So, West Coast Energy are still at it, trying to put their case for wind turbines to Community Councils behind closed doors (Hag Law wind farm plans ‘deeply concerning’ in Peeblesshire News, September 12).
As Mr Tulloch says it may not be “uncommon” for community councils to hold meetings in private but our experience in Angus, when West Coast Energy were seeking to erect turbines at Rossie Moor, indicated that some community councillors do not believe their constitution allows such an activity.
Whether a community council has such powers or not, one wonders what it is that West Coast Energy have to say that cannot be said in public.
When West Coast Energy tried this tactic in Angus their requests for a private audience were rebuffed.
They arrived to make a presentation to Ferryden Community Council but voiced their dismay when they found the meeting was open to the public.
Undaunted, they moved on to Arbroath Community Council with a request to make a “closed” presentation. Arbroath took the view that it was important to keep the public informed and believed a private meeting would put councillors in an impossible situation.
However, this was not what West Coast Energy wanted so they and their partner, Novera, booked a venue for an independent presentation some miles away from the proposed turbine site.
The morning session for this independent presentation was to be “closed”, open only to invited community councilors and other worthies, followed by public presentation in the afternoon. However, due to a lack of attendees to the closed session, they approached a local school and children were allowed out of class to visit the presentation.
As reported in the Views of Scotland publication “Strange Bedfellows”, another trick they used to gather support for their turbines was to employ professional activists to set up a stall in nearby towns to persuade the public to put their names to pre-printed letters of support.
So, if you are likely to be affected by West Coast Energy’s proposals, be warned.
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