Friday, 7 January 2011


You can tell when the nimbies are on the ropes and panicking slightly because they start saying some really strange things.

Take the person who has commented on the Wychavon District Council website calling for a survey of all supporters of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm to find out how many live 600-800 metres from a windfarm.

We support this idea, and would also call upon the Council to find out how many objectors are Sagittarians, how many are left-handed and how many like their eggs sunny-side-up.

Of course, the Council has more important things to worry about, right now. But it's interesting, isn't it, to note that the nookies feel that only people currently living within a kilometre of wind turbines should be allowed to support them. If this was flipped around, and only people currently living within a kilometre of a windfarm were allowed to object to the Lenchwick development, the number of objectors would be reduced to ... nil.

By a similar token, only people living within a mile of a nuclear power station should be allowed to oppose nuclear power, and only people with fins should be allowed to worry about our depletion of the ocean's fish stocks.

The person who made this daft observation really should be kept away from sharp objects. It's a typical nimby manoeuvre. Only mad anti-windfarm protesters, pumped up on VVASP's lies, are allowed to have a say. Everyone else - and especially those who have taken the trouble to visit windfarms and understand the issues involved - must be silenced. That's how VVASP work.

Here's another example of lousy nimby thinking. Needled by a report submitted by BLoW about the viciousness and deviousness of VVASP behaviour, the clerk to Church Lench Parish Council was told to respond (none of the other five Parish Councils concerned has bothered).

The good news is that the nimbies are finally willing to admit that nearly thirty per cent of the parishioners polled in 2009 didn't bother to reply (so, naturally, they are automatically disenfranchised - still, makes a difference from VVASP claiming "82% of residents against").

The clerk also admits that the Lord of the Nimbies offered to help the "chair" of Church Lench Parish Council find some new parish councillors. No kidding. It's a bit like Robert Mugabe offering to help find some suitable Zimbabwean politicians.

Except that ... how can a Parish Council which doesn't exist (because its members have been forced to resign) have a "chair"? How was this individual appointed "chair"?

The clerk goes on to insist that the Windfarm Working Party did not agree to work alongside VVASP. This, according to the clerk to the nimbies, is erroneous, factually incorrect and defamatory.

Except that Church Lench Parish Council's minutes from July 2009 make it abundantly clear that VVASP and the Working Party agreed to divvy up responsibilities and share the workload. And, of course, the Working Party declared that VVASP should have sole responsibility for "educating" the community, even though Worcestershire County Council had already declared that it was the job of local authorities to pass effective and reliable education about renewables to the communities concerned.

(Further proof that the Windfarm Working Party was operating in complete ignorance of or contempt for the law can be found in the document, released in November 2007, concerning Councils' Powers to Discharge their Functions, which was published by NALC. This clearly states that 'Working Groups' and 'Working Parties' are committees covered by the 1972 Local Government Act, and are therefore subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The Working Party has consistently argued that it is not covered by the FoI Act and can keep their activities secret. Evidently, just as the Working Party made no attempt to find out about windfarms, so they didn't try very hard to understand the law.)

The clerk states that the purpose of the Working Party was to provide "good communication" between the six affected Parish Councils. Where's the evidence of that "good communication"? And then, the clerk says that the Working Party was established to prevent duplication of effort. Basically, it meant that all six Parish Councils would not have to pay independently for legal advice or noise measurement surveys.

But realistically, how many of the six Parish Councils were likely to have consulted a solicitor and organised an "independent" noise measurement survey? The only Parish Council that was really interested in wasting public money on such things was the new-look Church Lench PC with its massive nimby bias. The others were fleeced of several hundred pounds and then told to submit a solicitor's response without much in the way of consultation. That's the "good communication" we were hearing about.

The noise measurement survey, part-funded by our own Parish Councils, revealed that the figures supplied by ScottishPower Renewables in the planning application were accurate. Not one Parish Council asked to see the results of the noise survey. One has to ask, how many of them were really bothered? And how many members of the public - who to all intents and purposes paid for that survey - have been told that ScottishPower Renewables' figures are good?

The real killer statement from the clerk is this one: "The logic of the working party is self-evident; one small parish council can have little effect in representing the views of the great majority of their parishioners against those of a multinational giant such as Iderbrola."

That is Church Lench speaking, because there was and is no such "great majority" in the other parishes (and not much of a majority in Church Lench). The decision to refer to the parent company, rather than ScottishPower Renewables, is also typical of the nimby movement. The clerk and her councillors are damned by their very own words. They used the money of the Parish Councils where there was no majority of opinion against the windfarm to fund their own witless campaign against the developer.

Again: "It is only by combining the skills, abilties and cash resources of several councils that one can hope to affect the outcome."

She might have added - "and by ignoring opinion polls, democracy and the law." So Church Lench had committed itself to affecting the outcome of the planning application before that planning application had arrived. That's a clear breach of Parish Council responsibilities (they're supposed to remain neutral and impartial until there's a planning application for them to look at). And, as the clerk's wording makes abundantly clear, one Parish Council had decided to ponce off the others in order to pursue its own policy, regardless of the views of the public who, without knowing it, were funding all this nonsense.

Perhaps if the Windfarm Working Party had simply tried to research windfarms (as they said they were going to when they were trying to get their hands on everybody else's money), there might have been some merit in the scheme. And if they'd bothered to check up on the law, rather than blithely insisting that they were accountable to nobody.

Maybe a survey should be carried out to discover how many members of the Windfarm Working Party have ever been 600-800 metres from a windfarm.

No comments:

Post a Comment