New attack on green chief

TORY environment chief Eddy Alcock has today come in for fresh criticism over his controversial decision to splash out on a muscle car.The Evening Star revealed yesterday that Mr Alcock has been driving a 3.

TORY environment chief Eddy Alcock has today come in for fresh criticism over his controversial decision to splash out on a muscle car.

The Evening Star revealed yesterday that Mr Alcock has been driving a 3.5 litre Nissan 350Z Roadster to and from council meetings and racked up close to 10,000 car miles in the space of 12 months on expenses.

His journeys in the £27,000 cabriolet, capable of 0-62 in 6.4 seconds, included an 80 mile round-trip to the launch of a green initiative in Norwich last November.

He also opted to drive on a 424 mile round-trip to a function in Leeds last July rather than taking the train.

Mr Alcock's political opponents at Suffolk County Council have condemned his choice of transport.

Andrew Cann, deputy leader of the county's Lib Dems, said: “His choice of vehicle is a personal matter but what's not a personal matter is his choice to use that vehicle for council business when attending meetings as environmental portfolio holder for Suffolk and to use it so frequently.

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“He may want to consider using the train a bit more.”

Sandy Martin, Labour lead on environment at the council, said: “I try very hard to walk, cycle and take the bus or train for as many journeys as I possibly can and would hope that other councillors with particular responsibility for the environment would do the same.”

The comments come on the back of criticism from Friends of The Earth, who yesterday labelled the situation “outrageous”.

Mr Alcock has, however, received the backing of council leader Jeremy Pembroke who said his colleague does “sterling” work for the county on environment and waste, claiming his choice of car is a “personal matter”.

He said Mr Alcock had been instrumental in securing the authority £101million in government PFI credits towards the £600million cost of a controversial incinerator for the county.

He added that Mr Alcock's car emissions while travelling around the country had to be viewed in the context of the environmental benefits he has achieved for Suffolk.

“He has to travel great distances to keep pace with changes in the industry. As a result of him doing that research we are getting knowledge on waste and how best we can do it.

“When we deliver energy from waste (the incinerator), the price will be well worth it.”

Mr Pembroke added that it is “often difficult to get from A to B” on public transport and the timings of trains and buses can make it difficult to travel to subsequent appointments.

Is Mr Alcock the right person to lead Suffolk on the environment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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