We need the wind of change


10250067_10153945239775332_858192282_nIts seems clear that the Conservative Party has an energy policy that is at odds with the views of most UK residents. Throughout the 5 years of the last Government and into this one, several Ministers led by Eric Pickles in his role as ‘champion’ for local communities argued vociferously that residents oppose wind farms in general and on-shore wind farms in particular and as a result Government subsidies for these would need to be dramatically reduced and local people given the power to block planning applications for wind farms. However there was no suggestion that local opposition to other sources of energy provision including fracking and conventional power stations should be given a casting vote, and indeed the applications for fracking sites are being treated as having the presumption of being acceptable. In the last few days surveys have been published that show that only 4% of us oppose wind farms, and a mere 8% of us on-shore wind farms. By contrast 28% of us oppose fracking. Inevitably the vast majority of people surveyed had not formed a strong view, but this Government was elected by around 1/3 of residents so these numbers are very significant. The Government like all of its predecessors constantly refer to their capacity to understand our views, and dismiss groups that oppose its pet ideas as being unrepresentative of society as a whole. Let us hope that the new Energy Minister, only a few weeks into her post will reflect on her own policy decisions in the last few weeks and over the Summer begin to take seriously our views as well as the hard data on the vital role that renewable energy must continue to play in our national energy strategy. This will be something of a U turn, but better to use the Summer to U turn, than wait until the voices of communities becomes so loud that she is forced to act.

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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