CARMARTHENSHIRE residents challenged Carmarthenshire County Councillors over their authority’s funding for Bute Energy at a public meeting last night at Llanllawddog Church Hall.
Plaid Cymru Cabinet Member Cllr Ann Davies and her colleague Neil Lewis faced a grilling over Carmarthenshire County Council’s investment in the controversial energy company. The packed meeting was called by the Llanllawddog Community to discuss the proposals to run a chain of pylons through Llanybydder, Llanllawddog, Rhydargaeau and Peniel as part of one of Bute Energy’s windfarm proposals.
Carmarthenshire is one of seven Welsh local authorities to invest its pension fund in Bute Energy. In contrast neighbouring Powys County Council which declined to invest in the controversial firm.
Havard Hughes, local resident and spokesperson for the Carmarthenshire Residents’ Action Group commented:
“It is ludicrous for Carmarthenshire County Councillors to get up in public meetings and complain about Bute Energy’s pylons when their own local authority is funding them. Carmarthenshire should immediately follow Powys’s lead and disinvest from Bute Energy.
The turnout last night of over a hundred residents demonstrates how concerned our community is over Bute Energy’s plans. Tourism business will be devastated as visitors come to Carmarthenshire for the tranquil historic scenery, not to see a chain of pylons down the side of Merlin’s Hill.
Due to this investment there is now a direct conflict of interest between the Council’s need to maximise the return on its pension funds and the interests of residents, businesses and council tax payers in defeating Bute Energy’s industrialisation plans.
Carmarthenshire Councillors have let residents down yet again. Last year they moved to scrap protections from special landscapes such as the Tywi Valley. Now we find that they are not only funding the industrialisation of our countryside but have an interest in seeing the cheapest and most aggressive construction.”