South Lanarkshire COALcil » Uncategorized » Someone say corruption? Scottish Coal bribe East Ayrshire Councillor

Someone say corruption? Scottish Coal bribe East Ayrshire Councillor

From Coal Action Scotland:

Another case of political corruption has been exposed today with the revelations that Labour councillor for Ballochmyle, Jimmy Kelly accepted a number of “gifts” from Scottish Coal prior to chairing the committee which recommended the controversial mine at Dalfad for approval.

The former miner and councillor of over 20 years accepted an all expenses paid trip to Spain from Scottish Coal in 2008 which included flights, hotel and tickets to the Barcelona vs Celtic Champions League match. Kelly has also received complementary Christmas hampers from the company and was their guest at a fundraiser dinner.

Despite all this, Kelly felt he had no conflict of interest in chairing the committee which reviewed Scottish Coal’s application to mine a controversial site at Dalfad near Cummnok, East Ayrshire. Two previous choices for committee chair refused the post citing conflicts of interest, one having a family member work for the company and the other renting a house from them.

The proposed mine has been contested by numerous groups including “Mining and Environment Group Ayrshire” on environmental grounds due to the added  destruction of removing a peat bog which currently exists on the site and acts as a natural carbon sink and a habitat for numerous protected species.

Scottish Coal stated that they would ,”mitigate the loss of the habitat at Dalfad on another site” but as Greta Roberts, Secretary of Mining and Environment Ayrshire states, “Why should such an ecologically valuable area at Dalfad be sacrificed?” for the profits of Scottish Coal executives and the corrupt beneficiaries of their “hospitality” gestures.

With blatant corruption at all levels of the planning process emerging into the limelight, underhand spying on anti-opencast protesters and shameful threats of worker lay-offs, the depths to which Scottish Coal will sink in order to have its mines approved can’t really get much lower. Although… time will tell.

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