Monday, February 28, 2011

I fail to see the point of Julie Girling

She has come to my attention through this story about Seahorses in Poole Harbour. Now seahorses are indeed cute in a cold, wet spiky way. But this is ridiculous, remember this woman is supposed to be a Tory.
“It is entirely unacceptable that species are being endangered by an entirely avoidable threat. I want to know if the commission intends to conduct any future studies specifically regarding the loss of seagrass habitats, and also what action they will take to ensure the protection and conservation of seagrass habitats and species.”
Just parsing this statement brings me out in chivers. What she is calling for her is for the EU to spend a whole bunch of money paying for EU studies of Poole Harbour and Studland Bay. She is also calling for the EU to set up some sort of rule/body/regieme that controls those rather splendid parts of Dorset.

What planet is she on?

Well to be fair I sort of know what is going on. The Seahorse trust is a nice touchy feely organisation in the South West. At some point after Ms Girling was elected they got in touch and asked her to write a PQ on their behalf. She was happy to do so, (my guess is that at this point they offered her a patron position on the charity) .
Here is her question,
Preservation of Seagrass Meadows and Seagrass Habitats
Seagrasses form important costal habitats for a variety of marine life and organisms. In the UK, the principle seagrass species predominant in sub-littoral areas as oppose to intertidal areas is Zostera Marina which is protected / conserved under the Habitats Directive 92/43/ECC. Internationally there has been a declining trend in the density of seagrass meadows since the 1970’s; part of this decline could be attributed to human induced disturbance. Two species of Seahorse associated with sea grass habitats are found in the British Isles, Hippocampus hippocampus (Short Snouted) and Hippocampus guttalatus (Spiny). H.Hippocampus is on the OSPAR priority list of endangered species.

- Does the Commission intend to conduct any future studies specifically regarding the loss of seagrass habitats?
- What action will the Commission take to ensure the protection and conservation of seagrass habitats and species?
- Can the Commission confirm why Seahorses throughout Europe are not being protected in equal measure? For example, the UKs Wildlife and Coutryside
Act are designed to protect in English waters but not in Welsh, Scottish or Irish waters. It is acknowledged responsibility should be with the member states for enforcement but where enforcement by has failed, what will the Commission do to enforce the Habitats Directive thereby ensuring species conservation?
Please note what is going on here. This so called Tory is calling for a number of things. Firstly she is calling for the Commission to spend money on research. Next she is calling for specific action on the part of the EU. Looking at her press release and the activity of the Seahorse trust she is calling for some restrictions be made on the design/position of moorings.

Next she is calling on the EU to put pressure on the UK to force the devolved authorities to harmonise their regulations with English regulations.

You can imagine the Commission licking its lips at this invitation to interfere in UK matters, micro managing pleasure craft moorings and so on. I repeat this is a question from a Tory.

In order to look fluffy, in order to be nice to her chosen Charity she is opening a door to even greater activism on the behalf of the EU. If she really wants to do these things, maybe, just maybe, given she is a Tory after all, she should not be demanding action from the EU, but maybe, just maybe she should be asking her own party and government to do something to help, here. In the UK.


Curmudgeon said...

And what are the other topics on the home page of her website? LGBT equality and getting PGI status for Cornish pasties.

Underlines the drawbacks of the party list system for Euro elections where you have no idea what you're voting for.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

As you must be able to meet with her, might I suggest that, as we are in the digital age, you employ the original point and click interface - a six-shooter?

Stewart Cowan said...

Just checked The Seahorse Trust on the Charity Commission's website and it's tiny.

Their 2010 accounts show income of just £44,329, and only £20,018 in 2009.

Nearly all the income in the 2010 accounts comes from "grants" with actual donations being just £4,361.

The cost of staff (2010) was £27,481 (i.e. 62% of income).

Looks like another for the website.

It is very concerning how many people seem to be setting up these "charities" and using them for political leverage.

Mystic Fig said...

If you want to know more about THE SEAHORSE TRUST check out the SAVE STUDLAND BAY GROUP on Facebook , or BORG or STUDLAND BAY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION , these people are all united in their opposition to the Seahorse Trust and there ae some quite lively postings on these sites between the two sides.

whistleblower3 said...

£41000 was given to the Seahorse Trust in May 2009 by the Heritage Lottery Fund . The £27000 was the salary of the newly recruited Studland Seahorse Tagging Project Officer . The Director of the Trust Neil Garrick Maidment recruited himself and took the salary. It appears he charged £350 per day administration fees ,according to Heritage Lottery Fund paperwork.

andy5759 said...

I may be mistaken here; the presence of sea grasses in poole harbour are the result of a ship bearing grass seeds sinking in the harbour. In other words, the result of dirty industrial pollution. Ha ha bloody ha. Makes you want to think about a campaign to "Save Our Slag Heaps".