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REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 1. 11th May 1998
Landowners are choosing instead to protect the countryside for the common good, against the National Grid's proposed environmental vandalism.
Four such landowners have reluctantly agreed to stand in the spotlight and tell of their encounters with the National Grid and the tens of thousands of pounds they have rejected.
The sample Heroes are:
Alan Turner. Pintails Nest Farm, Winton, Nr Northallerton. 01609 882310 £13,000
Ray Liddle. Borrowby Bank Farm, Nr Thirsk 01845 537595 ££ ask
Ken Foster, Newlands Farm, Shipton Lane , Wigginton. 01904 470359 £10,000 plus each
Edgar Chapman, Manor Farm, Kirby Sigston, Northallerton. 01609 883539 £10,000 (neighbours offered £40,000 for two!)
(please note that some of the sums offered are 'first offers' and in no way reflect the individual's negotiating skills)
Revolt salutes these unsung Heroes, we are certainly all very grateful that so many men and women of integrity still exist in a world supposedly overrun with selfish attitudes.
REVOLT is writing this week to all the landowners along the line with details of the non co-operation policy so roundly endorsed at Fridays meeting and by William Hague on Saturday in a meeting with Revolt's chairman Mike O'Carroll.
Laminated posters for display at farm entrances reading:-
National Grid employees and subcontractors keep out!
Entry by written authority only , you are not welcome,
You will receive no co-operation
-will also be despatched.
SCAFFOLDING PYLON PHOTO-OPPORTUNITY
Farmer Alan Turner (see above) and others want to construct a pylon or panoramic hoarding with an 'after' view painted by art students, on the scenic site of one of the proposed ugly angle towers. This would give a foretaste of how the countryside will be ruined for one and all. Alan is appealing for an environmentally conscious scaffolding company who will sponsor his project, with obvious attendant publicity for such a sponsor with newspaper and TV coverage.
REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 2. 18th May 1998
£2 MILLION COST PER VILLAGE *
REVOLT calculates that over 2000 properties in and around the 28 key villages within 2Km (1.25 miles) of the proposed new pylon line, householders can expect to lose around 10% of their resale value, approximately £10,000 each!
*( based on 10% of average house price of £100,000: 200 houses per village = £2 million , not including Thirsk).
NORTH SOUTH DIVIDE
Villagers are expected to suffer this penalty to allow the National Grid to make profits supplying consumers in the south with electricity, without them having to pay for the pollution caused in the North, by the pylon and the gas burning power stations on Teesside.
The 2000 households (+Thirsk) likely to be closely affected by the line, will be paying a £20 million virtual subsidy to the National Grid. This represents over half of the £37.5 million cost of erecting the lines! However all these figures are negligible compared with the obscene £500 million per year, every year, wasted in energy losses, caused by generating the power in the North and transmitting it to the South. Commercial madness or greed?
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
The old agents adage holds true. Buyers pay a premium for rural properties with good access to the industrial centres. It is not just individual properties which will be ruined by the proposed line but the general ambience of the area. The Vales of Mowbray and York act as the green lungs of Teesside, York and Leeds. The National Grid is intent on saddling Yorkshire with another row of giant pylons, creating an industrial landscape to match the worst industrial pollution elsewhere, a sort of "dumbing down" of the landscape.
PRINCIPLED ESTATE AGENTS TELL IT AS IT IS!
In a fiercely competitive house market it is refreshing to meet Estate agents and surveyors who are prepared to tell their clients exactly how the pylons will effect their sales and purchases. Robin Jessop of Northallerton Estate Agency has acted for a number of clients in their dealings with the National Grid and is happy to talk to the media on 01609 771959.
He has a story to tell about pylons erected at night in Tuscany to avoid protest! and has strong views on the lack of compensation to householders in such situations compared to similarly intrusive projects such as motorways.
LOAN REFUSED: PYLON PROXIMITY
Channel 4 viewers will remember the recent documentary "The Chain" portraying the ups and downs of buying and selling houses. In one chilling scene a surveyor for a Building Society declined to even enter a property on the grounds that it was too close to a Pylon and that the Lender considered such properties a bad risk!. John Meredith FRICS has some interesting insights into the recent missive from the Council of Mortgage Lenders to surveyors. This advises that it is no longer necessary to mention the proximity of pylons, in their house survey reports to lenders! Why?
