Sunday, 21 December 2014

Plenty of hot wind - where is that turbine when you need it?

This week our neighbouring council, Babergh turned down a planning application for a wind turbine. The application was originally meant for two turbines one of which would have been on IBC owned land. That plan was dropped so the application was just for one turbine on farmland owned by a well known Suffolk family (who included amongst their clan, a Suffolk Tory MP)

The Tory leader in Ipswich, Cllr Cenci was quick to take to social media to tell everyone that the application had been turned down and was also quick to mention that no South West Ipswich Labour councillors had attended.

Cllr Cenci has campaigned for more than a year to see the turbines not built but she was never that keen to mention that she was part of the executive that had signed the deal with the turbine company originally. She was keen for the council to renege on the contract even if it meant that the council would be then liable for costs and a possible compensation claim.

With family living in an area that would have been able to see the turbine from their houses I know that some residents were actually keen to see the turbine but the Tory leader was keen to see the turbine rejected. Where this desire sits with Mr Cameron and his ‘Green’ credentials, I am not sure.

But even forgetting that Cllr Cenci had been a member of the executive that had signed the contract with the turbine company what annoyed me was her tweeting about the non attendance of Labour councillors at the Babergh planning meeting. What she seemed to forget was that on the same day was the Ipswich Planning meeting where 4 South West Labour councillors were attending, but she seemed to think they could miss the meeting (the one they are elected to serve on) as it was just ‘a run of the mill’ planning meeting. Not sure the residents of Brunswick Road would agree as the committee examined an application to build a house in what many would call a ‘back yard’ development.

Now I myself have tweeted about the absence of opposition councillors at meetings – but these were at our own councils meetings – the meetings that we are elected to serve on not those in another District. I mentioned this to Cllr Cenci as she had failed to attend a housing panel the week before, she had a valid excuse as she was working – but maybe the other Labour councillors who were not at our own planning committee were also working. But if Cllr Cenci is now going to be checking the attendance at meetings I hope we may see a Tory at the next East Housing panel, as not one of the 6 Tories in East Ipswich could attend, we did receive belated apologies from one but you would have thought one of the other 5 could have substituted. So maybe Cllr Cenci needs to make sure her own group turn up for meetings before she highlights the lack of Labour councillors at a meeting that they did not even have to attend!

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