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Revolt News 122

12/07/2002

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1. "Tempers fray as angry Picton villagers challenge National Grid" was the headline in an article in Darlington & Stockton Times 5.7.02. That was before pylon construction has started. It was a response to highways and access work, and plans for the construction work. The local discontent arose spontaneously and independently of Revolt; we were unaware of it or the meeting with NG. NYCC highways representatives were quoted as saying the "pylons crews had worked well elsewhere"; it is understood they were referring to Seamer, where the existing line is to be removed, whereas there has been a great deal of trouble at other locations. NG project engineer Peter Rasul emphasised "we are a highly respected firm" - what a nerve! He couldn't be more out of touch.

2. "Power giant buys town to avoid pollution lawsuits" was the headline in a Times article of 14.5.02. American Electric Power, which also runs the Ferrybridge power station in Yorkshire, paid 20 million dollars to buy the 221-person settlement of Cheshire, Ohio, "lock, stock and barrel".

3. Ceefax 122 of 8.7.02 headlines "Lord Wakeham slammed in Enron scandal". It was John Wakeham as Energy Minister in 1989 who consented the Enron power station on Teesside, without consulting local authorities affected by the powerlines implications, and afterwards was appointed to the Enron board. He was a director and chairman of the audit committee when Enron's misleading accounting practices were at their height. The Ceefax item follows a US Senate Report (which blamed the Enron directors) and says he "may face action by investors".

4. Selected notes (with comments added) from Electromagnetic Hazard & Therapy 13(1) received 8.7.02 (incorporating Powerwatch News):
(a) "TETRA health fears and mast delays force police to re-assess options" - more set-backs for this potentially hazardous system to which the Home Office became oddly committed. It was intended for all emergency services but has been rejected by ambulance and fire services. See news117.13, 108.6 and earlier issues.
(b) The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) admits sensitivity to mobile phone radiation. Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, also a former prime minister of Norway, has become so electrically sensitive that she reacts with a headache even if she is close to a mobile phone which is switched on but not in use. She did tests with hidden phones and always reacted to those switched on, never when they were off. Individual sensitivity to exposures is more recognised in Sweden and Norway but less so in the UK, especially by the NRPB, and ironically the WHO. At least the UK's Stewart Report on mobile phones was alert to the phenomenon, but the NRPB has shunned it. The lessons are obvious for EMFs from powerlines - sensitivity is likely to vary between individuals, so that effects may be hidden in the statistics for the whole population on which NRPB relies.
(c) A "Suddenly Awake At Night" study by Powerwatch responds to reports of unexplained and sometimes regular awakenings. Reasons may be anything from trains, milk deliveries, electrical signals, central heating, etc. People with awakenings between midnight and 6.00 a.m. are invited to email <aphilips@gn.apc.org> with details of postcode, dates & times, and any ideas about cause.

5. The Commons Transport Select Committee report 3.7.02 on the government's planning proposals says they are deeply flawed, unworkable and could spawn a new generation of Swampies.
See http://politics.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,9174,748343,00.html  and news118 for Revolt's responses to the planning proposals.

6. An independent meeting for landowners affected by NG's line is to be held on the evening of 24 July at the Golden Lion, Northallerton. Peter Edmonds of the NFU will chair it.

7. Following their withdrawal of the draconian undertakings extracted from them by NG, the Gills have pressed several local matters (drainage, biosecurity, etc). Balfour Beatty workers turned back on finding the Gills' gate locked, saying they would not break in and it was for NG to sort out. In contrast, NG staff had climbed over the locked gate in the notorious incident in February, as they had also done a year earlier at Alan Turner's farm at Winton despite his and his agent's demand that they leave. The Gills report that NG staff on the ground fail to disinfect, although in a letter they say they will, whereas DEFRA guidelines are that they should do so on entry and exit from the field. The Gills continue to refuse entry while these matters are under negotiation. They also say the amount NG will pay for easements seems to be standardised: for a mid-term (15 year) easement, 5 % of NG's valuation of the dwelling only, and for a permanent easement, 10 %, regardless of the distance of the line from the dwelling. While that is inadequate for devaluation of most affected dwellings, it at least acknowledges an impact relative to property value. But it only applies to land crossed by the line and requiring a wayleave. Home owners adjacent to the line get nothing.

8. Message from Country Guardian: You can vote on windpower, good or bad, here. http://www.techcentralstation.be/2051/wrapper.jsp 

9. As more people become aware of the pylons going up, and more questions are asked, Revolt has issued a short (c. 300 words) public information statement, which will appear at www.revolt.co.uk . The statement appeared in full in Darlington & Stockton Times today on page 18, with an article and pictures. A longer statement (c. 1400 words) with background details will be available on the revolt web site. There are also letters on page 24 of DST from Rosalind Craven and from me responding to last week's Picton article. Yorkshire Evening Press is expected to feature the pylons tomorrow (Saturday).

10. Revolt AGM 2002 is provisionally booked for 7.30 p.m. Friday 27 Sept at Thirsk Town Hall.

Mike O'Carroll

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