Thursday, 16 December 2010


When the news was announced that ScottishPower Renewables were investigating the possibility of installing a windfarm near Lenchwick in Worcestershire, a handful of locals overreacted in grand style.

They Googled. They went hunting any old guff they could find. And they publicised the idiotic (mis)information they had found without bothering to check it properly.

Earlier this year, three complaints against this ludicrous literature were upheld by the independent advertising regulator (ASA). After investigating the matter, the ASA judged that the claims upon which VVASP had based their vicious and misleading campaign breached the guidelines on Truthfulness and Substantiation.

Now, VVASP work on the principle that no one will ever challenge their stupid statements. They get really irate whenever somebody calls their bluff.

Forced onto the back foot by the adverse ASA adjudication, the chair of VVASP lied on BBC radio. He said that VVASP had secured a similar ruling against ScottishPower Renewables. So, in his words, the score stood at 'one-one'.

It seemed odd that a nimby group's successful challenge of a windfarm developer's literature would pass unnoticed. A little while ago, having established that VVASP had never secured an ASA ruling against ScottishPower Renewables, a member of BLoW ('Back Local Windfarms') raised this issue on the Wychavon District Council website.

Naturally, VVASP responded. Just as naturally, they provided yet more misleading and inaccurate information.

Their latest claim was that they would have won an ASA judgement against ScottishPower Renewables if the developer hadn't withdrawn an offending piece of publicity.

Oh, really? So VVASP might have got an ASA ruling against SPR. Only they didn't.

Well, here's what really happened.

To publicise their public drop-in sessions for the Lenchwick Windfarm, SPR produced leaflets which showed a photo of another of their windfarms - the one on Co-op farmland at Coldham in Cambridgeshire (the nimbies know this one: they chatted to a farmer nearby and completely ignored all the villagers who actually love their local windfarm).

Somebody complained to the ASA, arguing that the Coldham turbines were somewhat smaller than the ones planned for Lenchwick, and so the image was misleading.

The ASA demanded an explanation from ScottishPower Renewables. SPR stated that the Coldham Windfarm was the one in their fleet which was most similar to the windfarm proposed for Lenchwick.

The ASA accepted this explanation, although they did suggest that SPR might go in for clearer labelling in future.

The complaint was not upheld. The literature was not withdrawn.

So. Where does that leave us?

First of all, Dr No claimed that VVASP had won an ASA ruling against ScottishPower Renewables. They hadn't.

He then claimed that they would have won such a ruling if SPR hadn't withdrawn the publicity. But SPR did not withdraw their publicity and the complaint was thrown out by the ASA.

Basically, one lie after another from VVASP. They never had a complaint against SPR upheld by the ASA. Quite the reverse - their complaint was rejected!!!

Did they really think that no one would question their lies? Seriously? All that rubbish about it being 'one-one', when it was, and remains, 'one-nil'?

Here's the truth: VVASP were caught out telling lies. So they told some more lies. And SPR have not been caught out telling lies.

With the Wychavon Special Development Control Committee meeting on the horizon, this is not a good time for VVASP to be caught out telling porkies yet again. But rest assured, dear reader - we shall do our utmost to make sure that the public, and the District Council, gets to hear all about this latest example of VVASP's chronic inability to tell the truth.

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