Letters, November 12 2021

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Ill wind as community concerns fall on deaf ears

The East Kintyre Community Council was dismayed by last week’s fawning article congratulating Amazon on its first UK Wind farm.

Whilst the community councils and residents of Kintyre support renewable energy systems, we believe that Kintyre is being literally pillaged with little thought, consultation or recompense for the communities being affected.

The Scottish Government created Best Practice Principles, which it declares will ‘help deliver lasting economic and social benefits to host communities’.

But these lofty principles are being ignored: the government neither mandates these or even make a genuine effort to encourage their use.

Rather, huge, international, profit-focussed companies are running rings around the
Scottish Government.

EKCC asks what exactly are Councillors Armour, Kelly and Colville doing about it other than standing back and applauding the demise of the communities they are supposed to represent.

These companies are not offering community shared ownership as the Scottish Government suggests and, given the lack of incentive to do so, rarely if ever will.

Rather, they will devastate our tourism industry and the quiet enjoyment of our homes, and then they will leave as quickly as possible with their profits.

Much like similarly powerful oil firms in the last century, the profits will go elsewhere and the ‘host’ communities will be exploited to the fullest extent.

Whilst you are giving these companies a round of applause, have you considered what devastation they are bringing to our communities?

Argyll and Bute’s own Landscape Capacity Study insists that no turbine should ever be higher than 150 metres, but this is about to thrown out of the window with the Narrachan application.

If this goes ahead, a precedent will be set and eventually the spine of Kintyre will be scarred with wind turbines ultimately reaching 230 metres in height, crowned with flashing red lights. The already-fragile roads will erode further and noise pollution will continue.

How much employment are they bringing to the area? So far, it appears to be almost
entirely non-local.

Worse, this transient ‘employment’ block books our hotels and B&Bs, damaging our tourism industry and threatening our economic viability.

Besides trying to halt the continuing escalation in turbine heights, EKCC is now
fighting to prevent a battery storage compound being built on the very entrance to
Carradale village.

This utterly massive, industrial eyesore is not only a further affront to tourism, it is a huge health risk to the surrounding residential area.

Any very basic risk assessment would rule this site out: frequently flooded glens, electricity and explosive lithium batteries do not go well together.

There is another, more suitable site near Crossaig but it would cost these profit-focussed developers more to build.

These latest planning applications are currently with Argyll and Bute Council and the
outcome of these decisions will impact the East Kintyre communities for generations
to come.

Yet Councillors Armour, Colville and Kelly repeatedly fail to attend EKCC
meetings and fail to even hear our concerns.

Should Planning approve these applications, then the councillors should be aware that much like when the rising water reaches these lithium batteries it will likely cause and explosive reaction and their votes will disappear.

Time to step up councillors and do your job.

East Kintyre Community Council

Food bank thanks after difficult year

At our recent AGM, Kintyre Food Bank agreed that I should thank all the people who have been so generous to us with their time, donations and money.

This has been a very difficult year for many people; the work of the food bank has been particularly important.

It could not have stayed open to meet the need without the wonderful assistance you have given.

In preparation for Christmas, we will be having a collection at Tesco on Thursday and Friday (November 18 and 19).

We are grateful to Tesco for all the help given to the food bank.

Mary Anne Stewart, chair of Kintyre Food Bank.

Town’s fuel prices are outrageous

The fuel prices in Campbeltown are outrageous.

At 147.9p a litre for petrol and 149.9p a litre for diesel, they are the dearest to be found anywhere and the excuse it costs more due to our location is unacceptable.

In September, the price of petrol started at 137.9p and has continued to rise.

I was on holiday to Inverness in September and prices for petrol were 135.9-136.9p.

I would say that these prices blow our local garage’s excuses out of the water.

As there is no competition here, they are ripping the people of Campbeltown off and they are about the dearest in the UK.

Last week, it was reported that the dearest in the UK was 142.9p per litre and yet we were being charged 145.9p.

Robert Templeton, Glenbarr.

Under-65s with Parkinson’s invited to join online event

Parkinson’s UK Scotland is encouraging people of working age with Parkinson’s in Argyll and Bute to meet with others and find out more about living well with the condition at a free online event this month.

Drop-in sessions covering a range of topics will start on November 18 and be run flexibly over two weeks.

Many of the sessions will be led by people with Parkinson’s and their partners, who developed the programme based on their experiences of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a younger age.

Parkinson’s affects people of all ages, and we know that there are around 1,800 people under 65 who’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Scotland, with around 40 of them spread across Argyll and Bute.

Now more than ever, we want younger people with Parkinson’s to know that they are not on their own, and find out more about things that can help.

Our face-to-face events are always oversubscribed, and attendees have told us that having information about Parkinson’s and things that can help with day-to-day life is invaluable.

Meeting other people facing similar challenges, concerns and opportunities can make a massive difference, and we hope this online event will be as helpful in these difficult times.

To find out more, please check out our 2021 programme: https://prksn.uk/3nyt6Y7

For further details and to request a booking form, please call 0300 123 3679 or email scotland@parkinsons.org.uk

Chloe Macmillan, area development manager for Parkinson’s UK Scotland.