John is also happy to talk to the media on such subjects. 0171 5893443
Typical concerned villagers Anne and Peter Johnson 01845 537443. Ashford Cottage, Borrowby.
REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 3 THUR 29/5/98
Public concern about electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has been steadily increasing over the last few years despite the industry experts' efforts to reassure us. Try substituting: lead pipes, DDT, asbestos, X-rays, the Titanic, smoking, sheep-dip, eggs, BSE, etc. for EMFs and the message from the non-independent expert seems suddenly clear to the man in the street.....If they say that it's perfectly safe, then think twice about using / eating / drinking / travelling on / living near it...... immediately!
If the official line is that there is no fire, then it has to be accepted that there is some worryingly dense smoke about! An association between EMFs and ill health looks likely to be accepted eventually, yet proving the actual mechanisms could take decades (the process is still happening with smoking and lung cancer).
If the electricity industry can learn any lessons from the BSE crises, it should be to be seen to act with considered caution, rather than with the blanket denials we have all become so familiar with. At the very least the National Grid shouldn't be forcing new power lines on an increasingly concerned public.
The official level of safe EMFs is 1600 microTesla for magnetic flux or 12,000 V/m for electric field. Essentially this is the level of field in which heating effects due to electric currents induced in your body can become harmful .These electric fields can occur at head height standing under a 400kV power line.
STOP PRESS: The International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has just adopted new lower limits of 100 mT and 5000 kV/m. Britain has yet to respond but the latter figure would be exceeded under existing 400 kV lines!
Whilst a florescent tube will light up in the EMFs near to power lines, the field drops off considerably as you move away. Yet there is significant evidence that low power fields found up to 100m from a high voltage line, can also be damaging to our health, although the Electricity industry official line appears to be, that until health effects are proved beyond doubt then we have no cause to worry.
Yet statistically the evidence linking EMFs to cancer and other diseases is much stronger than the links between BSE and CJD. To quote Professor Ross Adey from Electronics World there are four major areas in which... "there can be very little doubt as to the significance of the findings..."
1) effects on the immune system, with a reduction in the ability of circulating white blood cells to kill tumour cells
2) effects on foetal development
3) effects on the control and regulation of cell growth, including tumour formation
4) effects on very powerful hormonal mechanisms in the central nervous system and brain, which in turn have connections to cancer and cancer related problems.
SAD PYLON DISEASE
One specific example is the effect of fields from power lines on the pineal gland in the brain, causing reduced secretions of the hormones Melatonin and Serotonin. Both of these hormones are known to control moods and are linked with depressive illness, headaches and suicides.
Revolt will provide Thirsk, Northallerton,Easingwold and Nunthorpe libraries with summary material and copies of Alasdair Philips book "Living with Electricity" for the public to access.
They make a chilling read, for instance, Alasdair Phillips 1992 Electronics World "Power Politics, Playing with Children's Lives" writes ;- (of a room near a 33Kv line 13 times less than the proposed Yorkshire line) ...
"The field in this bedroom hardly falls below twice the level at which a three-fold increase in childhood cancer has been repeatedly demonstrated, and peaks at six times that level...and "concern about field levels caused me to get rid of my off peak storage heaters years ago".
One thing we have never been able to discover, are there any EMF research scientists who would chosen to live under or near a power line and would risk their children in such situations, or National Grid Directors? We think not. Why should we be forced to take these terrible risks, so they can boost their profits ?
Alasdair Philips "Living with Electricity" 1997, price £12 inc p&p from Powerwatch, 2 Tower Road, Sutton, Ely, CB6 2QA.
ICNIRP Health Physics Vol74, No4, pp494-522, April 1998.
REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 4 4/6/98
INVITATION NOT TO TENDER
REVOLT last week ran the enclosed advertisement in the Darlinton & Stockton Times and the York Evening Press. Copies have been sent to those businesses thought to be potential bidders for the contract to build the proposed line, including:-
BICC Cables Ltd, Chester, (01244) 688400. BICC PLC, Mayfair Place, London, 0171 629 6622.
Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd, Transmission Cable Division, Derby, 01332 661491
BICC Distribution Cable Systems, Wrexham, 01978 662345.
AMEC, Leicester, (01162) 460900. Pirelli Construction, Eastleigh, Hants, 01703 295555.
If Journalists know of any other likely bidders REVOLT would be pleased to know.
The advert has also been faxed to Chris Bennett, Editor of the "Electrical Review" 0181 652 3113, believed to be a relevant trade periodical.
NIGHTMARE PUBLIC RELATIONS
REVOLT is anxious that companies considering bidding for the proposed transmission line, properly understand the total public opposition to the project. If the national Grid PLC intend to force their scheme on the population, then REVOLT predicts that a huge security operation will be required. Negative public relations of nightmare proportions can be envisioned as contractors face up to Middle England in what would amount to 229 Twyford Downs!
It is hoped that companies will put people and the environment before profit, and openly declare their intentions not to tender.
REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 5 11th June 1998
THIRSK BEGINS TO WAKE TO PYLON HORROR
Dorothy Reveley has found a new use for her hairdressing shop window, by displaying large scale maps of the proposed pylon route as it encircles Thirsk. Dorothy is concerned that the population of Thirsk is unaware of the size and proximity of the lines and decided to do her bit to publicise the problem to her customers and passers by. She asks that other Thirsk traders display anti -pylon posters and car stickers which are available from her shop.
REVOLT feels compelled this week to respond to the National Grid's (NG) attempt to hide behind the 'democratic process' i.e. the public inquiry & wayleave hearings, in excusing its greedy intention of forcing the pylons on a overwhelmingly hostile public. However protesters rapidly twigged that the inquiry process was anything but impartial, more like a labyrinthine rubber stamp for the National Grid plans.
"SHAM, SHAME & SHAMBLES" SHAM
Technical need: crucially National Grid mis-applied the planning standards to prove the need for the line. When applied correctly the conclusion is reversed - no need for the line! At the Wayleave hearings, 'Impartial' Dept of Trade & Industry inspector Mr Walker let slip that his job was "to get this line through" drawing a gasp of astonishment from those present, their worst fears confirmed, from the horse's mouth! Hambleton District Council later formally objected to this 'impartial' inspector's appointment, but were refused.
SHAMBLES The whole proceedings were a hotch-potch of errors, blunders and mistakes. An ideal situation for those paid handsomely for their time but seriously disadvantaging protesters, as the proceedings shambled to their foregone conclusion. For instance: objectors had to present their case three times over at three separate sessions over six weeks. The Bruntons were forced to pay to be legally represented twice, after National Grid realised there was a gas pipe under their pylon site! and even at this late stage the Wilkinsons, leading lights in the anti-pylon campaign, are having to re-open their wayleave hearing because the DTI mixed them up with someone else. How can the Wilkinsons hearing now possibly be free of prejudice, basic consent for the line having being granted?
SHAME National Grid used every trick in the book to defuse objections, e.g. they offered huge inducements to objecting landowners not to appear at the hearings, bribery in the opinion of many people! They repeatedly misinformed the hearings about the numbers of landowners who had taken their tainted money.
Mike O'Carroll in summing up for REVOLT described the inquiry as a "sham a shambles and a disgrace". It was sobering experience for most of the public, experiencing for the first time the 'democratic inquiry process' and seeing it being so shamelessly abused.
REVOLT SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 6 18th June 1998
REVOLT STEPS UP ACTION AGAINST MASSIVE PYLONS
REVOLT recognises strongly the need to inform and involve local people in campaigning against the 229 massive pylons proposed to blight the landscape of North Yorkshire and East Cleveland. Despite the sparse population over much of the area - a reason why National Grid think they can bully their way through with the 50 mile power line - new volunteers are coming forward daily to give active support to the campaign. This renewed vigour is in addition to the legal challenge being presented through the High Court with Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council.
Neighbourhood Watch was set up to fight crime and vandalism. PYLON WATCH is now being set up by REVOLT against a different sort of vandalism - the vandalism of the fine areas of landscape in the vales near the North York Moors, the Howardian and Hambleton Hills. These areas give pleasure to a lot more people than those who live there; they provide healthy, fine open spaces for those from nearby conurbations, such as those around Middlesbrough, and contribute to the area as a popular tourist attraction. PYLON WATCH is being set up because people should not have to watch and live with these huge pylons spoiling their countryside in the future.
