By No Leith Biomass Campaign, 22-May-2011 10:00:00
Scottish parliamentary candidates show support for No Leith Biomass campaign
During the run-up to the parliamentary election, we surveyed Edinburgh candidates and were delighted to report unanimous cross-party condemnation of the plans. View survey results
Now, as the dust settles in the wake of Alex Salmond’s helicopter return to Holyrood, we look at the views of local candidates and what the election means for Forth Energy’s proposal to build a massive biomass plant on the shores of our nation’s capital city.
As a long standing and dedicated supporter of the campaign we congratulate Malcolm Chisholm on his return to Edinburgh North and Leith. The Labour MSP had this to say about the Forth Energy proposal: “I am persuaded that large scale biomass is a bad idea and that, even if the Government is not sure about that, it should impose a moratorium until further research has been done”. Mr Chisholm has worked tirelessly in support of the campaign during the previous parliament and we are reassured by his presence in opposition once again.
Of course, an unfortunate consequence of Mr Chisholm’s victory is the loss of another campaign supporter, SNP candidate Shirley-Anne Somerville, in what proved to be a very close fight. Ms Somerville has supported the campaign from the outset, highlighting the fact that the “SNP is the only party with a consistent and coherent policy on biomass both locally and nationally”. A point highlighted in the SNP manifesto statement: “We support the expansion of local, small-scale biomass and share public concerns over the large-scale schemes now being proposed in some parts of Scotland.”
Indeed, when we look at the views expressed by successful SNP candidates it is clear that thereis little support for these proposals from within the party. Justice secretary Kenny Macaskill returns to Edinburgh East having rejected the notion that importing and burning millions of tonsof wood from across the world can be seen as ‘green’ energy. Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagio also sees through the greenwash, indicating that he does not believe Forth Energy’s claims to be meeting government policies and distributing heat from their proposed Leith plant.
Support also comes from outwith the main parties with independent MSP Margo Macdonald saying: “I have listened very carefully to those who have argued both for and against this plant and whilst I am in no way an expert on this type of energy production I do believe that the size and scale of this proposed plant is wrong for this site in Leith.”
We are delighted to see continued cross-party support for our campaign in the new parliament and look forward to seeing our MSPs put their words into action.
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