IRB asked to review Ospreys' conduct
A COUNCILLOR has reported the Ospreys to the International Rugby Board for what he claimed was inappropriate involvement in a council planning meeting — but denied it was sour grapes.
Ioan Richard alleged the Ospreys could be in conflict with an IRB byelaw regarding discrimination "against a country, private person or groups of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason".
It follows a planning meeting in which Andrew Hore, who is the Ospreys chief operations officer, spoke in favour of RWE npower renewables' Mynydd y Gwair wind farm application. Councillors went on to approve the scheme in a tight vote. The wind farm will be built in Mr Richard's Mawr ward, while RWE is the Ospreys' main sponsor.
Wind power opponent Mr Richard attended the meeting but left early having declared a prejudicial interest in the application.
Several councillors declared a personal interest when Mr Hore spoke as they were Ospreys season ticket holders or had involvement in the organisation that runs the Liberty Stadium. This did not preclude them from taking part in the debate and voting.
Mr Richard said in 27 years he had never seen a sports club representative seek support for a scheme other than for something like a new club shower block.
He said there was disgust in Mawr regarding the February 7 meeting, and has asked the IRB to determine if there had been any inappropriate conduct on behalf of the Ospreys. The IRB and the Ospreys said they had no comment to make.
Councillor Mark Child, who voted in favour of the wind farm, said he felt it was up to the supporters and opponents of a scheme to put their case forward as they saw fit, including who they chose to speak.
"I thought both presentations (opponents and supporters) were good, and I think there was generally a very good debate in the chamber," said Mr Child. "I think the process ran very well."
Planning officers had recommended the wind farm for approval — and councillors were told the authority would face a hefty bill if they refused the application and then lost a planning appeal.
The application had 1,263 letters of objection — plus two petitions — and 504 letters of support.
Mr Richard rejected a suggestion that his actions were sour grapes, maintaining that, in his view, Mr Hore's participation was "highly inappropriate".