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Power to The People! We'll done East Lothian News!

Congratulations to The Editor and Reporters of the East Lothian News

We're delighted you are on song with us. Yes of course we hope your circulation flourishes as many people across the county follow the Campaign you have launched this week. It's great to know who your friends are.

You've caught the mood of the community beautifully. We are not going to be rolled over by anyone no matter how strong or powerful they may believe they are. Or even that they believe it is their mandated democratic duty to do unto our community what needs to be done. The proposals for an Energy Park and for despoiling the heritage battle site were not in anybody's manifesto. There is no mandate for such economic development hereabouts.These are new issues which for any decisions to be made require a fresh mandate from the community. Simple as that.

If necessary, at the next Community Council and County Council elections, the Coastline Regeneration Alliance should seriously consider running its own candidates for office. The re-industrialisation of our coastal community is not a decision to be imposed. And certainly not one with sweet talk about job creation that seldom benefits the local community.

Are we NIMBYs or is there something else to care for and fight for?

More than a few in the Coastal Regeneration Alliance [CRA] are acceptive that some compatible industrial activity might follow on at the old site of Preston Links Colliery/ Cockenzie Power Station. But none has signed up for destroying the local fishing industry, cutting the coast road and the John Muir Way and despoiling the battle site let alone the impact on residential housing. Such notions are widely regarded as dumb, and whoever proposed them or voted for them in principle at East Lothian Council should think very seriously. Even to suggest it was crass. Who are these dreamtime folk at Scottish Enterprise who think we locally are mere pawns on their chess board?

Since the end of its 1000 year industrial life in the last century, Prestonpans and the neighbouring communities have created a new sense of identity for themselves. It's not been easy but it's happening and going in a direction that has met with broadscale consent. To disfigure that in the name of the nation's self sustaining economic development, with no meaningful debate and input is ridiculous and has created the inevitable reaction.

We do have our own vision thank you very much for our Coastal communities and if Scottish Enterprise wants to play a part in that fine, please approach our community with respect. Ask us for our ideas for our future and see how your's might be compatible with our's. Be humble. Just ask.

Whatever you do don't misuse that word 'consultation' when you mean no such thing. Nor is 'transparency' more than a glib response. What is expected in the coming months is accorded Power to The People. Don't turn us negative, an opposition to be overcome. Listen to our ideas and help us build the future hereabouts that builds on what we have achieved since we lost our industrial heart in the 1960s. And Yes, there is certainly room for Sub-Stations and Energy initiatives but not, let's be clear, on the widespread scale Scoped by Scottish Enterprise thus far.

Published Date: August 29th 2014

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