I was so impressed by the way Ricky Tomlinson presented Disappearing Britain, a television programme focusing on the terrible price paid by the south Wales valleys to satisfy the energy needs of the UK.
His presentation was sympathetic and illuminating.
He was literally moved to tears when he exposed the effects of poverty, ill health, pollution, wildlife and environmental devastation.
It took 144 children and adults to die at Aberfan to hasten the restoration of the mining valleys.
Forty years on from the disaster, these valleys are once again clean, healthy, beautiful and desirable places to live.
However, another disaster looms and threatens our future prosperity – not this time by the black mineral beneath our feet, but by the clean, fresh air we breathe.
This air is so abundant that outside agencies wish to harness this natural commodity to once again satisfy the energy needs of the UK.
The residents of Neath Port Talbot are threatened with the prospect of 38 per cent of all wind farms in Wales being built in this area.
We already have 14 wind turbines in our valley, but this is not enough.
I recently attended a presentation by the Spanish company Gamesa. They would like to develop what they euphemistically call an ‘energy park’ comprising 14 turbines measuring 600 feet.
To put this in perspective, the average terrace house in the south Wales valleys has a frontage of 20 feet – so the next time travel along a terraced street you will need to pass thirty houses to equate to the height of these turbines.
During the presentation the staff at Gamesa laughed at my concerns and promised to forward me information which I have yet to receive.
The shoddy way in which the developers, Peter Hain and Carwyn Jones are treating the valleys is contemptible – we will not again be exploited by a minority who will profit financially or politically from the destruction of our landscape.
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