Our Man in West­min­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

It is now widely, though not uni­ver­sally, ac­cepted that we need an­other gen­er­a­tion of nu­clear power plants if we are to keep the lights on re­li­ably in the com­ing decades. The Gov­ern­ment has ac­cepted this, which makes it all the more sur­pris­ing that Dun­geness has not been rec­om­mended for one of the new plants. Of the two plants cur­rently at Dun­geness, the A plant has al­ready been de­com­mis­sioned and the B plant is due to close down in 2018. But there is am­ple room at the site for a new C plant, and if it had been ap­proved it would have pro­vided a cou­ple of thou­sand jobs in the construction phase and more than 300 jobs on a per­ma­nent ba­sis. I have checked with the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and they had no killer ob­jec­tions to a new nu­clear fa­cil­ity at Dun­geness. They be­lieve that any prob­lems with the shore­line can be reme­died, and that us­ing the sea wa­ter for cool­ing is per­fectly pos­si­ble. It is not just a ques­tion of the jobs, many of which are cur­rently filled by peo­ple from Ash­ford. The De­vel­op­ment Agency SEEDA has pointed out that the South East is fac­ing an en­ergy gap, es­pe­cially given the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion pres­sures, and had up to now as­sumed that Dun­geness C would help to fill this gap. Of course we can al­ways do more to save en­ergy. New houses should be much more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient than old ones, and cars and buses will also be cleaner as each new gen­er­a­tion hits the road. But this will not be enough un­less we start gen­er­at­ing our elec­tric­ity in a car­bon-neu­tral way. So the ar­gu­ments for se­cu­rity of sup­ply and the need for greener en­ergy gen­er­a­tion point in the same di­rec­tion. We should have a new nu­clear plant at Dun­geness. TED Prangnell writes that fire­work spending is a waste and would be bet­ter spent on char­ity (Novem­ber 26). Mr Prangnell has now clearly aged into that hu­mour­less time of life, mis­er­able old codger (Webbo, watch out for this stage). He surely must have en­joyed Guy Fawkes jol­li­fi­ca­tions as a boy. Think back – I think you did. Tak­ing this to its log­i­cal con­clu­sion, what about Christ­mas? Very com­mer­cial. What a waste of money. What about Easter? All those chocolate Easter eggs. A waste of money, and fat­ten­ing too. It comes to some­thing if peo­ple are un­able to spend odd days of the year en­joy­ing them­selves. Ted, you should have been born in Cromwell’s Eng­land where hap­pi­ness was pretty well out­lawed. Never mind, Christ­mas is com­ing up and you can write in and com­plain about that and we can all re­ply what an old scrooge you re­ally are. You should take the trou­ble to visit the Wye bon­fire on the Downs with crown il­lu­mi­na­tion. It re­ally was all very pretty this year and up­holds a de­light­ful English custom where now lies no an­i­mos­ity but gives joy to many and makes a break from the hum­drum of life. Penny for the Guy, Ted? Howard Turner, Faver­sham Road, Ken­ning­ton

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