District council praised for 'best practice' over Hinkley Point C project (From This is The West Country)
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District council praised for 'best practice' over Hinkley Point C project
SEDGEMOOR District Council is to be praised for its best practice in securing community benefits from large energy projects like Hinkley Point C.
Speaking exclusively to the Mercury, Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, revealed the leader of SDC, councillor Duncan McGinty, and himself had been selected to attend the Franco British Energy Conference 2013 in London on October 29.
The conference will bring together over 200 energy professionals from the UK and France, including EDF Energy, to discuss the major challenges the industry faces and share best practices.
SDC is expected to be used as a shining example for others to follow after battling to secure cash community benefits for villages surrounding the proposed nuclear power station.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “It's an enormous honour. This is the first time in my career something like this has happened.
“They said I'm the only MP to be asked and Sedgemoor is the only district council. They are really impressed.”
He added Parliament has agreed to a debate to discuss how Bridgwater College has helped to deliver the skills and requirements needed for the Hinkley Point C project.
He said: “The Government will no doubt be looking to use Bridgwater College and Sedgemoor as a basis for future large projects across both the UK and in other countries.
“The way the college has worked with the district council is a prime example of best practice and is a positive step forward.”
The news follows the release of a short online film by SDC entitled 'Empowering Communities - Community Benefit', which followed the announcement that a 'strike price' had been agreed with EDF.
Cllr McGinty said: “This film tells the story of Sedgemoor's Community Benefit campaign, which lasted around five years, and could see local communities receive up to £128million.”
As reported, the cash could be used for things like facilities for the elderly, new village halls and schemes to address fuel poverty.