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George clashes with First Minister

Created on 17/10/2012 @ 07:38


Montgomeryshire AM Russell George has clashed with the Wales First Minister over suggestions that communities affected by energy developments should be offered ‘sweeteners’.
The attack comes amidst a recent reports saying that the Welsh Government believes the villages and towns on the proposed Mid Wales Connection Project route should be compensated.
But Mr George confronted Carwyn Jones at his weekly questions by saying the Mid Wales Connection Project was only progressing due to the Welsh Government’s renewable energy policy.
The AM said if the Welsh Government wanted clear community benefits to compensate those communities who would be affected by significant energy infrastructure developments, then he wanted to know what the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, perceived tangible community benefits to be.
Mr George said: “First Minister, you have said publically that if consents are given to large infrastructure developments, you would expect there to be significant benefits to affected communities.
“However, with the scarring of the landscape, years of transport misery, damage to Mid Wales tourism industry, the devaluation of property prices and the potential impact on public health because of effects of turbine noise and flicker amongst other things, I can see very little in the way of community benefits from the Mid Wales Community Project going ahead.”
Mr George then accused the First Minister of failing to answer the question and fumed: “If he (First Minister) thinks that the people of Mid Wales can be bought off, financially or otherwise, he is very much mistaken and it really does show how out of touch he is.”
Montgomeryshire is being lined up to undergo massive energy development to deliver power generated from new windfarms in the west of the shire, through to the National Grid in Shropshire. This will involve a 20-acre power station being built in Cefn Coch as well as hundreds of pylons holding miles of cabling.
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