I campaigned vociferously against pylons on the Somerset Levels & Moors before I was elected, throughout my time in Parliament and have not changed my view since the election last May.
Local people were brilliant in presenting the arguments against the pylons over the years that this process dragged out. So I share their dismay and disappointment that the Conservative Government decided to approve these monstrous pylons. I am left baffled by our new MP’s inaction, failing to even bring his colleague, Minister and friend Amber Rudd to Somerset to see exactly what impact her plans would have before she signed them off.
A 15 minute end-of-day debate simply doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to challenging the real damage which will be caused to our beautiful landscape, precious environment - and our tourism industry, which relies on both.
Of course, the elephant in the room is that the new pylons will be needed to connect the new Hinkley C nuclear reactor on the Somerset coast to the rest of the electricity grid.
My long-held objections to this dirty, risky, outdated and hugely expensive nuclear reactor are well documented. It seems that others - members of the public, journalists and some politicians - are realising that nuclear power, which is utterly dependent on foreign control through investment, is not the solution. And Hinkley C represents exceptional risks, as even financial analysts have pointed out.
Today, EDF's board should have made a final investment decision on Hinkley C but the extent of internal concern at the risks - that it might bankrupt the company - meant that this was postponed indefinitely.
Renewable energy is the only viable solution. It is better for the environment, the economy, and for the long-term - our grandchildren won’t curse us for it. And it doesn’t come with the risk of a nuclear meltdown.
Tessa slams Heappey for voting to abolish protections against Fracking
Tessa has slammed Mr Heappey, the new Tory MP's decision to vote for the abolition of protections against fracking in sensitive countryside, along the coastline and in important wildlife sites.
Several protective measures for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest and National Parks insisted on by the Lib Dems last year were overturned just before Christmas in a vote in Parliament. The new Conservative MP for Wells voted to reverse the protections, which would have served Somerset well.
Tessa said “I’m appalled, as are many local people, that in spite of his well-publicised promises – which were repeated during 25 public meetings in the run-up to last May’s elections – the new MP has broken those, done a u-turn and voted to abolish protections against fracking across Somerset.”
“I can’t believe this has happened. Before he was elected, Mr Heappey trumpeted his so-called ‘opposition’ to fracking far and wide. It’s not just disappointing, but downright hypocrisy - duping voters by saying one thing when he wants their support and then voting for what he describes as the "huge economic benefits" of fracking at the first opportunity.”
PS. My 'Stop Fracking Petition is still live, join thousands who have signed already by signing here!
In a line that could have come straight from Bush or Blair when pushing for their war in Iraq, our Prime Minister has labelled those opposed to bombing Syria "a bunch of terrorist sympathisers".
Our present Tory MP is clear that he wants to go ahead with airstrikes, I'm still opposed.
Both he and I spoke with BBC Somerset earlier, catch it here before 10pm, when MPs will be voting on the issue.
2nd December 2015