VOLUNTEERS AT THE GRASS ROOTS
Volunteers are putting themselves forward from communities large and small to help, many to act as local community pylon watch organisers. They are starting to involve themselves in all sorts of jobs: flyers through letterboxes, knocking on doors, informing local organisations, planning direct action, fund-raising, lobbying, and lots more.... And what's more, they are helping to build up confidence that there is still a lot of positive action people can take to result in the death of these proposed, but totally unnecessary pylons.
EYES AND EARS
The jungle telegraph being set up by REVOLT, involving landowners as well, will be available, as their eyes and ears, to every PYLON WATCH Organiser and others as soon as there is any sign of National Grid or their contractors trying to get on to land to prepare for the monstrous pylons. REVOLT has a growing band of volunteers pledged to thwart their construction by any legal means possible. Professor Mike O'Carroll, Chairman of REVOLT, said, "These local groups and volunteers are vital to our campaign against the huge pylons. The fact that so many people are coming forward to help shows just how strong local feelings still are that these pylons are totally unnecessary and should be stopped."
Early volunteers as Pylon Watch Organisers, happy to talk about their role are:
Huby - Ken Lacy 01347 810561
Sowerby-under-Cotcliffe and Thornton le Beans - Pat Manners 01609 772346
East Harlsey - Lawrence Atkinson 01609 882639
Co-ordination of volunteers, including Pylon Watch Organisers, is being carried out by Ann & Peter Johnson 01845 537443 - very happy to have their telephone number published with an invitation through the media to any further volunteers to contact them direct.
SPOTLIGHT PRESS RELEASE NO 7. 27th June 1998
David and Goliath (and Chris Rea)
In true grassroots tradition the overwhelming public opposition to the National Grid has produced its first protest song. "Nicco" sings of how there must be a 'better way' than the proposed 50 mile pollution corridor down the beautiful Vale of York, already despoiled by one line of pylons. "Nicco" is David Nicholls a builder from York.
Nicco's catchy tune encapsulates the anguish local people feel when faced with the multi-million pound National Grid (NG) and all its nefarious political clout. Nicco's shot at the National Grid will certainly help REVOLT in its campaign to have the pylons stopped, perhaps boosting Nicco's singing career as well, after all, Teessider Chris Rea has already made it big with equally unpromising subject matter, singing scathingly of the M25 in "Road to Hell'.
National Grid Heaven
National Grid would dearly love to have all the electricity generators at one end of the country and all the consumers at the other. Then it could earn billions of pounds building pylons between the two! This is exactly what is happening with the proposed Lackenby to Picton Line. North Sea gas is being burnt by the new Enron Gas power station, further polluting Teesside, and the electricity produced is transmitted to the south of England. This proposed line will cost £500 million worth of electricity a year in transmission losses! Yet the gas pipeline already exists to take the gas to the south where electricity (and pollution) could be produced at the point of consumption.
REVOLT wants the government to put right this wasteful consequence of the privatisation of the industry and quell the angry voices in the Vale of York, hoarse from seven years of shouting foul!
Nicco has agreed to take some time off from the building site and will be happy to raise his voice and guitar for REVOLT, either in your studio or under the pylons or wherever, on Tuesday 31st or Wednesday 1st July, please phone Mike Barr to make arrangements.
Raising more voices, Promotion & Competition
REVOLT would like media outlets to underwrite or sponsor all or part of the 'Better Way' CD so that the public can buy their own copies. If it gets enough plays then it will get a lot of desirable publicity for its sponsor(s). Small runs cost around £500 for 500 singles.
Play it three or four times, it's catchy, the kids who have heard it all sing along!
Other musicians have also expressed an interest in writing their own protest songs, so the prospect of a competition or compilation album arises. There is a lot of talent and a lot of feeling out there and of course , a large sympathetic audience!
If your organisation can see a marketing opportunity here in association with REVOLT then we will be happy to discuss the possibilities.
P.S. CD not fit in the fax? Then catch it, on the soon to be announced REVOLT website.
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