Cllr James Finch, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Cllr Richard Rout.
In a recent meeting between National Grid and OffSET MPs (who support an offshore grid), National Grid stated that their East Anglia GREEN consultation included meaningful discussion on an offshore alternative to the proposed swathe of new overland pylons. As a result of this statement, James Cartlidge MP held a survey of affected constituents from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, to ask whether they agreed.
The results are as follows:
Of the 1040 people who took part in National Grid's consultation, and responded to James’s survey, 99.4% of people disagreed with National Grid's statement that their consultation meaningfully discussed an offshore alternative. Only 5 people out of 1040 agreed.
Of those 1034 people who disagreed with National Grid's statement, 98.8% would support a reopening of the consultation.
James Cartlidge MP says: “When we debated the new pylon proposals in the Commons last month, I said in my speech that in a meeting the day before, National Grid had definitively stated that their East Anglian GREEN consultation did cover offshore alternatives. In my view, that was absolutely not the case but given that this was a public consultation, I said that as a next step I would survey those who participated to see if they agreed with National Grid. It’s clear that they do not, and the overwhelming view from the public is that discussions were purely about the onshore swathe.
“The fact that almost 100% of those surveyed reject National Grid’s central claim about the process of their consultation means that there is no alternative to reopening it, this time including a transparent discussion of all options.
“After all, as I also revealed in that Commons debate, National Grid have done no detailed work assessing offshore options – so how could there have been such a discussion? For National Grid to claim that their consultation covered the option that my constituents most strongly support, when they clearly did not, again undermines faith in the consultation process. The only way to rebuild that faith is to go back to square one, engaging the people of East Anglia with an open discussion of all the top level options.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in my survey, with participants from every constituency in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex that is affected”.