Yet another Devon village is to be ripped apart by power companies, no doubt supported by The Green Party.
It was heartening to read that residents at Witheridge have already formed a campaign group and many farmers and landowners are refusing the big money offered by Nuon Renewables to “sell out” North Devon. They should be commended.
However, I was concerned to read that Witheridge parish council hope to have a private meeting with Nuon Renewables! Apparently, they feel that if a meeting was held in public it could be “hijacked” by “opponents” and that councillors’ ability to give the poor power company a fair hearing would be “compromised.”
Whilst we all know that a private meeting is entirely legal – is it really appropriate in these days of political correctness/democracy and transparency? Surely, these councillors are supposed to be representing the villagers who voted them in -not worrying about the interests of powerful wealthy power companies?
I also believe it would be unfair to expect a newly formed group to face the powerful turbine company alone at a private meeting. I entirely resent the accusation that “opponents” to turbines might behave inappropriately.
If the council wish to extradite itself from any accusations of secrecy and bias – it must now organise one public meeting – open to all. It’s called the democratic process!
“Environmentalists Against Turbines”
30 January 2008
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