Highland Council have gagged local councillor Andrew Baxter, the third such councillor in the Highlands, from planning meetings on wind farms that the John Muir Trust has commented on because he is a member of the charity on the basis of a pre-conceived opinion. That all members of the SNP could be like described as pro wind does not seem to worry the powers that be. The stated concern is that developers may sue the council should Mr. Baxter, an independent councillor for Lochaber, raise an objection to any wind farm. Northern Times has a very good article about this here. Independent Councillor Jim Crawford and Lib-Dem Councillor David Henderson, now retired, have also suffered the same gagging orders. Cllr Baxter has objected on the basis that the council assumes that he would always concur with JMT. Does this mean you cannot comment in an application for a dog kennel if you are a member of the RSPCA or an airport if a member of the RSPB. Yet again the council is making themselves look fools and lackies to the SNP party in Holyrood. People are voted onto the local council based on their opinions and views. To deny those who voted them in to power representation on the basis of those views is simply not democratic. As Cllr Jim Crawford says he was re-elected on his anti wind farm views so it is wrong to deny him the right to express those views on behalf of his constituents.
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"The trouble with wind farms is that they have a very large spatial footprint for a piddling little bit of electricity. You would need 8oo turbines to produce the output of a coal-fired power station."
Sir Martin Holgate, Chief Scientist at the Department of the Environment of the British Government - October 2004
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