Bournemouth Beach Oil Drilling Begins - Simon Bull Highlights Lack of Action by Conor Burns

10 February 2019

Poole Bay Oil RigThe Bournemouth Beach oil rig is now in place and drilling has begun. Simon Bull, Green Party councillor for Winton East and Parliamentary candidate for Bournemouth West, has called out the lack of action by Bournemouth West's Conservative MP Conor Burns to try to prevent it.

Simon says: "I'm appalled at this rig being in the bay here, and I'm very concerned that our local MP Conor Burns has done nothing about this rig. After all the attacks he made on the Navitus windfarm, I'm surprised he hasn't taken more action over this. It's far more damaging across the area."

Mr Burns wrote a column in the Bournemouth Echo in 2014 opposing the proposed offshore windfarm in Navitus Bay, a scheme which Conservative politicians ultimately blocked. It would have been further from the shore than the oil rig now in place.

Interestingly, Mr Burns is paid £40,000 per year for "consultancy" by Trant Engineering Ltd, an engineering firm with oil and gas interests.

Visiting Bournemouth, the Green Party's MEP for South West England, Molly Scott Cato, said: "I came here a few years ago, and fought really hard to get a properly renewable wind farm, which would have been a fantastic opportunity for this part of the world, and instead we get this appalling oil rig. We know that we have to keep most of the fossil reserves we already know about in the ground, if we're going to have any chance of tackling climate change. This is completely the opposite of what we need to see."

Local Green Party and climate activist Chris Rigby added: "We're campaigning with SOS Save Our Shores now, to ensure that while the oil rig is here, it's going to stick within its permits, stay within the timescales, and then continue to fight against the actual extraction once the rig leaves."

[Photo credit: Mick Gisbourne]

-, accessed 30 Mar 2019, “Conor Burns - Bournemouth West” register of interests section
- Private Eye, Aug 2015
- Bournemouth Echo, 8 Aug 2015, “Conor Burns responds to article in Private Eye about Navitus Bay ‘bias’”
- South East Dorset Green Party, 15 Aug 2015, “What does MP Conor Burns do for £333 an hour?”

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