Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Seamer & Hilton windfarm given green light

After at least 3 years and 7 expensive inquiries/meetings, the Seamer and Hilton wind farm has finally been approved. Five turbines 125m high and about 600m from the nearest residence will be built astride a lane that joins the two villages. Stringent conditions on safety, abnormal load delivery and monitoring were made by Stockton and Hambleton councils.

Friends of the Earth attended two of the council meetings supporting the application which were packed out with protestors. "SWAG gave a number of reasons to reject the wind farm and did a good job I felt highlighting how big an operation it is to install a wind farm and what is involved. I thought that this and their opinion that it would spoil the view were their only realistic objections - everything else, noise, distracting motorists, impact on wildlife etc were very dubious" Rob Tucker, co-ordinator said. "Friends of the Earth cannot be at every windfarm application meeting and each project should be looked at individually, but the amount of time spent on applications must be speeded up, its no wonder that wind energy companies decide to relocate abroad taking jobs with them when it takes this long to get permission for just 5 turbines!"

Redcar Question Time Hustings packed out

Friends of the Earth in Partnership with Redcar churches Together held a Question time style meeting with the parliamentary candidates Vera Baird (lab), Steven Mastin (Con), Ian Swales (Lib Dem) and Hannah Walter (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition). With only days to go before General election 2010 the electorate had a real chance to weigh up the candidates side by side.

Extra chairs had to be added to the aisles and there was standing room only as the Rev Catey Morrison expertly put questions collected from the audience on topics ranging from the MP expenses scandal, to Corus and empty shops, to youth and discrimination.
"Vera was very good in the debate, Steve proved to be a surprisingly nice teacher who gave some insightful views, Ian had the better green policies in my opinion and Hannah obviously cared passionately about what she had to say" said Rob Tucker co-ordinator of Mbro & Redcar Friends of the Earth. "it was a pleasent and interesting event. We learnt a lot from the previous Hustings in Middlesbrough and the format was changed to allow for the large audience - a number of people said how professional and well run the meeting was".

Middlesbrough question time hustings big success

Over a hundred people attended a "Question time" Hustings at St Barnabas church at Linthorpe road on the 29th April, just before the 2010 general election. Four candidates were invited John Walsh (con), Chris Foote-Wood (lib-dem), Sir Stuart Bell (lab) and Independent Joan McTigue. Sir Stuart Bell could not attend as he was on Church of England commisioner business and Middlesbrough labour councillor Barry Coppinger stood in for him.

Kendra Ullyart from Darlington Friends of the Earth chaired the meeting which ranged from questions on Corus and unemployment, to the arms race.