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News and Comment October 2012

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5 October (Part 1) - Turbine winds everyone up

Erith wind turbineI was early to the Finance Committee meeting last night - report coming later - and a small number of councillors were there chatting among themselves. One pair of Conservatives were discussing the Erith turbine. They didn’t know it was coming either and made a slightly disparaging remark about the Planning Committee not being involved.

One had written to the Planning Department and was waving the reply in the air saying that all the local politicians had been consulted, the three ward councillors plus MPs Teresa Pearce and David Evenett. The Conservative councillor was all smiles while reporting that Teresa (see penultimate paragraph) and the unnamed (Labour) councillors hadn’t bothered to respond. It seemed likely that he was quoting from his response letter.

The talkative councillor went on to suggest that the turbine didn’t really matter as it was a Labour area and implied there was no electoral risk. The usual treatment for that area from a councillor who doesn’t live anywhere near it.

Labour councillors are no more likely to be willing to discuss the issue with me than Tories but Teresa Pearce will provide a welcoming ear when asked, so I disturbed her breakfast.

Teresa confirmed she offered no comment but only because she wasn’t consulted and presumably is as surprised as everyone else about the arrival of the turbine. She reminded me that the turbine is just outside her constituency, it’s on David Evenett’s Bexleyheath and Crayford patch. I surmised that she wasn’t best pleased to have her name inaccurately bandied about the council chamber. The Planning Department has subsequently confirmed that at no time was Teresa Pearce MP consulted about the eyesore a few yards beyond her political doorstep.

I think the way to settle the matter is to FOI the Planning Department’s letter to the councillor. Where’s Mr. Barnbrook when you need him?


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