Featured post

10,000,000 Miles in a Nissan Leaf?

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Health & Safety Alert

Like the Specsavers Fiesta, I could not resist passing this one on...

Will they be banned from Environment Agency lunch boxes we wonder? 
We've seen an Elf from the  Safertree banning Cornish Pasties on building sites ...


Sunday, 24 March 2013

It Ain't Just Avoncliff

I've (we've) said it before - and it really does need repeating and elaborating.

The way that The Environment Agency has dealt with the water licence at Avoncliff is absolutely not an isolated case or a "solitary very complex" ( as asserted by DEFRA Minister Richard Benyon) case but is actually an instance of what can be seen to be a deliberate pattern of abusive behaviour which those officials perpetrating the delinquent deeds and some of their supervisors have sought to avoid reasonable public and institutional scrutiny of - by any means to hand.

This post will be expanded with information and documents over the next few days which will detail misconduct by licencing officials in relation to a scheme which failed and a company whose business was destroyed entirely as a result of the delinquent activities of officials in the Environment Agency water licencing and legal departments.

South East Power Enginering (Pershore Project) http://sepengineering.com/
This was the project that started our alarm bells tinkling. The scenario was virtually identical to the situation at Avoncliff - right down to the individual participants at The Environment Agency and the agent acting for the "winning" licence and - of course - the contrived and unlawful outcome arrived at via comprehensive abuse of process. SEPE did the Queen's turbine at Windsor.

The Small Hydro Company (was at www.smallhydro.co.uk)
These unfortunate chaps suffered so much from the irrational, arbitrary conniving antics of Environment Agency officials and lawyers that they were driven out of business (and into some personal insolvency) - essentially through no fault of their own beyond a belief that the system was fair, efficient and honest... They operated in partnership with British Waterways (who have now morphed into CaRT) - one would have thought that they might have received some reasonable treatment from fellow quango - the EA in that capacity but - nope...  25 schemes aborted as we understand it.(a claimed 210,000 MWh per year) and 150 jobs down the toilet and a blizzard of personal woe for some of the participants.

Within weeks of challenging the Environment Agency over the Avoncliff abstraction / impoundment licence (first time around) the Avoncliff team was aware that other projects had suffered unreasonably as a result of the conniving and damaging actions of officials and lawyers working for the Environment Agency.

There's (a lot) more to come over the next few days.

A still from an EA budget training video
Some people at the EA obviously subscribe to the idea that they can behave as they please and that they can use public funds to abuse statutory process, drag out, delay and consequently weaken any challenge to their whims... after all - it's not their money. About a million quid now "used up" at Avoncliff alone - and rising every day.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Ian Liddell-Grainger Boinks EA about Avoncliff

Well,  praise The Lord 'n pass the ammunition. 

Back on the 27th February Ian Liddell-Grainger MP for Bridgewater and West Somerset was nipping the EA in Westminster Hall about their abysmal performance on river maintenance and flooding on his (squelchy) patch in the Somerset Levels and invoked Avoncliff as an example of incompetence, waste and worse.

He confronted Richard Benyon the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at DEFRA who gave a pretty weak and platitude ridden response to Ian's questions - and we are given to understand he's not a happy bunny being prodded about Avoncliff. 

Ian invoked / mocked even... Chris Smith, the chairman of the EA's poetry expertise :
“Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

(We can't even begin to address the consequences of The Environment Agency's incompetent water "management" policy regarding drinking water and the world of hosepipe bans and drought...)
Richard North has some pertinent posts on water that are rewarding reads...  here and here and here
You need Microsoft Silverlight (or latest WMP) to view Parliament Live TV as they control the distribution quite tightly one assumes to try and hang onto their dignity after all the Gordon Brown nasal McCavity excavation / bogie / tie wiping stuff got out.... Duncan Hames MP actually alludes to MP's personal hygiene in the video !!

As of this evening (Fri 15th March 2013) - the Parliament Live! TV streaming for the event appears to be broken - hopefully they'll fix it soon....
Another recording of the debate is on the BBC Direct Democracy web site - enjoy....
Get Adobe Flash player
Undoubtedly uncomfortable viewing for certain folk at Horizon House and Millbank Tower.

We'd suggest that anybody with a serious interest in this talks to South East Power Engineering about their Pershore hydro scheme or people involved with The Small Hydro Company (defunct) - esp. Sean Westrope - about how the Environment Agency handles water licences.

For those new to all this - a slightly aged primer is here
What Might They Might be Letting Themselves in For?

Bath and West Community Energy are looking to put a hydro scheme on Weston Island in Bath. We wonder if they've any idea what they might be letting themselves in for...

The figure of £1,000,000 caught my eye - as we reckon that the debacle at Avoncliff must be racking up something approaching that amount in costs to the public purse alone due to the abject hubris and toxicity displayed by the Environment Agency in their handling of water licences. 

We've been in Parliament yet again....  another post coming shortly on this (edit: - it's up!)

Do BWCE know about the EA we wonder? Add three years to your project planning software right now people and make sure you've a contingency plan for legal expenses and retaining an assortment of specialists...