Just what is the council purpose?
Peterborough City Council seems to be determined to go ahead with the fast track development of a Solar Farm at America Farm and other locations to the north of Peterborough. The first question that arises from this proposal that I have been asking myself is, why it is that the city council now sees itself as an Electricity Generating Company rather than a City Council? Surely, the council’s purpose should be to provide the services that are stated on my council tax bill not become the Peterborough Generating Board. One must ask the question if this has anything to do with some council member’s having a bias towards solar power and the letting of future lucrative contracts to operate and maintain the sites once built. Also, if the venture should be offloaded by the council in the future, which companies would be lining up to buy the facilities at knockdown prices? Even before planning permission has been granted it appears that the contract to build all three of the sites has already been let to a company which to my knowledge and research, has no proven track record of successful delivery of any renewable electrical generation projects of any thing greater than Kilowatts ( that which fits on a building) rather than the Very High Voltage (11Kv) 8 Megawatt ( acres upon acres of prime grade 1 & 2 farmland) of the America Farm proposal. How the council can award a contract worth millions of tax payer’s ( our) money to a company that has no demonstrable, technical and construction competency in the design and construction of solar and wind farms is beyond comprehension. For private contracts of this type in the energy industry it would be a normal requirement for successful delivery ( ontime, within budget and with an exemplary health, safety & environmental record) for at least 5 comparable energy projects of with equal or greater technical complexity and commercial value. The approach to the Solar Farm contract procurement by the city council seems to me at best commercially naive and adds unacceptable financial and safety risks to the project. At worst it indicates something worthy of further investigation, unless there are safeguards and guarantees put in place by the council in order to ensure that all suppliers, vendors and sub- contractors to the main contractor are vetted to ensure that no member of the council profits either now, or for the lifetime of the projects and that any company associated with the project is technically competent to deliver it. For these reasons I believe that there should be a moratorium in the unseemly and undue haste to complete planning process before legitimate questions are fully answered and there should be a full and independent audit of every commercial and technical aspect of the Solar and Wind Farm contract to ensure that it has been let in a manner that ensures best commercial value and lowest risk for all of Peterborough City Council’s tax payers. I would urge all of the city’s residents to demand of their councillor’s, what steps they have taken to ensure that the city’s money is being spent in a wise and competent manner given the debacle over the new city hospital’s finances.