Update on pylons

RECENTLY, I have been asked why the campaign against the pylons has gone quiet and does this mean that the protest groups have either won or given up?

RECENTLY, I have been asked why the campaign against the pylons has gone quiet and does this mean that the protest groups have either won or given up?

I want to assure the residents of Nailsea and the surrounding towns and villages that all the protest groups and local councils have not given up fighting what is still a very real threat.

Since the end of the consultation period the protest groups, including Save Nailsea West, Yatton Against Pylons and Save our Valley have met with the National Grid (NG), to discuss their plans.

At one meeting on March 6 the NG made it clear they had no intention of changing their plans and that it was still "Corridor A or B".


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At this meeting NG would not discuss either the undersea route or any of the other 18 options dismissed before the consultation began.

To add insult to injury NG suggested they were morally (yes, they used this word) obliged to select the cheapest route as to do otherwise could condemn millions to fuel poverty, something that, as the protest groups pointed out, was at odds with the NG's annual profits and the rather large dividend (currently 5.6 per cent) currently paid to its shareholders. Their statement was also at odds with the process of consultation, which the NG said would be based on several factors not just cost.

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One consequence of the 3,500 replies received during the consultation period was that the NG thought they had failed to get their message across (that they were right and the local residents were wrong) and so they had decided to both send 37,000 letters to all the local householders, and hold further public meetings to provide us with more information on why it had to be Corridors A or B.

It is possible you may have already received this letter but as far as we can tell, it will not provide a crumb of comfort for anybody hoping that the NG will reconsider the undersea option.

Hence, the NG's view remains that as the people of Somerset and North Somerset had not given the answer they want, they simply need to shout louder and harder until they get the only acceptable answer, Corridor A or B.

Residents should be in no doubt, the NG have no intention of considering anything other than Corridor A or B; that is unless the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) or the Government force then to do otherwise.

One ray of hope is that since the meeting on March 6, the IPC have suggested that NG's consultation might be considered inadequate and therefore they have called a meeting between the NG and all of the local councils and protest groups to further discuss the process. This meeting, due to take place on May 18 provides us with an excellent opportunity to impress on the NG the need to take on board the views of the local residents.

So please do make sure your local councillor knows your views so they can feed these into the discussions.

In addition, while all of the protest groups are non-political, it might be worth remembering that it is election time, and so we should all impress on the various candidates what they must do to stop any more pylons being built in this beautiful area.

K J EDWARDS

Bucklands View, Nailsea

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