Friday, 12 February 2010

Plaid Cymru get themselves into a Biomess

Schematic diagram showing how the Bodffordd Biodigester works

As per yesterdays' post Peter Rogers hospitalisation has potentially put the general election result within reach of all three main parties. In the electoral simulations the Druid made based on the January YouGov Wales poll, Labour and Plaid have less than 100 votes between them with the Conservatives trailing just 1000 votes behind. And in a scenario where every single vote counts it looks like Plaid Cymru have made a massive miscalculation in Bodffordd which has the potential to cost them the election.

Anglesey residents will probably be aware that trouble has been brewing in Bodffordd for some time about plans to site a 25,000 tonne Biodigester in nearby Mona Industrial Park. A biodigester basically creates electricity from organic waste such as out-of-date food or meat by-products through allowing bacteria to digest it in an oxygen-free environment thus producing methane-rich biogas which is then converted to heat or electricity. As you might imagine it is a pretty smelly process and residents of Bodffordd are concerned that they could be stunk out of their own homes when the prevailing wind is blowing. Two public meetings were held to discuss ways of stopping the plant and the community council also objected to its building. In the end however Anglesey County Council approved the project on December 14th despite receiving a petition against with 479 signatures from residents.

So what has all this got to do with Plaid Cymru? Well, the County Councillor for Bodffordd is Plaid Cymru's William Hughes and it appears that he managed to alienate his residents by failing to turn up for any of the public meetings about the biodigester. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, it turns out that now that the plant has been approved both Cllr William Hughes and Plaid PPC Dylan Rees have suddenly made overtures to help Bodffordd. Too little, too late say residents.

At the last council elections there were 793 electors in the Bodffordd ward and we know that 479 people signed the petition - its probably fair to assume that a majority of these voted Plaid Cymru in the council elections but now won't be doing so in the General Election. And as there could potentially only be 100 votes between Labour and Plaid, has the Bodffordd Biodigester lost the election for Plaid Cymru?

As a side note, the campaign against the biodigester has been lead by former County Councillor John Arthur Jones. He lost his Cyngar (Llangefni) seat by 200 votes to Plaid Cymru in 2008 - no doubt he will be standing in Bodffordd against William Hughes at the next council elections. 

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