An epetition on the Govt web site regarding wind farms has been created. We ask that as many as possible to sign it. See http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/5228If we can get over a certain number then we believe that it will have to be debated. Even if we do not achieve the required numbers, we hope that sufficient will sign to give some ministers pause for thought. (closes 17/08/2012)
REDUCE ELECTRICITY BILLS BY REFORMING THE SUBSIDIES FOR WIND FARMS - Electricity bills have soared, and more increases are in the pipeline. This punishes the 6 million people already in fuel poverty, restricts economic growth, and makes British industry less competitive. A key factor in this increase is the Renewables Obligation, which indirectly provides more than 40% of the income of wind-farms. Please see the e-petition for this item (closes 16/11/2012)
e-petitions below now closed
WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN THIS NEW HM GOVERNMENT E-PETITION
Whatever your personal views on climate change, UK cabinet ministers have agreed to a far-reaching, legally binding "green deal" that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. This ‘green deal’ will be immensely profitable for wealthy landowners, developers and for the energy industry, all of whom will be the beneficiaries of a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary consumers through surcharges levied on energy bills. Equally this deal is manifestly unfair to the thousands of rural communities that will be literally forced to accept the loss of amenity resulting from the construction and operation of local renewable energy plants and supporting infrastructure without proportionate compensation in order to export power back to major population centres.
According to the latest figures (2009) around 21% of UK households are already suffering from fuel poverty. Rural households are far more likely to find themselves in fuel poverty than urban households, so the impact of funding the ‘green deal’ is already falling disproportionately on vulnerable people living in rural communities and disproportionately on some UK regions. Moreover, the burden of new generation development is not being shared fairly, with some constituencies and regions doing little to meet the challenge of climate change and others enduring a land-rush of speculative planning applications for the construction of intrusive renewable energy plants.
Resistance to the practical implementation of UK Government strategy on renewable energy development seems to be becoming more entrenched day by day. To date this resistance has simply been channelled and vented through the democratic checks and balances that exist in the planning system. Unfortunately, politicians have simply focused on removing these checks and balances instead of asking why the electorate has been applying them.
Paradoxically the measures taken to water down or abolish the remaining protective safeguards in the planning system have all been completely counterproductive. As a result the rural electorate no longer seems to trust the impartiality of the Government on renewable energy issues and doubts any assurances made about the safety or utility of renewable energy projects. Unless this trust is rapidly re-established the result will be a growing conflict with the rural electorate that the UK government and the devolved administrations cannot possibly win.
Plans to construct the large numbers of renewable energy plants urgently needed to fulfil legally binding climate change commitments are very likely to be overwhelmingly rejected at future elections unless Ministers alter course and offer the rural electorate a “fair deal” on renewable energy that addresses their specific concerns and offers appropriate safeguards. This change of emphasis has to start now!
Unfortunately the planning system allows no room for the grievances of rural communities to be aired so that Ministers can hear them. Principles like ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice’ are not material planning considerations. However they are material political considerations – so please take this opportunity to make your voice heard in Westminster before it is too late!
THE E-PETITION WORDING:
UK renewable energy policy and associated planning policies should give far greater weight to principles of fairness and social justice.
Responsible department: Department for Energy and Climate Change
We the undersigned recognise the UK’s legally binding commitment to tackle climate change and urge the UK Government to give far greater weight to the principles of fairness and social justice within renewable energy and planning policy in order to win public support. Specifically, we believe that:
1) Private interest groups should not profit disproportionately from sacrifices made to tackle climate change and economic benefits must be more fairly and transparently distributed.
2) The burden of achieving carbon emission reduction through new renewable energy developments should be shared out more equally across regions and districts.
3) Communities throughout the UK deserve fair treatment, with equally effective protection from new forms of negative impact arising from renewable energy technologies.
4) In the spirit of localism, communities should be empowered to determine the type and location of new renewable energy developments that are acceptable for their neighbourhood.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Visit the following link and sign the e-Petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/5912