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SNP MP In Social Media Row


08/10/15


A row erupted on social media following a post from Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier about a waste processing plant that has been approved for Whitehill.

Residents have serious concerns about the facility which will process waste using pyrolysis.

It was turned down by South Lanarkshire Council but approved by a Scottish Government reporter in August.


Concerns centre on emissions and proximity to residential housing.


Ms Ferrier posted to her Facebook page, saying that she was against the plant and was happy to speak to constituents about the matter. However, the SNP MP came under criticism and was accused of blaming South Lanarkshire Council for not appealing the decision while ignoring the Scottish Government’s role in approving it.


She posted: "Some constituents have been in touch regarding the ‘Whitehill Incinerator’. For the purpose of clarity, I can say that I am 100 per cent opposed to the introduction of the proposed incinerator in Whitehill. However, without further intervention from South Lanarkshire Council, I fear that the plan will go ahead. South Lanarkshire Council are currently the only body that has any control over the future of the incinerator project – they have the power to call for a judicial review of the decision."

"I, along with my colleagues Angela Crawley MP, Christina McKelvie MSP and Richard Lyle MSP, have written to Lindsay Freeland, the Chief Executive of South Lanarkshire Council, to ask for the authority to continue their opposition to the plant."


Former Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who lost the Hamilton West seat to Ms Ferrier, was one of those who took exception. He said, "It’s very clear her statement was crafted to give the impression that somehow South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee failed to oppose the plan. She failed to mention it was the SNP government that overturned the decision. It wasn’t just me that felt that. There were a number of people asking similar questions, including a number of her constituents. It was an absurd attempt to give a false impression of what had happened."


Several people also criticised Ms Ferrier, claiming she deleted posts criticising her. However, several critical posts remained on her Facebook.


Hamilton North and East Councillor Monica Lennon, whose ward contains the site of the proposed waste processor, said, "She promised to represent all of her constituents but she’s failing to live up to it."

Ms Ferrier, however, says that she made it clear in her post that South Lanarkshire Council objected to the proposal and was calling on them to continue their opposition.

She said: "I am calling on South Lanarkshire Council to continue their objection to the Whitehill Biomass Energy Recovery Plant. I am disappointed that some have sought to misrepresent my words as my putting blame on the authority for the project proceeding, and this is patently not the case. My main concern is stopping this project from proceeding, not finger pointing."