Caerphilly County Borough Council could invest in a proposed new wind farm near Rhymney.
Seven wind turbines of up to 180 metres tall (590ft) could be built at Pen March Farm, to the north-west of the town.
Six of the turbines would be in Caerphilly County Borough, with one the side of the boundary in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough.
The council has entered a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with green energy firm RWE Renewables, which is behind the plans.
The council will “explore options” to invest in the wind farm through a shared ownership model.
However, the agreement isn’t legally binding.
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The council’s cabinet unanimously voted in favour of the agreement at a meeting on March 24.
What is Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet?
A council’s cabinet is made up of councillors in charge of different policy areas – such as education, environment, local economy, etc – and a leader.
It is separate to the council’s corporate management structure, which is headed up by its chief executive and various directors. Cabinet is made up of councillors, who are elected and have the ultimate say.
Typically, cabinet members are councillors from the party with the most elected council members.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet is made up of:
- Cllr Philippa Marsden (Ynysddu) – Leader
- Cllr Sean Morgan (Nelson) – Deputy leader / Economy and enterprise
- Cllr Colin Gordon (Pontllanfraith) – Corporate services
- Cllr Eluned Stenner (New Tredegar) – Finance, performance and customer services
- Cllr Ross Whiting (Risca West) – Learning and achievement
- Cllr Shayne Cook (Morgan Jones) – Social care
- Cllr John Ridgewell (Ynysddu) – Environment and infrastructure
- Cllr Lisa Phipps (Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen) – Housing and property
- Cllr Nigel George (Risca East) – Waste and public protection
Corporate management is made up of unelected employees of the council and has responsibility for day-to-day management of services, such as making sure the bins are collected. Corporate directors work with cabinet members to come up with policy which is then agreed upon by the cabinet.
It could see the council contribute towards the cost of building the wind farm, in return for a slice of the revenue generated by the project.
Caerphilly Observer has asked the council how much it would be looking to invest and what sort of return it would be expecting to get.
Councillor John Ridgewell, who is the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, described it as an “exciting opportunity”.
He said it “not only meets the council’s priorities to lower carbon emissions, making the county borough an even greener place, but also links to our commitments to maximise opportunities for commercial investment and deliver wider community benefits”.
He added: “This project really demonstrates our ethos as an organisation with a commercial mind and social heart.”
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