Letters to the editor – 31.5.19

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Airigh Wind Farm benefits

Sir,

Councillors’ and council officers’ opposition to the Airigh Wind Farm proposal is disappointing.

It is tenuous to say that a ‘jumbled’ appearance of the turbines from the seaward south west approaches is a valid point for rejection.

The preservation of panoramic quality does not provide for the social economic benefit to the rural community.

Managing and improving the community-owned assets with today’s dearth of public funds and grants is challenging.

Ardrishaig Community Trust is funding the renovation of our public hall solely with funds saved from a modest investment in the Allt Dearg Wind Farm.

Should the proposed scheme have gone ahead there would have been an opportunity to invest in the enterprise, thus providing a significant value revenue stream. That revenue would have contributed towards the management and improvement of assets and development of services within the Ardrishaig area for years ahead and for the benefit of current and future generations.

Edward Laughton, director, Ardrishaig Community Trust

Well done council

Sir,

We often hear Argyll and Bute Council being slated.

But this time they deserve all the praise they can get for cleaning and re-pointing Lochgilphead War Memorial. All it took was a request and the work was done in time for the Lochgilphead Armed Forces Day on June 15.
Well done lads and lassies. We salute you.

Geordie Rhodick, chairman, LAFD

Euro election results

Sir

For the past two years, since he was elected to Argyll and Bute Council by the skin of his teeth, Councillor Alastair Redman has bombarded local newspapers with a constant stream of drivel attacking the Scottish Government.

In his latest diatribe, he alleges that ‘the SNP has completely misjudged the mood of voters up and down the country’.

I know it will be extremely painful for him, but if he can bring himself to review last week’s European Election results in Scotland, he’ll see the complete fallacy of this statement, and if he wants to look even closer to home, he’ll see that the SNP polled 11,360 votes in Argyll and Bute – 7,375 votes ahead of the Tories who came a distant fourth.

Hardly a sign of his mythical assertion that Ruth Davidson is poised to be the next First Minister of Scotland.

Robert Macintyre, Serpentine Road, Rothesay

A letter to Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands from Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute

Dear Paul

I write on behalf of constituents in Tarbert regarding the application for the Inveraray to Crossaig 275kV overhead line, which is with the [Scottish Government] Energy Consents Unit.

A very large number of constituents have contacted me regarding this matter and almost 200 have signed a petition.

They believe the proposal will have a major deleterious effect on the village and will be a huge and ugly blot on the landscape which, given the very attractive and scenic nature of the area, will be a big disincentive to tourism and will spoil the enjoyment of the area for residents as well.

I have met with SSE to discuss this issue and have made it clear to them that the community wishes the company to come forward with alternative proposals, which must include undergrounding the cable if no route can be found which does not spoil the visual amenity of the village.

I know that the new line is needed for entirely understandable and positive reasons, and I have had only a few complaints from other parts of the area which will be affected.

The opposition in Tarbert is virtually unanimous and there is also concern being expressed from those who know and value the area but do not live there.

I hope that any consideration of consent will ensure that this issue is dealt with in accordance with the views of local people and I would be grateful to hear from you what the timescale is for that decision .

Michael Russell

Farm unions invite MEPs

Sir,

Newly-elected UK MEPs will take their seats in the European Parliament in July and it is crucial they recognise their significant role in shaping the policies that impact on farming businesses. This new parliament will be pivotal in determining the nature of our future regulatory environment and we are keen and ready to meet with them.

Our industry faces a number of challenges over the coming years, not just in relation to Brexit but on issues such as climate change, environmental policy, plant protection and animal health and welfare. There will also be opportunities for farming and we must ensure that we make the most of these opportunities to build a forward-looking, progressive and resilient sector that benefits farmers and consumers throughout the UK.

We would like to invite all UK MEPs on to farms in their local areas to discuss a range of priority issues and to answer any questions that they might have. We are also inviting them to meet with us in person in Brussels and with our permanent staff in our Brussels office, the British Agriculture Bureau.

Andrew McCornick (NFU Scotland) Minette Batters (NFU) John Davies (NFU Cymru) and Ivor Ferguson (UFU)