Councillor slams Queen’s Midlothian representative

Councillor Peter de Vink (Ind)

Councillor Peter de Vink (Ind)

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Councillor Peter De Vink has accused Midlothian Lord Lieutenant Sir Robert Clerk of wasting more than half a million pounds of public money.

In a hard-hitting letter to the Advertiser (see page 14), the independent councillor for Midlothian East alleges that Sir Robert squandered hundreds of thousands of pounds of Scottish Government and Midlothian Council money by challenging the refusal to grant planning permission for windfarms on his land at Penicuik Estate.

Sir Robert Clerk

Sir Robert Clerk

Sir Robert declined the opportunity to comment on Councillor De Vink’s comments when contacted by the Advertiser.

In his letter Councillor De Vink accused the Queen’s representative in Midlothian of wasting public money.

He said: “He has a high profile position in society; the sort of status from which we all expect to see a significant level of civic responsibility and care for the community he is to serve. Yet on two occasions since 2010, Robert Clerk and a windfarm developer have proposed wind farms on Penicuik Estate land, contrary to the Local Development Plan’s aspirations for the county.

“As a result, he has been directly responsible for Midlothian Council and several of its citizen as well as the Scottish Government having to spend (I would say waste) more than half a million pounds.

“How much better could that money have been spent?”

Councillor De Vink also called for Sir Robert Clerk to stand down as Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian. He said: “If he wants to exploit his inherited estate to the full then he should do so from his position as an ordinary landowner, not when he wears the Queen’s uniform.

“It is not correct as his actions have cost so many a fortune.

“I submit that he should consider his position before others will raise the issue with Downing Street who so inaptly recommended his appointment and in which none of Midlothian citizen’s had any input what so ever.”