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Two papers from Communities and Local Government Secretary of State Hazel Blears have led to a letter being sent to her from Audlem. Her Communities in Control and the recently circulated Sustainability in the Community papers have pushed the concept of sustainability for local communities.

As a result, parish councillor Mike Hill is approaching Ms Blears with a detailed request for financial support to put these ambitious plans into action in Audlem. He has described to her the proposed scheme to produce electricity from the overflow sluices along the canal that runs through the village.

He says: "We have undertaken an expert feasibility study (see copy enclosed) which shows it would work and its output. However we are, in these trying times, unable to raise the amount required either through an increase of the village precept or via the Public Works Loans Board. British Waterways are fully behind the plan but are also pressed financially."

The letter goes on to say: "Hence our reasons for contacting you, as our Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to request your help in providing the sum of some £165,000 to enable this environmental project to materialise to the benefit of the community, and to contribute to our overall sustainability. It is as green a project as you could wish to see, will pay back in ten years the investment and will be a wonderful example of a remote village achieving a major step in sustainability. Given the huge subsidies going into wind farms, this will be a far more reliable source of renewable energy."

Given the Government's ambitious plans that have been laid out by the Secretary of State, the response to the letter is eagerly awaited.


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