Labour politicians including Clare Moody, MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, have again called upon the Government to back the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park.
Clare has written an open letter to Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, urging her to support the project and the skilled jobs it promises to secure for Dorset. As the government minister responsible, Ms Rudd is expected to make a decision on the development next month.
In her letter, Clare writes:
“On recent visits to the Port of Poole and Portland Port, both contenders for the Operation and Management contract for the array, I have been impressed by the significant positive impact on the local economy that this development would bring. The chance to secure a 50-year contract for these ports, providing much needed jobs and skills training for the sub-region, is a rare and very welcome opportunity. The construction phase alone is set to provide at least 200 jobs in an area where inward investment has been sadly lacking in recent years. These jobs are essential in an area where the statistics show there is a concentration of low paid and seasonal work."
In reference to the opposition voiced by Dorset’s Conservative MPs, Clare writes:
“You will no doubt have been lobbied by local MPs who are opposed to this project. I am sorry to say that their objections are not grounded in facts. In particular, much has been said about the potential damage to the status of World Heritage site attached to the Jurassic Coast. I contend that the biggest threat to the remarkable Dorset coastline is from inaction to counter the threats of climate change.”
Clare has discussed her support for the project with Labour councillors in Dorset, who back her position. The leaders of the Labour groups at Dorset County Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have now written to South Dorset MP Richard Drax, requesting that he reconsider his opposition to the project.
In a letter dated 5 August 2015, councillors Paul Kimber and Mike Byatt write:
“Opportunities like these for inward investment into our local economy come all too infrequently. We are extremely disappointed that rather than doing your utmost to ensure that these jobs are attracted to your constituency, you are actively working against this project. It is not too late for you to do the right thing and get behind the Navitus Bay scheme by joining us in lobbying your Minister of State, Amber Rudd MP to give consent to a project that will not only be a significant contributor to our on-going energy needs but will create much needed jobs.”