentor or give instruction or leadership on how to run anywhere.”

West Norfolk Waste Research group member Anna Reeves said: “Given that the democratic process has patently failed the 93 per cent of people in West Norfolk who voted against the proposed incinerator plan it is astonishing, indeed risible, that Mr Murphy should have been selected by the Foreign Office at the expense of tax payers to promote democracy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The Foreign Office has allocated £20,000 for the partnership programme and has defended its choice.

A spokesman said: “The Local Government Association has been advising the Foreign Office on how local government bodies might be able to share expertise on managing public sector reform with some overseas territories governments.

“Several local authorities were considered a potential match for the Turks and Caicos Islands. Norfolk County Council was selected due to its capacity to provide support and expertise and its experience of public sector reform.”

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