Wednesday, 29 August 2012


"Welcome by the Mayor Graham Granter"
Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, made a special visit to Bridgwater today at the request of Labour Councillors to add his weight to the campaign for some kind of Community Benefit as a result of the new Hinkley Point power station development.

Labour District and Town Councillor for Dunwear ward, Leigh Redman, has been fronting Bridgwater's case and explained the issues in a letter to the former Minister with special responsibilities  for the South West Region and called for his support.

Cllr Redman explains the extent of the transport issues  that
EDF will face and need to help resolve.

'Biggest building project in UK"

Leigh Redman  said "Hinkley will be the biggest building project in Britain, not just the South West, and Bridgwater will bear the brunt of this. Each turbine will be the size of Wembley stadium - four times as big as we have at present. With 700 lorry movements a day and 30,000 new workers in the area - 26,000 of them ancilliary workers with sub contractors, the strain on the transport system in the town will be considerable."

Ben first met Labour Activists at Unity House to hear the case for Bridgwater and what such a development could bring to a town which includes several wards within the top 5% of deprived areas in the country , the influx of new workers with noticeably larger comparative wage packets and it;s near medieval transport network.
Ben gets a tour of Bridgwater from party members
"Town needs something sustainable to come out of this"

After this meeting a group of Councillors accompanied him to Bridgwater House where  a formal discussion was held with Chief Executive Kerry Rickards, Council leader Duncan McGinty and Corporate Director Bob Brown who set the scene. " We are trying to make the case for Community Benefit to the Secretary of State , that this is a live issue which 10 other sites are also looking at. Bridgwater is an area of high fuel poverty and a power station will be built right next door so the community needs to see some benefit from this. We need the town have something sustainable come out of the project and not end up with a ghost town when they leave."

"Community Payback"

Ben  talks business with Sedgemoor District Council
Chief Executive Kerry Rickards said "We have just achieved the largest mitigation settlement ever  which we raised from the initial £1million offer to £100 million but we have to maintain this pressure to get community payback like they achieved in the  Shetlands with the Oil fields. On the one hand we're getting jobs and and a wages spent in our area but we also want a sustainable legacy for future generations."

"Strongest possible case"

Ben Bradshaw said "This is clearly a Regional issue  and I am happy to pursue the case for community benefit and also to table relevent questions in the House. I'm glad to see a cross party position on this and all sides standing up for Local Government."

All party leaders on Sedgemoor will be taking Sedgemoors lead officer, Bob Brown, to their various party conferences next month, to make the strongest possible case.


  1. What a load of Bol****S

    1. That's interesting. 'Constructive' comments AND anonimity. Nice one.