RWE NPower came to Radley last week to try and explain that filling the last two remaining lakes was a good thing to do. Here is our report from our on the spot correspondent. A. W. Vole.

Well, they (RWE NPower) came, arrived late - they obviously thought not many people would turn up. Several people came and left when they found the doors locked. Over 100 signatures were collected for a petition which the Save Radley Lakes Action Group had arranged to be outside the Village Hall, waiting to lobby for support and they were not disappointed.

A surprise visit by the Radley Lakes Water Vole caused NPower some consternation and the Water Vole was invited inside to see what NPower were proposing would happen to Vole's home.

Vole was horrified and pleaded with the Corporate Giant to be left in peace, but they were having none of it. They said the lights would go out if Radley didn't take more of the fuel ash being produced by Didcot Power station.

Eric Hobson was quizzed about what would have happened if they had not purchased Lake E from a family who mysteriously offered their lake for sale just when NPower needed some extra ash disposal voids. Eric admitted that three years ago they asked to purchase the lake, but the offer was refused. Then out of the blue, a year or so ago, the occupants contacted NPower and agreed to sell. Smells fishy to me!

Feeling secure in the knowledge that Oxford County Council would grant them planning permission, because they had sailed through the process in 2001, they paid an enormous amount of money to purchase Lake E, or should it be Lake £.

However they reckoned without the weight of public opinion which has been stirred by Save Radley Lakes, who wish to protect the two remaining lakes and see them handed over to the people as a wildlife reserve with access for everyone to enjoy the countryside and observe the wildlife which the site contains.

There were numerous angry people queueing up to take on the Corporate Giant. The people of Radley had decided enough was enough. The smooth talking PR man was at a loss because he did not have the answers. Eric Hobson was beseiged by people demanding Didcot find an alternative to landfill. Reinforcements arrived in the form of the Top Man, the Station Manager, John Rainford who decided he could show his subordinates how to handle a few unruly members of the public. He got given short shrift as well.

The Water Vole returned with a Solicitor's Letter, deciding that as appeals to better nature were futile, perhaps the LegalBeagle would stand a better chance of stopping the Corporate Giant in its tracks.

The Water Vole had had a whipround, sold a few shares in NPower and put the money into the LegalBeagle's Bank to pay to protect the Water Vole's habitat, and a few other creatures who weren't quite so well off.

The LegalBeagle's letter laid down the Law to the Corporate Giant just in case they had forgotten, as the Water Vole had encountered very busy Contractors who were cutting back trees and making great disturbance in an area which many protected species were living; all in contravention of the various rules of Her Majesty's Government. The creatures had been displaced by the Corporate Giant's previous ashfill operations and now had nowhere to go.

Just in case the County Council might have forgotten some of the laws as well, the Water Vole got the LegalBeagle to write to them too, reminding them of their responsibilities.

Vole wants to thank the Parish Council for helping to organise a visit by the Corporate Giant and was gratified to find so much support in the village and from residents in Abingdon to Save the Lakes.

Vole and his friends want NPower to revert to Plan B. They did have one before they spent all that money buying Lake £. They admitted they did have a Plan B, but are now trying to tell villagers, like they did in 1982, that the lights would go out if they don't get their way.

The two remaining lakes are such small lakes in comparison with what they have dumped already. Radley has nearly 4 million tonnes of fuel ash on its doorstep. Why are they persisting with this practice? And what are they going to do after two years if they got their way to fill the lakes? Will the lights go out then? And where will Water Vole and his friends go?

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