1. Beware NGC contractors failing to identify themselves! John Gill reports problems in December when neither NGC nor BB staff would show their identity - they cynically asked him if he would show his, and said it was nothing to do with him as they were not on his land at the time! This is contrary to assurances given by NGC that staff would all carry and show id and vehicles would be marked with id and a contact phone number. Project Manager David Mercer writes 3.1.01 to John Gill boldly stating "As a matter of routine, all National Grid and Balfour Beatty Power Networks staff carry identification cards and letters of authority, which they are happy to produce on request". But according to reports they sometimes offensively refuse to show them.
2. For more on the human rights / mobile phone mast issue: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/5/15824.html. It reports David Lale, a company director from Leeds, filing a High Court appeal against a mast 15 feet from his child's bedroom and close to a school. He quotes Art 6 of the Human Rights Act saying he has not has a fair hearing.
3. NGC has sent some landowners notice of further survey and cheques for 100 pounds per pylon as advance compensation for damage. We wonder if this is a ploy to get landowners to establish a precedent for accepting working in the wet, contrary to the condition requiring dry weather and the soil in a dry state.
4. Northern Electric has given an ultimatum of the end of February for the Chapmans to agree line diversions, or else Northern Electric will "have no alternative but to make arrangements for the necessary temporary work". In our view NE are not entitled to enter the land without the landowner's permission, whatever "arrangements" they may make. The Chapmans are entitled to refuse to accept the ultimatum and to insist on their right to negotiate line diversions before any decision is made. NGC does not yet have planning permission for access points in this case, and does not have the landowner's agreement to local access arrangements. Line diversions should reasonably wait until these other matters are determined. We are taking legal advice.
5. NGC are reported as continuing work on the undergrounding at Nunthorpe in the snow. This would violate the "dry weather" condition, though it applies only to Picton-Shipton and not to undergrounding.
6. NYCC has issued a temporary closure notice for Upsall Lane, South Kilvington, to appear in the D&S Times 9 February. This is to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along 1400 metres (almost a mile) of the lane from 24 February to 2 September inclusive. Residents are offered a long diversion via Kirby Knowle, Felixkirk and the A170 Sutton Bank road. Should be an interesting six months! We may discover whether NYCC's local consultation procedures have been effective - it seems not everyone expected this! What next?
7. You will have heard the news. Yet another Energy Minister in the wake of the Mandelson reshuffle. Peter Hain is our new Energy Minister. Will his background in public protest mean he might listen?
-- Mike O'Carroll