Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lib Dems Must Come Down Off the Fence on Biomass

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP (Lothians)(SNP) is calling on local Lib Dem politicians to make clear their position on Forth Energy’s proposals for a biomass plant in Leith. Her call comes after the local Lib Dem party distributed a “newspaper” with a front page story on the biomass plant but in which no councillor, MSP or candidate from the party actually expresses any opinion at all. On Saturday it was revealed that the Lib Dem Councillor for Leith Ward, Marjorie Thomas, advocated building the plant a couple of miles away in Seafield.

Ms Somerville lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament before Christmas calling for a moratorium on large electricity-only biomass plants. It received backing from all parties except for the Tories. There was no support from Lothians Lib Dems for the motion.

Ms Somerville said:

“Between the newspaper and Cllr Thomas’s comments I have to question where the Lib Dems stand on this issue. Their newspaper is completely devoid of any opinion – it looks like they’re putting on a show of being involved, but ducking the big question of whether they support the biomass plant or not.

Cllr Thomas seems to suggest building the massive biomass plant at Seafield, which is extraordinary. Yes, there are major problems with the current proposed location for the plant. But there are also fundamental problems relating to size, inefficiency, pollution and many more which cannot be fixed simply by moving it along the road – that just moves the problem. I think we’re entitled to know what Lib Dem politicians are really thinking about this issue”.

SNP Councillor for Leith Rob Munn said "I welcome my fellow ward councillor coming out against the Biomass plan but am astonished at the suggestion that siting it at Seafield would be any more acceptable to the local community than the site proposed. The fact remains that this large scale biomass plant is unsustainable wherever it is sited and not the route Scotland should be taking with new energy generation. It's wrong for Leith and it's wrong for Scotland."

The motion by Shirley-Anne Somerville is here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/business/motions/Default.aspx?motionid=20154

Cllr Thomas’s comments can be found within this article: http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/edinburgh/1800-voice-opposition-to-biomass.6732902.jp

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