Utility Week

UTILITY Week 4th April 2014

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Page 30 of 31

UtilitY WEEK | 4th - 10th April 2014 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; Energy editor: Megan Darby, t: 01342 332087, e: megan.darby@fav-house.com; Features editor: Karma Ockenden, t: 01342 332086, e: karma.ockenden@fav-house. com; Reporter: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Reporter: Conor McGlone, t: 01342 332083, e: conor.mcglone@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house.com; Sales executive: Nicky Shaw, t: 01342 332070, e: nicky.shaw@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 01342 332011. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham house ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex rh19 1UZ A draining activity It's becoming increasingly difficult for trainspotters and planespotters to pursue their lawful – if criminally dull – hob- bies without fear of harassment. These days it's easier to stroll around North Korea with a camera than it is a UK airport or train station (probably). But Sheffield housing author- ity worker Calvin Payne is ahead of the curve on this one, because the chosen object of his obses- sion is the humble drain, which makes him a "drainspotter", as both the Express and the Mirror mirthfully pointed out. Calvin's hobby is photographing and documenting drain covers. "It's important," said Calvin. "If these drains were to disappear in a road resurfacing scheme it would be very disap- pointing. "Old post boxes and gas lamps get recognition because they are at eye level. Many of these drains are much older and they are being pulled up and melted down without a second's thought. There's nothing to say English Heritage can't list drains – it's just nobody's done it before." Calvin, 42, is unmarried. Papering over the differences Meanwhile, up the road in Newcastle, barber Patrick Foster found himself in hot water with the local authorities aer Disconnector attaching amusing notices to drain covers outside his busi- ness premises, reading "Teen- age Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now hiring. Enquire within". Since opening his business, Patrick has gained something of reputation as a joker by com- ing up with amusing posters, which he displays in his shop and which he claims are greatly enjoyed by customers and passers-by alike. But it seems Patrick went too far when he ventured beyond the confines of his barbershop window and attached sheets of A4 paper to three drain covers. An hour later a Newcastle city council environmental health officer arrived on the scene and formally cautioned the 31-year-old for fly posting. He was served a £240 fine, £80 per drain. "I asked why the council could have not just called and asked me to remove them – they were just stuck down with mask- ing tape," said Patrick. "But he was deadly serious and said, 'No, it's against the law and I have to caution you and take a statement as it's a criminal offence.' "I asked how I could appeal, but was told I'd have to go to court, that nobody wins, and that it'd end up costing me £2,000." When it comes to drains, it seems it's a case of "look, but don't touch", and it occurs to Disconnector that that's prob- ably good advice for most things in life… Anti-social indecision Few subjects divide the nation as evenly as onshore wind. When developers pitch up at the local town hall clutch- ing their plans to present to the locals, they don't know whether they'll be greeted as heroes or pelted with eggs. Or thrown in jail, perhaps. Disconnector muses thus on hearing that residents of Stuart field, in Aberdeenshire, successfully complained to their local authority that the noise emanating from three turbines run by Stuartfield Wind Power at nearby West Knock Farm was such that it constituted "anti-social behav- iour". They got a sympathetic hearing from the local envi- ronmental health officer, who promptly served the operator with an Asbo. Stuartfield Wind Power is appealing against the decision. At this rate, it's only a matter of time before a local authority somewhere in the UK tries to use anti-terrorism legislation to run windfarm developers out of town. What's really needed is leadership from the top, but don't hold your breath. This week there were further reports that the Tories wanted to put the brakes on onshore devel- opment (mindful, perhaps, of Ukip in the rearview mirror), while coalition partners the Lib Dems were adamant that they would do no such thing. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Adam Scorer @adam_scorer #fuelpovertyawarenessday 4.5m UK homes in fuel poverty. Scant joined up action within/ between govts. No public funding in Eng. Unacceptable Reg Platt @IPPR @regplatt CMA energy market review is good news. Ofgem can't tackle the problems in the market – it needs to be taken out of their hands. David Cameron @David_Cameron It's right that there be a full investigation into whether the "Big 6" are preventing effective competition in the UK energy market. Jeff Fynes @JimmyPatsM Cheek of energy companies to threaten blackouts after Ofgem referral, no need to halt investment if you know you've done no wrong. Bryony Worthington @bryworthington Under Laidlaw is Centrica now the worst run power company in the country? Time to break them up and make them compete fairly. 3WhitehallPlace @3WhitehallPlace We welcome SSE's two year energy bill price freeze con & its highly irresponsible decision to break up itself. Fergus Ewing MSP @FergusEwingMSP London – meeting Ed Davey to discuss connection of renewable energy projects on the Scottish Islands – progress must be sustained #energy NathanGoode @NathanGoode2 Putting aside arguments about the technology, the decision by @SSE to cancel biomass projects reflects creeping paralysis in energy planning Scott Peterson @Nuclear_policy Nuclear energy "punches above its weight" in protecting air quality: 20% of power generates 62% of carbon-free power GeoGeo @GeoMio Ofgem enquiry into Big Six anti-competitive practice – 2 years to report. That issue's safely "under the carpet" for a while then. Top Tweets

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