Or How Labour councillors nearly stitched up SW Ipswich
Ipswich Borough Council planning meeting took place last Wednesday giving an opportunity for Ipswich residents, councillors and Stop Ipswich Turbines the chance to have their say about the single turbine planned for Pannington Hall.
Of course, this is only part of the equation because it is Babergh Council that will decide whether the project goes ahead, not Ipswich. However IBC were able to formally oppose the building of the turbine, affecting SW Ipswich, in an advisory capacity.
What really surprised me were the number of Labour councillors who rejected the idea of opposing the proposals, probably through some blind faith towards green solutions and an ignorance of what this actually means for residents.
If it wasn't for my Conservative colleagues, the outcome would have been one supporting the application and this would've sent a completely different message across to Babergh.
The reason I was so shocked is that Ben Gummer and I carried out 2 surveys, one showing 98% of SW Ipswich residents, (of the 50% that responded), were against the proposals (when it was 3 turbines). When this was reduced to 2, we repeated the survey and this time 80% of those who responded, were against. It was the force of this reaction that prompted PfR to drop the turbine proposed on Ipswich land, leaving the new location at Pannington of just 1 turbine.
Now whether you're a 'green' councillor and believe these 450ft turbines are the way to go, or not, is irrelevant. We are there to represent the residents, not give our own opinion when one so much more valuable is available to us.
For me, the fact that the majority of labour councillors supported the turbine shows a casual disdain for the views of all the residents in Sprites, Stoke Park as well as Pinewood, Wherstead and Belstead village. The noise from all surrounding areas of this site has been thunder-like, thanks to Stop Ipswich Turbines and residents who have come out in good numbers at several meetings, as well as returning the surveys to myself and Ben Gummer.
I will continue to listen to the views of my residents, not just on this issue but on any others and even if I disagreed with them, I would vote according to the wishes of the people who elected me, not because of some Idealism in the name of climate change - whatever that is these days.