npower: have they blown a fuse?

Story behind the picture;
Channel 4 redeemed themselves recently by documenting the heavy tactics of npower security personnel (faces covered up). They are hired to serve injunctions against any member of the public taking pictures or film of their contractors felling trees and such-like around Ridley Lake. Is this Britain or Russia?

Have npower gone mad?

Thrupp Lake in Radley, Oxfordshire has been described as a beautiful part of the countryside by the local folk. If npower has its way the lake will be no more. Within a matter of months the lake is scheduled to be drained and flooded with a slurry of toxic pulverised fuel ash from nearby Didcot power station.

The local community, which has formed itself into the campaign group ‘Save Radley Lakes‘, has battled ceaselessly to preserve the lake. Their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Worried by the attention the campaigners were drawing, nPower recently issued injunctions to six local people and members of the press to stop them publishing any photographs of their contractors deforesting the lake and harassing wildlife.

This has to stop; sign the Downing St petition NOW.

More information at Save Radley Lakes website.

See Channel 4’s story and blog

If you get your power from npower it is suggested you switch providers today. It’s very easy to do and the best message you can send the bullies, who are out of control. Switch here.

This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Development, Education, Energy, Media, Nature & Conservation, People, Politics, Pollution, Protest, Recycling, Urban, War & security. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to npower: have they blown a fuse?

  1. Lakesaver says:

    One of those people on the injunction is a friend of mine. He is a retired scientist and suffers from a heart condition. When he received the injunction he was extremely distressed and there were fears for his health because of the stress which this foul document conceived by NPower in ignorance and delivered by their smart-a** lawyers in error.

    The five other people I know not, even though I have been involved in the campaign to Save Radley Lakes for nearly two years. I suspect they were involved with the occupation of NPower’s house Sandles, which NPower had them evicted from for illegal occupation – pity we can’t get NPower evicted from there because they are illegally occupying it also – a residential property without approval for “change of use”! But then they have more money than sense and they tried to gag us locals by serving this wide-ranging injunction.

    The real reason was to stop the Media filming their destruction of a beauty spot which is the subject of a Public Inquiry to have it made a “Town Green”.

    As usual they ride rough-shod over everyone and then try to make out that they are oh so caring! Lets give some money to comic relief in exchange of beefing up our customer base. I wish I could afford to give every nPower customer £10 to change away from this odious Company that uses the Law to serve its own ends but when it comes to abiding by the law it is curiously deficient.

    We find they cut down the trees without a Forestry Commission Licence – Oh dear – a fine of £2500 – that is nothing to NPower – but if you or I cut down a tree it could mean bankruptcy for us – one law for the very rich and powerful and another for the meek who will not inherit the earth at the rate NPower are despoiling it.

    They don’t apply to the Vale of White Horse DC for a “change of use of premises”. Another slap on the wrist.

    The Environment Agency haven’t issued them with an IPCC Licence yet but still they go ahead and trash the site as if it is a foregone conclusion. But there is no penalty for that. However, when their existing ash fill operations allow illegal levels of chromium to enter the River Thames on numerous occasions, the EA fail to act. Instead the EA discuss matters with NPower and try and move the goalposts by changing the EQS standard of the river area into which NPower are discharging so they don’t break the rules. There is a story there for Panorama if they were to be interested.

  2. earthpal says:

    I’m not with NPower thankfully. But if I was, I would have switched after reading this.

    Are we to destroy every last refuge, every natural place of tranquility, every habitat of nature?

    What is the waste anyway? Is it not recyclable?

  3. matt says:

    Lakesaver, thank you for providing this information. I agree that a news programme such as Panorama is well suited to investigating this further. I’ve emailed the editor;

    Dear Mr Robinson,
    Re: npower and their heavy treatment of local people opposed to Radley Lakes being filled in with ash waste from Didcot power station.
    I understand from and the recent Channel 4 News piece by Alex Thomson and also from a comment left on my blog
    that npower are being very heavy handed with local opposition to Radley Lakes being filled in with ash from Didcot power station.
    Channel 4’s news piece showed masked security personnel and a lawyer serving injunctions on anyone trying to get near to the lakes. They do not want photos or video taken of workers clearing the lake of trees and swan’s nesting areas. This is being done even before a public hearing due in April. Why are the council and the Environment Agency allowing this to happen.
    I feel strongly that this story needs more exposure, which Panorama is ideally suited to cover.
    I hope you and your team agree. There are many wider civil liberty and corporate power issues involved here.

    Yours Sincerely

  4. matt says:

    Hi earthpal, Yes it is recyclable but apparently there is too much ash around and not enough recycling solutions but, the answer is not obviously to dump it in a lake!

    Here’s an American company’s solution;

    It’s appears npower haven’t looked ahead.

