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Hurray for Iain Gray! At last a democratic representative is ready to respond to his electorate ...

Iain, ask them to stop digging. They're only getting in deeper still ..

Probably the best news this last week of democratic regeneration hereabouts has been the sight of Iain Gray MSP putting his head above the parapet. Admittedly he had not previously taken up an indefensible position on the Scottish Enterprise Scoping for the re-industrialisation of our community after a 50 year hiatus, but his recognition of what is going along is most commendable. It's a glorious sighting in comparison with the three antagonists who have retreated behind bureaucratic legerdemain to avoid contradicting themselves.

Iain said: “I will always support what is best for East Lothian, and would not therefore dismiss out of hand ideas which might create high-quality job opportunities, especially for our young people.

“However, the proposal submitted by Scottish Enterprise, with the increase in industrial footprint, impact on roads, local amenity and damage to the John Muir Way is, in my view, clearly unacceptable.”

First up is Historic Scotland ...

No they wont come and meet with the 1745 Battle Trust to reconsider their views about building a SubStation on the battle site they are mandated to conserve even enhance if opportunity presents itself - which it does! Why?

Because East Lothian Planning Committee has lately granted consent.

Why did East Lothian Council grant consent? Well, Cllr Willie Innes observed at the meeting that 'Historic Scotland had raised no objections.'

Elegant isn't it? Any and all self respecting bureaucrats would be proud.

P.S. Even better, a protocol has been invented for the National Inventory that's just as elegant. Ministers will only call in a Planning Decision on a battlefield site if Historic Scotland has had an Objection overruled. 'Lean' on Historic Scotland not to object and you're off the hook.

Advice: Meet with the Trustees and Alliance and locate on the brownfield site to the north.

Next up, Petitions Committee of East Lothian Council ..

So, they've resolved that the Petition the Coastal Regeneration Alliance has raised cant be considered because it asks the Council to do things it cannot do - like stop Scottish Enterprise in its tracks.

That's specious not to say disingenuous. Only last month that very same Council found it could, and very much did, instruct its staff to give all support to Scottish Enterprise as it fleshes out its plans for an Energy Park. [Behind the scenes those self same staff had been doing just that anyway since June 2013 apparently unbeknown to our elected Councillors.] So, no to the electorate and Yes to the unelected.

Advice: Consider the Petition in open discussion.

Finally [if only] Scottish Enterprise ....

Here the offer is fascinating. We are all to be better informed and consulted about something we don't want in the first place. Springing ideas of this magnitude on a community is totally unacceptable. And in the case of our coastal strip wholly at variance with what we aspire to become.

Over 50 years ago we stopped being 'industrial'. Since then we have struggled hard to create new futures. We wish to see them extended and to flourish.

It's not consultations or transparency we require. It's the opportunity to scope out our own plans for our own communities futures here.

Advice: Let East Lothian Council's elected representatives require their officers to work with the Coastal Regeneration Alliance to get them formally on the table and into action as swiftly as may be.

P.S. Iain Gray ...

When you listed all the aspects of community here that need to be respected and enhanced, you forgot the battle site which is the big first test! You know, [Inch]Cape getting planning to go ahead to build a SubStation actually on the battlefield.... with no objection from Historic Scotland - its designated national 'Protector'.

Published Date: September 12th 2014

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