Friday, 8 February 2013

The Leader of Lincolnshire County Council fails to understand why anyone would think the council have a negative bias against onshore wind farms or would consider the survey printed in the County News not to be a fair reflection of public opinion.

So how to explain?

Well, my understanding of the way to gauge public opinion is to randomly select a number of individuals through telephone or face to face contact and then to ask a set of clearly phrased questions that allow a full range of opinion to be registered. The questions should not be ambiguous, ensuring that every interviewee has a similar understanding of the question before answering it.

Once the answers have been logged and recorded, the data needs to be analysed and weighted to ensure that the sample results represent an accurate proportion of the total population. This means taking care that the views of one sector in terms of age, gender or location do not dominate the final result.

A poll such as this can never factually reflect the views of all of the population but it can give an idea of attitudes generally.
The survey that Lincolnshire County Council produced was really a “call to arms”, it was an invitation to those who had strong feelings to have their say. It was pre-empted by months of anti wind farm rhetoric from Councillor Hill, which made the position of the council perfectly plain. It was not a poll of public opinion.

There were 4000 responses to the survey, 28% came from East Lindsey district which has an active anti wind farm campaign group but only has 19% of the population.
There are approximately 750,000 adults living in Lincolnshire so the survey had a response rate of about 0.5%, a low figure to argue that the results represent a fair view of the whole county.

The survey results showed almost unanimous support for the council guidelines to be considered by the planning authorities, regardless of the fact that the guidelines have no weight in planning law and cannot be considered by the planning authority.

The guidelines have never been published in full within County News but they are available online. If you read the full details and apply them to the existing 7 wind farms in Lincolnshire then most would have failed to gain approval, let alone any new proposals.

National Planning legislation demands “a presumption in favour of sustainable development”. However the council guidelines require “a presumption against wind turbine developments”.
So what is going on here? Why are the council so intent on producing a set of planning guidelines that have no legitimate function and directly contradict central government policy?

Perhaps this is a clue? This passage is taken from a report written to the councillors authored by Alan Freeman LCC head of planning, on the 6th June 2012.

“As the author states, the County Council is not the local planning authority nor is it a local plan making body. As such the County Council has no ability to make planning statements or policy and this statement should be given as a political statement only

The point of the exercise, in my opinion, is to attempt to derail central government policy on the continued deployment of onshore wind farms and support the rebellious section of the Conservative party that do not believe global warming is an issue worth bothering with.

This is why I believe the behaviour of our county council in this matter is improper. It represents a gross misuse of public funds and an abuse of the powers delegated to them by the electorate.

If you agree that the council should stop promoting a negative image of wind power then please sign the on line petition at No bias on wind


  1. Melvin Grosvenor16 March 2013 at 14:12

    James I doubt whether you will publish my comment..
    You make this point.. There were 4000 responses to the survey, 28% came from East Lindsey district which has an active anti wind farm campaign group but only has 19% of the population..

    However you do not clarify the reasons why there has been a response from the ELDC district and this is because the Coastal Outmarsh and this district of Linconshire is being ruthlessly targeted by wind turbine developers more than most others.
    Why should local residents have their opinions trashed because it does not fit your misguided purposes.
    You would prefer to base your survey on people who will not be affected as you did in Louth and lead them up your garden path...

  2. There you go Melvin..comment posted.
    However I don't think you read the entire article did you?
    I'm quite happy to acknowledge that the "survey" represents the views of the people who are most likely to be negative about wind farms but that is not the same as a representative poll of public opinion.

    1. Melvin Grosvenor17 March 2013 at 15:08

      James I did read all of your piece and the fact is that uninformed opinion or a debate that influences public opinion, which has been consistently been fed falsehoods
      cannot be seen as representive.
      I suggest you read The Mail on Sunday 17 March, which clearly states that the whole CO2 man made global warming is based on iffy science
      At long last the general public is being correctly informed and you will see public opinion shift substantially against the wind energy lobby which is costing billions and adding to fuel poverty..

  3. "No, the world ISN'T getting warmer (as you may have noticed). Now we reveal the official data that's making scientists suddenly change their minds about climate doom. So will eco-funded MPs stop waging a green crusade with your money? Well... what do YOU think?"
    That gives you a flavour of the Daily Mail article by David Rose.

    So anyone who is convinced by the science behind global warming (which is every credible world science institution) is now exposed as incompetent frauds by the Daily Mail on Sunday, that well known national contributor to rational debate.

    No..perhaps not.

    Predicting how global warming will influence land surface temperatures (which is what this article "exposes") is obviously a bit tricky particularly as about 90% of the heat trapped is absorbed by the oceans.

    We had periods at the end of 2003 and 1998 where there appeared to be a similar levelling of surface temperatures but each year of the 21st century has ranked among the 14 hottest since record keeping began in 1880.

    The basic science of the greenhouse effect is unequivocal. Unless of course you are David Bellamy who states that the rise in CO2 is a consequence of a rise in temperature and not the other way round. I be interested in a fuller explanation of that theory..if there is one.

    The world is warming and will continue to warm over this century..that's the air, the land and the oceans. Even if we stop emitting CO2 tomorrow we are set for a 2 degree C increase which the world authorities thought might be manageable..but we are going outside that boundary into much more unpredictable outcomes, none of which are good news for life on earth.

    So Melvin, I'm sorry to say that I can't admit that global warming is a hoax.. for the sake of my children it would be the happiest consequence if it were..but it's not a hoax it's real ,it's happening right now and we are the primary cause.


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