Debate swirls around wind farm proponent’s town council role

With reference to last week’s article regarding a conflict of interests on the community council’s wind farms sub-group, I would like to express my concern and question whether this conflict has truly ended.

Surely any sub-group of the community council must, in the end, report back to the full council, in which case it holds that if Andy Maybury’s position is untenable at the sub-group level then it is also untenable at full council.

Wind farming is one of the most controversial issues facing communities throughout the UK at this time. Lines are drawn on one side by government and supplier and, on the other, the hosting community.

There is a simple explanation for this state of affairs, benefit falls almost entirely to the former while detrimental effects fall solely to the latter. In such circumstances it is clearly a concern when a self-proclaimed advocate and employee of that industry has direct influence over a community’s democratic process.

Of as much concern is how this conflict has coloured Mr Maybury’s world view. I wonder if the owners and employees of Hawick’s textile firms, gift shops, restaurants, guest houses and cafés find his publicly stated view that “they struggle to find things people want to buy” in any way helpful?

While his talk of “limited windows of opportunity”, and the danger of “pushing developers away”, is surely Mr Maybury ‘the salesman’ talking and not Mr Maybury ‘the councillor’.

I would suggest to him that his position on the community council is compromised by other aspects of his life, that he is too close to an issue of lasting consequence to his community, and ask him politely to stand down.