  5. Len Lambe says:

    RWE npower speak with forked tongues, they are devious and ruthless.

    They chose recently not to inform the High Court of their knowledge of an imminent Public Enquiry on April 2nd 2007 regarding Radley Lakes. An infamous draconian injunction was obtained that threatens us all.

    If successful, the designation of a ‘Town Green’ status will prohibit RWE npower’s plans forever and the spectacular 14 hectacre lake and its wildlife will be retained for future generations.

    “Some essential maintenance would occur prior to dewatering”, said the spokesman from Didcot Power Station. Immediately, forty contractors flattened the 14-acre lake area and its islands; hundreds of trees were destroyed, many 40 years old and without permission from the Forestry Commission. Their risk under our inadequate laws is maybe a paltry £2,500 fine.

    Coinciding with the protest march on Saturday 10th March 2007 and as the sponsoring of the BBC ‘Red Nose Campaign’ reached it’s climax, RWE npower conveniently announced an immediate postponement of work as ‘an active coots nest had been observed by their independent ecologist’. What puff and nonsense!

    When tree felling was commencing a contractor was photographed destroying a swan’s nest. Barbed wire placed at the waters edge has deterred further nesting attempts. Whilst the incident has been reported, RWE npower claim not to have destroyed an ‘active nest’. Disturbing the water birds with powerboats, even with children aboard, has disturbed local residents even more.

    If npower were hairdressers and Britney Spears had asked for ‘just a trim’, they would put 40 demon barbers to work, finish 90% of the work and then declare: “the independent npower nurse has found a nesting pair of nits in your eyebrows and we have immediately stopped work; however, in a few weeks we have plans for complete disembowelment”.

    No doubt RWE npower have now sent their contractors to the Brazilian Rain Forest to prune a few roses? Just routine maintenance of course!

    RWE npower at Didcot have replied to people who dare to complain saying there is no alternative to filling in Thrupp Lake; the nation’s 24/7 energy supply together with Didcot’s economy are at risk and it was a very tough decision. Work that one out!

    Local, national and international support is growing fast. A petition to 10 Downing Street from Abingdon Schools is being delivered on Thursday 5th April and Cherie Booth QC has been invited to Radley lakes in her capacity as a human rights lawyer.

    This letter ends with a suitable bird call to RWE npower; the reader can guess which one, it isn’t a pigeon and is a bit of a howler!

  6. matt says:

    Cherie Booth, interesting. Hope she accepts. The petition from the schools is a good idea.

    RWE npower obviously know they are doing something that is fundamentally wrong and deeply unpopular, otherwise they wouldn’t be rushing ahead of themselves with the ‘disembowelment’ of Radley Lakes.

  7. matt says:

    The comment below is in response to an article by Editorial Photographers UK concerning npowers use of lawyers Lawson-Cruttenden & Co and the original injunction served by Judge Calvert-Smith;

    Original article;

    [ While Judge Calvert-Smith has unequivocally stated that the injunction is not intended to prevent journalism npower’s lawyers have decided that they need to reinterpret that in the most obnoxiously arrogant way possible.

    Lawson- Cruttenden, the lawyers seen so revealingly in our Law as an Ass movie, have today written:

    “RWE Npower is prepared to agree that it will not seek to enforce Clause 5.2 of the Injunction against Accredited Media. For the purposes of this Protocol ‘Accredited’ will mean:

    – media possessing a valid card demonstrating membership of the National Union of Journalists or

    – media possessing a business card demonstrating affiliation to an official media organisation verifiable by telephone call. This is provided the Accredited Media comply with the numbered conditions below.

    1 Accredited Media to inform RWE Npower In advance of attendance at Radley Lakes (5$ defined In the Injunction), The prior notification should be given to RWE Npower’s press telephone (0845 020 2607).

    2 On arrival at Radley Lakes, appropriate accreditation should be produced to the nominated RWE Npower representatives at Sandles House who are responsible far verifying such accreditation, A telephone number to enable identity to be verified should also be provided to the nominated RWE Npower representative(s)

    Following compliance with I and 2 above, Accredited Media will be allowed to
    photograph or video in r around Radley Lakes.

    Accredited Media shall not trespass on the site of Radisy Lakes or The Sandles
    property (as defined in the injunction).

    5 In the event of Accredited Media capturing photographic and/or video images of employees, agents or contractors of RW npower that may, on their own or as part of a series of published images, lead to the disclosure of their identities, these images shall not be published in any form.

    All other clauses in the injunction (including for the avoidance of doubt Clause 8.3) shall remain in full force and effect. RWE Npower, through its employees, agents and contractors will continue to monitor potential breaches of the Injunction.”

    Clearly npower feel that they, and only they, can decide which of their objectionable practices may be covered by the press.

    And where is the NUJ in all this? Good question.

    David Hoffman ]

Comments are closed.