Bring on the wind turbines

MOVES to ring Ipswich with wind turbines have taken another significant step forward with the borough's executive approving the proposal.That has to be good news .

MOVES to ring Ipswich with wind turbines have taken another significant step forward with the borough's executive approving the proposal.

That has to be good news . . . for the environment and as a significant blow against the luddites who don't want green energy.

Wind power has to be an important component in this country's attempts to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels.

Turbines are clean, quiet, and a superb addition to the landscape while helping meet the country's energy needs.

Anyone who has been to Swaffham in Norfolk or been on a train trip across the fens from Ely to Peterborough will have seen turbines which help brighten up an otherwise drab landscape.

I have never been able to understand the objections to wind turbines.

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They are clean, quiet, and I'm sure most people see them as attractive objects - they might not look like traditional windmills but they have their own beauty.

Now it is clear that conservation bodies across the country are backing turbines as a way of generating more green electricity - last week's change of heart by the RSPB was very welcome.

Let's face it, unless you stuck one of these turbines in the middle of the Scrape at Minsmere they aren't going to cause a hazard to wildlife - they're big enough to see!

Certainly they won't do as much danger to wildlife as coal, oil, or even gas power stations.

They would not have the same effect on the local environment that a tidal barrage across the Severn or Thames might have - and let's face it wind is a natural resource this country has no shortage of!

So let's look forward to the future when Ipswich has wind turbines providing much of the town's electricity.

The new turbines really will make Ipswich a green centre - providing they are placed properly to catch the wind and are not white elephants like the turbine put on the end of the kiosk in Christchurch Park.

But surely if the council and private sector investors are going to put a great deal of money into turbines, they'll make sure that the wind is there to make them turn!

IF A satirical novelist came up with some of the twists we've seen in the MPs' expense-claiming saga over the last week, readers would have dismissed them as being too unbelievable.

But it really has happened - the Home Secretary's husband really was stupid enough to put a claim through for watching “Viewers' Wives in Action” on her parliamentary expense claim form.

It's difficult to imagine a more simple way of putting your wife's political career - and your marriage - at as much risk as Richard Timney managed to find.

Most wives would be mortified to find their husband watching that kind of porn when they were away, but to then find it splashed all over the news must be even worse.

And the fact that she was trying to draw up new proposals to crack down on the sex industry just adds an extra element of farce to the whole business.

I do have some sympathy for Jacqui Smith in all this business - on both a political and personal basis - as I'm sure she did not personally send in the expenses claims.

But she must understand that her husband must be sacked as her paid assistant . . . and what she does to him as her husband is a private matter for her!

THINGS seem a bit twitchy at Ipswich Buses at the moment - I've been left wondering if the directors and managers feel under pressure from opposition politicians at Grafton House.

This week we were called to a “big announcement” about bus services in the town which had everyone scurrying around - chairman Paul West and managing director Malcolm Robson wanted to give us some news.

When we turned up to the offices in Constantine Road, it turned out that the big announcement was that buses from Ravenswood would run every 15 minutes in future rather than every 10 and that most buses to the Suffolk Showground will turn round at Sainsbury's in Warren Heath.

In the past this would have been dealt with by a short press release - but the opposition Labour group have been so successful in criticising cuts to bus services that they have clearly spooked the borough and bus bosses.

Sure enough, we did get a press release from Labour attacking the cuts later in the day - but as no one really faces losing their service altogether there isn't a great political battle to be waged here.

But on the subject of the town's buses Labour clearly has the administration on the back foot - heaven help the council if they ever try to do anything drastic to Ipswich Buses!