News - March 12, 2015

The province close to home (2)

Yvonne de Hilster

What does the Provincial Council do mean to you? A remote body full of people mainly concerned with lining their own pockets through dubious expense claims, or a democratic organ which has an impact on your area?
Resource asked four Gelderland candidates who work or study at Wageningen UR why they are standing for election, what they will do on the council and what they hope to achieve. Today: Bastiaan Meerburg

Bastiaan Meerburg, Pest animal expert an head of the department of Livestock and Environment at Livestock Research

VVD, 8th place, lives in Randwijk


I gave up my local council position four years ago when I was elected to the Provincial Council. Double membership is not allowed in the VVD and I opted for spatial planning issues over the proverbial loose paving stone. I would like another term. We as the VVD have taken big steps towards promoting economic growth in Gelderland, and I would like to continue on that course. And people with relevant knowledge are important to the party.

Recently I have been spokesperson on agriculture and nature. In view of my Wageningen background I was the logical candidate for that in the party. I was also vice party chair.

I will do my best to keep the provincial council’s focus on mobility and accessibility, which are important for the goals of Food Valley and the economic development of the province. On my website ( you can see what I have achieved in the last few years. I am keen to show that you can mean something concrete to people, and I hope that will be good for the image of politics.

For Wageningen?
In 2012 I got an amendment through that meant the Liberation Day parade still gets a Gelderland subsidy. I got the accessibility of the Wageningen campus onto the provincial agenda and I opposed the wind turbines on the Rhine. But I am not on the council just for Wageningen; I also paid attention to the limitations on business in Natura 2000 areas, to fairer compensation for goose damage, and to issues such as the Biljoen estate, which got a subsidy and is now paying it back.

Photo: Guy Ackermans