Noord-Brabant’s new government will include two aldermen from far-right party Forum voor Democratie under the province’s new coalition deal.
Eric de Bie will take charge of a portfolio comprising energy, heritage and administrative reform, Brabants Dagblad reported. His appointment is controversial because of his party’s fierce opposition to ‘horizon polluting’ wind farms, which require planning consent at provincial level.
The national government wants to build hundreds of extra turbines around the country to meet its commitment of supplying 14% of power from renewable sources this year and 16% by the end of 2023.
Forum will also take charge of water and ground policy with the appointment of Peter Smit, formerly an alderman in the Noord-Brabant municipality of Oisterwijk.
The Christian Democrats (CDA) have nominated Elies Lemkes to take on the crucial portfolio for agriculture, food and nature, which will include new provincial measures to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution. The previous coalition collapsed in December when the CDA withdrew its support for the province’s nitrogen deal under strong pressure from pressure group Farmers Defence Force.
CDA MP Erik Ronnes will give up his seat in The Hague to become alderman for housing and public spaces. The two VVD aldermen from the previous coalition, Christophe van der Maat (finance and traffic policy) and Martijn van Gruithuijsen (economy) will retain their posts, while Wil van Pinxteren, chair of local party Lokaal Brabant, will take on the portfolio for recreation, administration and safety.
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