Pylon protesters take fight over the border to Grid AGM

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

ANGLESEY anti-pylon protesters took their fight across the border to England.

A representation from the ‘Anglesey Says NO to Pylons’ group launched a protest as the AGM of the National Grid got underway at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

The event was just part of a series of protests being staged by the group in recent months.

In a statement the group said: “Protests will continue as long as the Grid continue to ignore the Anglesey community voice to bury the transmission cables underground rather than to scar the landscape with further runs of Pylons.”

Two of the Anglesey team were invited to ask questions of the board of the National Grid as part of the shareholder question and answer session. David Neal, chairman of the protest group also questioned the Grid’s board.

He reiterated the island community’s opposition to the project, which has been backed Labour MP Albert Owen and Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Member Rhun Ap Iorwath.

Both the local and community councils have also voted unanimously to reject the installation of pylons in favour of a below ground option.

Mr Neal further argued that Anglesey was a community that had “fought hard to develop the tourist and agricultural sectors” of it’s economy and that by installing a second row of pylons the North Wales connection project “negatively impacted income and jobs” in both these sectors. 

The National Gras was contacted for a comment.

Mr Neal said: “It is important that both local and national initiatives co-exist in the local economy and that national initiatives do not negate them by solely focusing on their own objectives”  

The National Grid Board agreed to meet the team from Anglesey after the meeting and the Grid’s CEO John Pettigrew and Nicola Shaw, executive director for the UK business, gaave their time to discuss the issues.

Pam Lee, a member of the protest group said: “It was encouraging to have an opportunity to talk to the most senior officials in National Grid and air the problems we have had on the ground with the project so far, we feel we were at least given a voice and we look forward to more positive outcomes for the island of Anglesey as the review process for this project moves forward”.

The protest inside the AGM was supported by a poster protest outside the venue with Cheryl Weaver commenting: “Anglesey is a beautiful island and we are fighting to keep it that way, of course we recognise the need for the new Power Station but do not accept the landscape needs to be industrialised by further rows of Pylons.

“There are clearly other alternatives available to National Grid and we are asking them to put the cables below ground.  People wishing to join our campaign should join us on facebook at Anglesey Says NO to Pylons and sign our online petition”.

A spoksesperson for the National Grid said: “Listening to local communities has been vital as we develop our plans, so we were pleased that representatives of the group were able to talk to our Chief Executive and Executive Director for the UK at National Grid’s AGM.

”Alongside what people tell us we also have an obligation to consider technical, environmental and cost requirements.  Everything invested in new connections is passed on to electricity bill payers so it is vital that we find the right balance between impact on the landscape and value for money.”

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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