Letters, November 19 2021

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Kintyre communities seek positive partners

I write with regard to your front page news in the Campbeltown Courier dated November 5.

While the completion of the Beinn an Tuirc 3 windfarm and its contribution to providing clean energy is to be welcomed, the lack of provision for the local communities by Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) and Amazon is not.

The Scottish Government’s 2019 document Good Practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments states: ‘Shared ownership can help promote stronger relationships between local communities and the renewables sector, and deliver lasting economic and social benefits to communities across Scotland.

‘It continues to be our view that successful renewable energy projects will be those, which treat communities as active and positive partners, and we expect to see engagement for all scales of development above microgeneration.’

Unfortunately Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) has failed to deliver Shared
Ownership to the Kintyre communities.

For the last two years, East Kintyre Renewable Energy Group (EKREG) has been negotiating tirelessly with SPR on behalf of Campbeltown, East and West Kintyre Community Councils, only to be given an offer which, if taken up, would make little commercial sense.

The independent financial consultants QMPF stated that ‘the offer being made by SPR does not meet the definition of shared ownership per the Scottish Government definition’.

As a consequence, now that the construction phase at Beinn an Tuirc 3 is completed, little of the profits from this windfarm will benefit Kintyre.

The Scottish Government wants to secure an additional 8-12 GW of installed onshore wind capacity by 2030. It is seeking views on how to secure maximum economic benefit from these developments.

It would be helpful if Kintyre residents made their views known, responding to the consultation and requesting that the Scottish Government:

(a) make community benefit funding and community shared ownership
mandatory

(b) respect landscape capacity requirements that restrict turbine size and
placement in order to balance the desire for wind power against the loss of
landscape and subsequent loss of tourism

(c) make a tourism impact study a mandatory part of the environment impact
assessment.

Valerie Nimmo, Campbeltown Community Council

No road should be left behind

I have been hearing from many of my constituents across the Kintyre and the Islands ward about the need for long term road repairs on many of Argyll and Bute Council’s roads.

There is no doubt that recent investment is a huge step in the correct direction and full resurfacing is preferable to a patchwork quilt of odd repairs of our older roads.

We all know that just about every road gets potholes at some point. Whether it’s from age, bad weather, or the road was paved poorly to begin with, potholes show up.

As with most things in life, they can be fixed the right way (and become lasting improvements on the road) or the wrong way, meaning they quickly open up again.

Repairing potholes quickly and correctly is important because it prevents further degradation of the road.

It seems easy enough to just fill in the open hole in the road or carpark with new tarmac, but this actually is just a temporary stop-gap. The pothole will almost certainly reappear, and the area between the old tarmac and new tarmac will become the weakest part of the road.

Our hardworking and at times thinly-stretched front line road men do a terrific job but they like all departments are limited by what funding they receive, as is the wider council.

As your local councillor I will continue to build on past success in lobbying for more infrastructure investment and will do my upmost to make sure that no road is left behind.

While I can’t guarantee success, I can guarantee that I will be relentless in my pursuit of a better deal for our local ward and the wider Argyll and Bute constituency.

Councillor Alastair Redman – Kintyre and the Islands ward

Remember all our armed forces family

As we pause to remember the fallen on Remembrance Day our thoughts naturally turn to the veterans of the Second World War, rightly so.

This stoic and humble generation made the ultimate sacrifice and have been an inspiration for the countless servicemen and women who have followed after them.

We must also remember those who answered their country’s call to serve more recently in campaigns in the Middle East, and Europe.

Events in Afghanistan this year reminded us all, not least those who had served there and their families, that for those who do their duty, duty does not end when they arrive home.

For many, the physical and mental impact of their service remains with them for the rest of their lives.

Our mission at the fund is to find all those who did their duty, however long ago, and ensure they know we are here for them, as long as they need us.

In celebration of their service, we are calling on members of the public to share their loved ones’ stories as part of our Month to Remember. Go to lovedonesmissed.memorypage.org/dedication to pay tribute to your family members.

Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Controller RAF Benevolent Fund