Wednesday, 15 October 2008

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OVER COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE'

[[Media release:]]

  UNANSWERED QUESTIONS REMAIN SURROUNDING COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE'

 

After the Norfolk County Council Cabinet's decision on Monday of this week to go ahead with giving £1million to help create a 'Genome Analysis Centre' at the edge of Norwich (although the actual provision of the money is to be delayed, because of the County Council having £32million tied up in shut-down Icelandic banks…), Norfolk Green Party Councillors are asking a whole series of probing questions about the project.

                 

  Councillor Rupert Read, 2009 Green Party Euro candidate for the East, questioned whether the scheme represented good value for money for Norfolk Norfolk Council Tax payers:

"Has anyone asked Council Taxpayers whether they want their
council to spend £1 million to support this initiative? Has the Council looked seriously into what other good uses there could be for that money? Has the Council's Economic Development Unit ever consulted with Norfolk taxpayers on which sectors and locations large-value economic investments should be made with by this Council?

"Furthermore, the proposed location is far from most of the new housing that is being built in Norwich; has this plan really been thought through? Is there joined-up thinking going on at the Council over this, or not?"

Green Party County Councillor Andrew Boswell was at the County Council Cabinet meeting yesterday. The following were among the questions that he asked yesterday, to which he did not receive satisfactory replies:

 

"Other industry sectors and other regions of the County will rightly want to see how this £1million capital expenditure by the Council has been evaluated and prioritised before coming to this meeting today for final sign-off.  They will ask 'does this really deliver jobs?', and 'are they the jobs that Norfolk people want?'.

For instance, if Norfolk County Council are funding this, why are they not also funding research into sustainable agriculture, local food supply, organic production, and green jobs in marine/solar/wind sectors which East Anglia is particularly suited to exploit?

"Our information suggests that the record of similar enterprises elsewhere is poor. Has Norfolk County Council researched whether centres like this have actually worked to attract new business and new employment, when they have been created elsewhere?

 

Green Party Councillors are also asking questions about the Genetic Modification science involved with the GAC project. Cllr. Read asked: "How much of the likely 'spin-off' companies that the Council hopes that this will attract will be doing G.M. science? Has the Council checked with the citizens of Norfolk to see if we are willing to, let along keen on, funding research that may involve the creation of genetically-modified food, 'synthetic biology', crop trials, and so on?"

 

Norfolk Green Party will be continuing to press for answers to these questions.

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25. 26. UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OVER COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE' 27. 28.

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[[Media release:]]

  UNANSWERED QUESTIONS REMAIN SURROUNDING COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE'

 

After the Norfolk County Council Cabinet's decision on Monday of this week to go ahead with giving £1million to help create a 'Genome Analysis Centre' at the edge of Norwich (although the actual provision of the money is to be delayed, because of the County Council having £32million tied up in shut-down Icelandic banks…), Norfolk Green Party Councillors are asking a whole series of probing questions about the project.

                 

  Councillor Rupert Read, 2009 Green Party Euro candidate for the East, questioned whether the scheme represented good value for money for Norfolk Norfolk Council Tax payers:

"Has anyone asked Council Taxpayers whether they want their
council to spend £1 million to support this initiative? Has the Council looked seriously into what other good uses there could be for that money? Has the Council's Economic Development Unit ever consulted with Norfolk taxpayers on which sectors and locations large-value economic investments should be made with by this Council?

"Furthermore, the proposed location is far from most of the new housing that is being built in Norwich; has this plan really been thought through? Is there joined-up thinking going on at the Council over this, or not?"

Green Party County Councillor Andrew Boswell was at the County Council Cabinet meeting yesterday. The following were among the questions that he asked yesterday, to which he did not receive satisfactory replies:

 

"Other industry sectors and other regions of the County will rightly want to see how this £1million capital expenditure by the Council has been evaluated and prioritised before coming to this meeting today for final sign-off.  They will ask 'does this really deliver jobs?', and 'are they the jobs that Norfolk people want?'.

For instance, if Norfolk County Council are funding this, why are they not also funding research into sustainable agriculture, local food supply, organic production, and green jobs in marine/solar/wind sectors which East Anglia is particularly suited to exploit?

"Our information suggests that the record of similar enterprises elsewhere is poor. Has Norfolk County Council researched whether centres like this have actually worked to attract new business and new employment, when they have been created elsewhere?

 

Green Party Councillors are also asking questions about the Genetic Modification science involved with the GAC project. Cllr. Read asked: "How much of the likely 'spin-off' companies that the Council hopes that this will attract will be doing G.M. science? Has the Council checked with the citizens of Norfolk to see if we are willing to, let along keen on, funding research that may involve the creation of genetically-modified food, 'synthetic biology', crop trials, and so on?"

 

Norfolk Green Party will be continuing to press for answers to these questions.

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