Visiting a clean, green renewable energy source

Nancy Platts, Leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove  City Council
Nancy Platts, Leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove City Council

When you live 
in Brighton and Hove, having friends or family to stay 
can be the perfect excuse to be a 
tourist in your home town.

For me and Steve, having our 16-year-old nephew stop over meant a chance to re-discover places we’d not been to for a while, or to go along to things we’d been meaning to visit for ages.

We compiled a list of options in advance (secretly each having our preferences) and ran it past our favourite teenager.

We kick-started the weekend with a trip to the depths of Brighton Town Hall. There lurks the Old Police Cells Museum with grisly tales of poisoned chocolates and the famous trunk murders. Admission is free and former serving police officers volunteer to show guests around. If you are lucky, they will add a few quirky tales of their own.

A wander down to the Marina in the afternoon and we were soon whizzing across the Channel to the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm – a spectacular feat of engineering and, I think, quite beautiful.

It was a very calm day and there was something almost surreal about floating in the centre of 116 gently turning turbines.The power generated will supply the equivalent of up to 350,000 homes each year. It is estimated that the project could avoid the emission of almost 600,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is clean, green, renewable energy and an essential part of our battle against climate change.

Arriving on the day of the demonstrations, my nephew saw young people leading the way in raising awareness of climate change and then one of the solutions.

To link it all up, I took him in to the Council Chamber and explained that we’re setting up a new City Assembly to drive how we become a carbon neutral city by 2030. I’ve invited young people to come and talk about what they feel the council needs to do so they are at the heart of our thinking.

For our future engineer, the wind farm was an inspiring sight, in terms of technical ability and as a significant contribution towards renewable technology. We were not alone in thinking so, as a fellow passenger with his little boy remarked to us, ‘It gives you hope doesn’t it?’

Cllr Nancy Platts, Leader of the Labour Group on Brighton & Hove City Council