Compromise agenda for public meeting

THE AGENDA for tonight’s (Wednesday) public meeting to discuss GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) plans to site wind turbines at its local factory features a compromise format.

As reported in last week’s Review, a stand-off had developed between the two parties with initial disagreement over their preferred style of meeting.

The company had resisted calls from the community council, which organised the meeting, to include a question and answer session with the audience, to prevent the proceedings being hijacked by the “vocal few”.

Its preference was for a 40-minute presentation followed by an opportunity for the public to view exhibition boards, brochures and ask individual questions.

Site director Andrew Ross said it would still allow the public to ask questions at the same time, without the ‘vocal few’ dominating the meeting in a public question and answer session.

He also suggested the public discussion could take place after the displays were dismantled and the GSK representatives had left.

The community council’s standpoint was that a public question and answer session was an important part of its role as a statutory consultee in the planning process. It would allow it to gauge opinion and better represent the public’s views in its formal response to GSK’s planning application for two 426-feet high turbines at the Cobden Street plant.

Agreement was later reached, although GSK’s invitation to attend the meeting was almost withdrawn, and the agenda features elements of both parties’ wishes.

The meeting will be chaired by Montrose Air Station Heritage Trust chairman Alan Doe and GSK will make three presentations.

Andrew Ross’s presentation on GSK’s “global sustainability ambitions” will put the Montrose scheme into the context of the company’s wider plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

Ian Morrow, the Montrose site’s renewable energy manager, will focus on the company’s overall strategy for promoting sustainability at the factory and discuss details about the wind turbine proposal in particular.

The presentations will be followed by a public question and answer session and, afterwards, a less formal question and answer session with GSK’s representatives at its static display boards.

Both the community council and GSK have said they are satisfied that a suitable agreement had been reached.

The meeting will be held in Montrose Academy’s assembly hall at 7pm.