The whole incinerator saga is, I think you’ll agree, a pretty big story for Norfolk. It’s not every day that 65,516 people in one borough unite to oppose a development proposal, and still get ignored by the county council. Unfortunately, we are still not sure whether the government is going to stand by the people of Norfolk or not.
So when David Cameron visited the EDP office yesterday you would have thought someone might have asked a question about the incinerator. But they didn’t. They discussed police commissioners and A11 dualling, phone hacking and the hunting ban, but not the one story that even the EDP describes as “Norfolk’s Burning Issue”. A chance to really understand if the Prime Minister believes in localism when it’s put to test was lost.
Why? Perhaps it was because of the EDP’s seeming aversion to criticism of Norfolk County Council. Sadly though, it seems that the root cause of this failure goes even deeper. When seen in conjunction with the leader published by the same paper two weeks ago, in which they argued that our councillors alone should take the decision over the incinerator, as we will never know “definitively what the people of Norfolk think about the incinerator”, a more worrying trend begins to appear. It seems to me at least that the EDP has taken a decision to support the incinerator, and to disregard both its readership and the people of Norfolk. Which begs the obvious question: if a local paper doesn’t represent its audience, then what purpose does it serve? For the time being, though, it would appear that for good coverage of this most important of issues the EDP just isn’t up to scratch.