Ayrshire Power should quit now, says MSP

Published: 24 Mar 2010 12:085 comments

With a decisive vote against the proposed coal power plant at Hunterston in the Scottish Parliament local SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says it should be the end of the road for the plan.

Local SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson has welcomed the decisive vote in the Scottish Parliament against building a coal-fired power station at Hunterston.

Holyrood voted 66 to 26 against the proposed development. SNP Ministers were unable to vote as they will have to deliberate on Ayrshire Power's planning application.

Said Mr Gibson: "The Scottish Parliament has made its rejection of a coal plant at Hunterston loud and clear. Only Tory MSPs voted en bloc for the proposal, despite campaigning against it locally!

"MSPs have looked at the arguments for and against Hunterston coal and decided that carbon capture and storage is unproven on a large scale. Development should take place on a more appropriate site such as Longannet.

The MSP stated: "Ayrshire Power should cut their losses and not proceed.

Full story in the Largs & Millport News of March 24

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  • Philip Lardner
    Unregistered User
    Mar 24, 13:11
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    Mr Gibson takes his constituents so seriously that he was reprimanded by the speaker for turning up LATE for the debate on this motion!

    Let me put my position straight - I am against this coal plant at Hunterston full stop, and will not support it or vote for it - full stop. Mr Gibson says he is against it 'in its current form', whatever that means.

    I am completely open and honest about my views and voters can hold me to account - as North Ayrshire and Arran's next MP I will continue to put local interests first - and I will oppose a coal plant and continue do everything I can to get an extension to Hunterston B's licence (subject obviously to British Energy/EDF's wishes and necessary safety permissions) and a new C plant built asap.

    Tory MSPs have not campaigned against the coal plant at Hunterston, but neither have they said they are necessarily for it either. Most SNP MSPs also voted with the Tory MSPs on this motion, so what does Mr Gibson have to say about his SNP colleagues?

    It is the SNP who are blocking a new nuclear station and who want the coal station instead. Will he face down his SNP friends and demand a Hunterston C nuclear station and categorically oppose this coal plant as I have? I think not, he'll sit on the fence as usual.

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  • H Elliott
    Unregistered User
    Mar 26, 08:59
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    I note that you accuse our elected representative of sitting on the fence, and yet, to quote you, "Tory MSPs have not campaigned against the coal plant at Hunterston, but neither have they said they are necessarily for it either". Quite a fence, it would seem.

    You do seem to be at odds with your party's policy here, it has to be said - you are quite opposed to the proposed coal plant at Hunterston, but I note from the voting list that every Conservative MSP voted against Patrick Harvie's amendment (suggesting they did not want opposition to Hunterston included in the Motion).

    I note also that, despite what you say, the Tory MSP's all abstained on the Motion vote (they only voted on Patrick Harvie's Amendment). Do you not realise, perhaps, that there were two votes (an Amendment, followed by a Motion??).

    That mistake on your part aside, the SNP vote on the Amendment (the vote that Tory's DID take part in) was split 10 For and 10 Against - so your claim that "Most SNP MSPs also voted with the Tory MSPs on this......." is again quite mistaken.

    Should you indeed become North Ayrshire and Arran's next MP your enthusiasm for nuclear power will be of litle relevance locally - I'm sure you are aware that although Westminster retains power over energy issues, Holyrood has power over Planning, making Westminster something of a lame duck.

    I think it is very important that debates within the public domain should remain factually correct.

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  • Philip Lardner
    Unregistered User
    Mar 29, 08:00
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    Being the candidate for Westminster, I obviously cannot explain the reasoning behind every decision of the Tory MSP group at Holyrood, and do not seek to justify their vote against Patrick Harvie's amendment - I would have voted for it, specifically as it applied to Hunterston.

    I do not sit on the fence. Except, of course, where issues are complex and require all sides to be listened to. A Hunterston coal plant is clearly wrong due (primarily) to the location, the level of tax-payer subsidies, and the likelihood it would see the nuclear plant close in 2016 without a replacement - so I am clear on where I stand. Nuclear is cleaner, more efficient and will generate better and more jobs.

    What I can do is answer for myself as a prospective MP, and I have made my position absolutely clear to the electorate - they know what they will be getting.

    If elected, I will then be in a position to put the interests of local people first, at many levels, and I will!

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  • A.Robertson
    Unregistered User
    Apr 5, 12:52
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    It is indeed sad for the people of Ayrshire that our SNP ministers are hell-bent on making us pay for the fact that they don't have any say over energy, but can influence these matters in an underhand way through disrupting the Planning process.

    I feel that this area now has a future as some kind of Tellytubby land, where the only industry is tourism and the only power generation is wind and wave. Wind would be an effective form of generation only if Mr Salmond could somehow stand under every wind turbine in the land, bellowing his heart out in defence of wee Nicola.

    It is unfortunate that the Scottish Parliament can't see that someone with guts and determination is prepared to invest huge sums of their own money in a venture that could take Scotland to the top of a new technological field, which is currently in advanced stages of trials in other, better governed, countries.

    Few of these countries have a location more suited than that at Hunterston, with deep sea berthing and ample high voltage grid connection facilities waiting to be used.

    If Scotland keeps its current investment in "on tap" energy production at a similar level as the last 20 years(incidentaly,that would be none),we should all be considering getting a generator installed along with solar panels, wind turbine etc.

    Doesn't sound very futuristic though, does it?

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  • C Wilson
    Unregistered User
    Apr 15, 12:10
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    Mr Lardner's claim that "nuclear is cleaner and more efficient" is completely misguided.

    Recently the UK Government proposed plans to build a fleet of new nuclear power stations which French company Areva would build.

    However, 2 identical stations under contruction in Finland and France are currently 2 years behind schedule and have gone over budget by more than double!

    Both plants also have massive safety concerns including porous concrete!

    How can Mr Lardner defend such comments?

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