By Cheryl Peebles
A Fife councillor who founded an anti-wind farm lobby group is under
investigation by the standards commissioner.
Councillor Linda Holt was accused of breaching the councillors’ code of
conduct by failing to register her involvement with Scotland Against Spin.
She was also alleged to have failed to declare it as an interest when
taking part in determination of a planning application for a wind turbine.
Ms Holt denied she had breached the code which sets out the standards for
behaviour by elected members in Scottish local authorities.
The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland confirmed
a complaint had been received but said no further details could be given.
Ms Holt helped set up Scotland Against Spin in 2012 and has actively
campaigned against the creation of windfarms, including that proposed by St
Andrews University at Kenly.
She said she had resigned from the group in October 2016, seven months
before she was elected as Conservative councillor for East Neuk and
Landward in May 2017, but remains listed as an administrator on its
The code of conduct states councillors should register interests, both
financial and non-financial, including those in the 12 months leading up to
their term of office.
However, the Fife-based organisation is not listed in Ms Holt’s entries in
Fife Council’s register of interests in either June last year or May this year.
At the council’s north east planning committee meeting on May 30 she moved
for refusal of a planning application for a turbine at Lochmalony Farm,
near Rathillet, which was approved by the committee.
She is not recorded in the minutes of the meeting as having declared an
Ms Holt said: “I deny that I have breached the councillors’ code of conduct.
“I formally and publicly resigned from Scotland Against Spin in October
2016, well before I was even selected as a council candidate and had wound
down my voluntary activities as an anti-wind farm campaigner some time
“It’s no surprise that my anti-wind campaigning made me a lot of enemies.”
She also said she was listed as a ‘sleeping’ administrator on Facebook as
she was the original owner of the page and her removal could result in the
group losing control of it.