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Councillor who lobbied against wind farms under investigation by standards watchdog  

Credit:  By Cheryl Peebles | The Courier | September 6 2018 | www.thecourier.co.uk ~~

A Fife councillor who founded an anti-wind farm lobby group is under investigation by the standards commissioner.

Councillor Linda Holt was accused of breaching the councillors’ code of conduct by failing to register her involvement with Scotland Against Spin.

She was also alleged to have failed to declare it as an interest when taking part in determination of a planning application for a wind turbine.

Ms Holt denied she had breached the code which sets out the standards for behaviour by elected members in Scottish local authorities.

The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland confirmed a complaint had been received but said no further details could be given.

Ms Holt helped set up Scotland Against Spin in 2012 and has actively campaigned against the creation of windfarms, including that proposed by St Andrews University at Kenly.

She said she had resigned from the group in October 2016, seven months before she was elected as Conservative councillor for East Neuk and Landward in May 2017, but remains listed as an administrator on its Facebook page.

The code of conduct states councillors should register interests, both financial and non-financial, including those in the 12 months leading up to their term of office.

However, the Fife-based organisation is not listed in Ms Holt’s entries in Fife Council’s register of interests in either June last year or May this year.

At the council’s north east planning committee meeting on May 30 she moved for refusal of a planning application for a turbine at Lochmalony Farm, near Rathillet, which was approved by the committee.

She is not recorded in the minutes of the meeting as having declared an interest.

Ms Holt said: “I deny that I have breached the councillors’ code of conduct.

“I formally and publicly resigned from Scotland Against Spin in October 2016, well before I was even selected as a council candidate and had wound down my voluntary activities as an anti-wind farm campaigner some time before then.

“It’s no surprise that my anti-wind campaigning made me a lot of enemies.”

She also said she was listed as a ‘sleeping’ administrator on Facebook as she was the original owner of the page and her removal could result in the group losing control of it.

Source:  By Cheryl Peebles | The Courier | September 6 2018 | www.thecourier.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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