In Wisbech today it was my pleasure to speak at the public inquiry to strongly oppose the wind farm.
I made the point that whilst I am not an expert on planning I do have the largest democratic mandate, representing all 680,000 people of Cambridgeshire. I made three points.
Firstly, I believe that the will of Parliament is not being heard. Government is clear. A key plank of its policy is localism which means decisions being made at the lowest practical level. In this case, local people, the parish council, the district council, the local county councillor and local MP don’t want the wind farm. Local opinion should carry significant weight or we create a democratic deficit.
Secondly, the planning system is being brought into disrepute. What is the point of the planning process, which embeds democratic accountability at its core, if the decision can be overturned by a planning inspector? This seems out of step with localism.
Thirdly, I explained my Cabinet felt it necessary to not allow any further wind farms on the 33,000 acres of county land because faith in the planning process had been lost. We are elected to represent the views of local people and their voices must be heard.
Some fine words from Steven Barclay MP and Cllr Steve Tierney both who are very passionate about the local area.
Interestingly, a Lib Dem candidate for the county elections also opposed the wind farm. Common sense prevailing at last or perhaps a good understanding of where the votes are to be found?
Well worth the drive to Wisbech.