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Formal complaint made over Darwen election leaflet
4:10pm Saturday 28th April 2012 in Politics news
A FORMAL complaint is to be made over claims on a Conservative election leaflet that a wind turbine application was backed by Labour councillors.
The leaflet refers to a controversial proposed turbine at Pleasant View Farm, Cranberry Moor, which was withdrawn by the applicant before going to the council’s planning committee.
Whitehall Ward Matters, distributed by Conservative candidate in both the Darwen Town Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council elections Neil Slater, was recently distributed throughout the ward.
Within it, there is a section on wind turbines, stating: “In a semi-rural ward we have a duty to safeguard our environment from inappropriately site structures, particularly wind turbines.”
In reference to the application to erect an 88.5-metre turbine near Bull Hill, it says: “Your local Labour councillors voted for the turbine. Your local Liberals abstained in the vote.”
Mr Slater has since claimed he was referring to the application at the site for a temporary anemometer, a device that records wind speeds, which was passed by the planning committee.
A vote on the 88.5 metre turbine did not take place.
Darwen Labour Party election agent Coun Dave Smith said he would be making a formal complaint to the council’s chief executive.
He said: “In that planning application there was no mention of wind turbines whatsoever.
“There was no vote on the wind turbine and I will be making a formal complaint to the chief executive.
“Labour councillor Frank Connor helped those campaigning against this wind turbine from the beginning.”
In a statement, Mr Slater said: “The vote on this particular item was taken on Thursday, January 19, and is on the planning committee minutes, where Labour councillors supported and voted for the full planning application for an installation of a temporary wind turbine anemometer for the period of 18 months to collect reliable wind data at Bolton Road, Bull Hill, Darwen.”
Liberal Democrat leader and Whitehall councillor David Foster said: “We opposed the turbine and it didn’t even go to planning committee.
“He needs to get his facts straight and apologise.
“He has a responsibility to provide election material that is not misleading to the public.”
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