Letters, July 9 2021

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Support for learning staff deserve praise

Whilst I acknowledge the concerns and frustrations some parents have about the recent league table results pertaining to Campbeltown Grammar School, it is important to recognise the stellar work of the support for learning department in the school.

The department is staffed by the most amazing, kind, caring and dedicated support assistants and teachers who make a huge difference to the lives of children with additional support needs.

Senior management staff and subject teachers are committed to ensuring children have equitable support and access to learning and display inspiring and reassuring kindness and patience.

Administration, catering and cleaning staff are invaluable and often do not get the acknowledgement they deserve.

My child is extremely fortunate to have such fantastic and invaluable support in school and I cannot thank all staff enough for the kindness and care they show.

A grateful parent, name and address supplied.

Community harm from windfarms

Community councils in Kintyre and South Knapdale have been overloaded with windfarm applications during lockdown and the pace seems to be accelerating.

Currently we have eight windfarms in operation and two under construction. These 10 sites have 167 wind turbines and a capacity of 253 megawatts between them. The maximum height of the turbines is 150 metres.

There are a further 12 windfarms in the planning process. These will have 178 turbines between them, designed to produce 898 megawatts. The maximum height of these turbines is likely to be 230 metres.

If all of these go through, we will have 22 windfarms with 345 turbines between them producing 1,151 megawatts. Of those turbines, 45 are likely to be 200 metres-plus in height.

Our community councillors are unpaid volunteers and do their community council work in their own time.

Kintyre and South Knapdale community councils have had no worthwhile offers of assistance from either the Scottish Government or Argyll and Bute Council.

We have supported a petition calling on the Scottish Government to increase the ability of communities to influence planning decisions for onshore windfarms.

At the same time, we have seen some developers being less than enthusiastic about providing community benefit grants and refusing any meaningful community shared ownership.

We are not against windfarm developments and recognise the government’s need for more renewable energy sources, but we need to prevent any development that will harm our communities and their economic well-being.

Bob Chicken, on behalf of the six Kintyre and West Knapdale community councils.

Little understanding of rural Scotland

Scotland’s rural economy will be put at risk if the Scottish Greens are given the opportunity to influence the Scottish Government.

Last week a letter was sent by a dozen organisations, including gamekeepers and moorland groups, to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warning a SNP/Green deal would tear apart rural jobs.

Essentially the Scottish Greens are an urban-based party with little interest or understanding of what makes rural Scotland tick.

It is no wonder so many rural organisations have expressed their alarm at the talks between the Greens and SNP, leading to the possibility of the Greens exerting even more influence over government policy.

We cannot afford to lose jobs and livelihoods in often fragile coastal and rural communities where there are few, if any, alternative sources of year-round employment.

Rural Scotland must not be sacrificed to the political interests of the SNP, which failed to win a majority in May, and are now left scrabbling around for the support of a fringe party like the Greens.

Donald Cameron MSP, Highlands and Islands.