Readers’ letters

Crosstalk 27 11
Crosstalk 27 11

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.

Councillors’ call

Dear Ed, – It seems that, since he was elected to greater things, my good friend and former colleague, Michael McCann MP, has forgotten much of his impressive knowledge of the planning system that he used to exhibit regularly when he served on the Planning Committee (Views from Parliament, last week.)

The saga of Dovesale is a sorry mess but the facts are quite simple.

As he knows only too well, it was clear from the outset that due to the scale of the proposals the decision was for South Lanarkshire’s Planning Committee alone to make.

In my opinion this should have been a straightforward decision, in that the proposal was not only against policy it was also in breach of the guidelines for locating such plants - specifically in not minimising the distance over which waste would be transported and having no real end user for the heat/power generated.

Sadly a majority of the Planning Committee did not agree with my opinion.

If he is going to be honest Michael should direct his displeasure to the majority (mostly members of his own party) rather than trying to post the blame elsewhere. – Yours etc.,

COUNCILLOR IAN GRAY,

Ward One

Clydesdale West.

Not just noise

Dear Ed, – I read with interest the letter from Shona MacKenzie in your issue August 18. In this letter she wrongly states that the grounds for objection for windfarms in and around the Clydesdale area are mainly on the grounds of noise pollution.

As one of the aforesaid objectors I feel that it is appropriate that I should offer comment on this subject.

I have been up close and personal with giant wind turbines and certainly do not relish the prospect of living beside one.

Although noise is most certainly an issue, it is only one of many grounds that people cite when objecting against turbines.

Other grounds include the hazzards that they pose to Wildlife, Amenity, Proximity to Villages, Existing Infrastructure and Environmental Impact, to name but a few.

The most concerning in my particular case, just happens to be the impact on my environment.

Ms MacKenzie has also stated that those who object are “NIMBYS”. Well, if caring about my environment, my family and my village makes me a NIMBY, it is a tag I will wear with pride. I consider Clydesdale as my “back yard”, as do many others.

Ms MacKenzie did state in her letter that she “wondered” where people objecting on the grounds of noise are “getting their information from “.

Dr Geoff Leventhall, an honorary fellow of the UK’s Institute of Acoustics and one of the authors of a recent study, said noise from wind turbines can disturb people in the same way as any other noise pollution.

He stated “The conclusions of our report were that the main effects of wind turbines noise is similar to the effect of any other noise and will disturb people if they are listening to a noise they do not want to hear. One of the main effects is sleep disturbance which can lead to other stress-related effects.”

Ms MacKenzie may also wish to enlighten herself regarding the case of Mrs Jane Davis who is currently at the High Court in relation to noise pollution from turbines.

Although I am sure that Ms MacKenzie’s letter was well meant, I have no intention of “embracing” a wind turbine.

I do agree with one of the points she made though....turbines are undoubtedly a “Pig’s Ear”, and judging, by the size of the ones that they want to build near my village, she may wish to suggest a parachute factory to supply the materials for the “Silk Purse”? – Yours etc.,

PAM FLEMING,

Cartland.

24-hr roadwork

Dear Ed, – I have now suffered enough: Roadwork everywhere, traffic lights, temporary barriers, heavy machinery, mud on roads, diversions and, to add insult to injury to the car driver, no work is done during darkness. Will it never end?

When is our council going to wake up. Every traffic disturbance contract should be let with this specific clause:

“All work should be planned to be done with twenty four hour working”.

Not only will this cut down on disruption, shorter time on site cuts down on contract costs.

OK it may put a few extra pounds in the labour and plant hire pocket but, when all other charges are taken into account, overall it works out cheaper.

If the council roads department would only look at the working systems that the railways have for rostering staff and fixed annual contract hire charges for plant, the costs will come down.

Just before someone throws the argument that the good people of South Lanarkshire will not put up with noisy work next to their houses during the night, how many of the current crop of roadworks are next to houses, apart from the fact that it is a legal requirement to use silenced equipment in such places.

The benefits to the travelling public and the council taxpayer are enormous. – Yours etc,

PHILIP CAVE,

Whiteshaw Drive

Carluke.

Life-changing

Dear Ed, – Many of your readers will know that sometimes it can be hard to explain how much something means to you. Adopted people can often feel this way. Adoption changes lives.

However, unless you have been through it, like I have, it can be difficult to understand its impact. When explaining to others, sometimes words just aren’t enough.

That’s why I have teamed up with the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) to launch the UK’s first ever adoption film competition.

The competition is open to anyone with an adoption connection in local communities across the UK. It is your chance to tell the world how adoption has changed your life.

For more information visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk – Yours etc.,

NICKY CAMPBELL,

BBC presenter and BAAF patron,

c/o (BAAF) Kirby Street,

London.

Repellent CDs

Dear Ed, – The ever increasing numbers of buzzards is not good news for coutryside dwellers. They prey on hens, domestic cats, hares and anything else they can put their ferocious claws on.

The solution is to dangle CDs on the end of tall bamboo canes - they flash in the light and it unnerves buzzards and pigeons. It works a treat. – Yours etc.,

SUZANNAH RIDDELL,

Lawhead Croft,

West Calder.

Genuinely ill

Dear Ed, – Readers with ME will be pleased that the Medical Research Council (MRC) has announced £1.5 million funding for research into the causes of ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).

The amount is small in research terms but significant in its aims.

Perhaps, when the cause of this disabling illness is identified, the Department for Work and Pensions will stop their outrageous assumptions that people with this and other long term fluctuating illnesses are either ‘trying it on’ or will be fit enough to work in the near future.

Not everyone claiming benefits is a fraudster. Some genuinely need help. – Yours etc.,

SIR PETER SPENCER,

Chief Executive,

Action for ME.