CALLING ALL MOY RESIDENTS TO A MEETING ABOUT COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUNDING FROM THE MOY WINDFARM
MONDAY 10 AUGUST 2015 at 7.30pm in the STRATHDEARN HALL
For the past two year Eneco has worked closely with both community councils to discuss the ‘development’ of the ‘Moy Community Benefit Company’ which will have both community councils represented on the decision making panel alongside representatives from the local communities.
At the Moy Wind Farm Community Benefit Working Group meeting on 24 February it was ‘ agreed to move the process forward (continuing with the Joint Company) given the work that has gone into the benefit model over the last two years”
In May 2015, Eneco received correspondence stating that there was a desire to split the community benefit fund and for the Strathnairn Community Benefit Company (set up by npower) to administer the Strathnairn portion of the fund. This would be a 21.5/78.5 split with Strathdearn receiving the larger share.
On 12 May Guy Madgwick and Zoisa Walton of Eneco met with Vivian Roden of Strathdearn Community Council and Isobel McQueer of Strathnairn Community Council, following which the following statement was issued by Guy Madgwick:
“We met with representatives from Strathdearn and Strathnairn today, 12 May. On discussions we have identified there is no winning solution for all and therefore given the situation Eneco reverts to the Moy community benefit model. This will be reviewed after a two year period. We would like to invite four representatives from Strathdearn and four from the Strathnairn area to continue to participate within the working group for the Moy community benefit model. As previously stated, we always wish to carry out what the community wants, however, as both community councils cannot agree on a model we now feel that we have to take that decision. Eneco would like to thank all those involved”
Eneco also established some principles for distribution of the fund:
1) The community benefit fund for Moy Wind Farm is to be kept as one fund – it is not Eneco’s desire to see this split between multiple distribution vehicles.
2) Eneco expects that while Moy and Daviot are the closest settlements to the wind farm, projects and wider services that benefit those residents across both community council areas will also be eligible for funding.
3) Eneco endorse the structure agreed by the established community liaison group for the Moy Community Benefit Company.*
4) Representatives that participate within the Moy Community Benefit Company will be democratically elected.
5) Eneco and the community liaison group will work together to define distribution guidelines as outlined in the letter Eneco sent on 21 April.
6) We expect that the wider communities’ views will be taken on board and will influence the type of projects that the Moy Community Benefits Company will support. This will be done by an independent company through public opinion research.
*8 Directors, 4 from Strathdearn and 4 from Strathnairn, comprising:
- 2 Community Elected Directors from Moy
- 2 Community Elected Directors from Daviot
- 1 Community Council Nominee from Strathdearn
- 1 Community Council Nominee from Strathnairn
- 1 Nominee from Strathdearn Community Developments
- 1 Nominee from the Strathnairn Community Benefit Fund (to be confirmed)
- Priority to be given to Moy and Daviot communities through a weighting system
- Thereafter funds could be used for the benefit of the wider communities of Strathdearn and Strathnairn
At their meeting on 12 May, Strathdearn Community Council accepted Guy Madgwick’s Statement.
Eneco, on request, met with Strathnairn Community Council on 21st July to discuss the Moy Wind Farm community benefit model. Details of the work carried out by the Moy Wind Farm community Liaison Group were not discussed within this meeting; however representatives from Eneco attended to support the decision for joint distribution of the fund.
Eneco has listened to the feedback provided at the meeting by the wider Strathnairn community and will also attend the Strathdearn community council meeting on 11 August. This will allow further discussions for how the distribution of the fund can progress given the feedback received by both communities.
An article in “The Inverness Courier” on 24 July with the headline “Community fails to back benefit fund proposal” stated that, “People in Strathnairn have come out against creating a new wind farm community benefit fund for a 20 turbine development on the Moy Estate” and continued to report that a public meeting held in Farr Community Hall on 21 July, followed by a Strathnairn Community Council Meeting, “backed filtering any benefit money into the existing fund for Strathnairn and Strathdearn to make its own decision”….. The meeting was attended by 35 people and was chaired by Councillor Carolyn Caddick who was quoted as saying, “The feeling was that there would not be enough people to want to run the separate fund and carry out quite onerous duties. …. The energy company said they were open to either or, and just wanted to do what the community wanted.” The article finished by saying that talks were planned with the Moy Wind Farm Community Benefit Working Group, Moy Residents and Strathdearn Community Council to see if they are in agreement.
It would greatly help Strathdearn Community Council in any talks with Eneco and Strathnairn if as many Moy residents as possible could manage to come along to the meeting on 10th August to give us your views on all of this. If you are not able to come, please let us have your views by letter or e-mail.
The Strathdearn members of the Moy Windfarm Community Benefit Working Group are:
We look forward to hearing your views.
Chair & Community Benefit Negotiator, Strathdearn Community Council