Readers’ letters

Crosstalk 33 11
Crosstalk 33 11

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

Beggars belief

Dear Ed, – The news that Scottish and Southern Energy has come forward with plans to hugely expand the Clyde Wind Farm by 57 turbines, in a move that will further scar the beautiful south of Scotland landscape, should come as little surprise in view of the Scottish Government’s laissez-faire approach to planning.

Why has Scotland not been zoned for renewable energy projects in the same way as Germany?

The whole of Germany, both onshore and offshore, has been carefully marked out to show where wind farms can be built and where they can never be considered.

Areas of great scenic beauty and historical monuments in Germany are no-go areas.

In Scotland, similar, common-sense impediments simply don’t exist to protect our cherished natural and cultural assets.

SNP ministers usually put great stock in highlighting the enlightened policies of Scotland’s continental neighbours.

But in this case it is determined to ignore common sense from global leaders in clean energy, allowing Scotland’s renewables policy to descend into an absolute free-for-all.

As horrified people across the south of Scotland are belatedly discovering, greedy power companies and avaricious landowners can submit speculative planning applications for anywhere they choose, causing anxiety and consternation to thousands of Scots who value Scotland’s beautiful countryside and heritage.

The irresponsibility of the Scottish government in setting unachievable targets for renewable energy, throwing vast subsidies at companies and wealthy landowners and trashing Scotland’s landscape, without any comprehensive zoning policy, beggars belief.

And with recent figures from the UK Government’s Committee on Climate Change showing that CO2 emissions actually rose by 9 per cent in Scotland in 2010, compared to a rise of only 2 per cent in England, it’s not achieving anything other than forcing up our energy bills and wrecking rural tourism. What a farce. – Yours etc.,

STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP

Conservative Euro MP for Scotland,

Brussels.

Longer lorries?

Dear Ed, – I read the headline “Stopping the lorries” in the Lanark Gazette on October 13.

Clearly, lorries are essential but the fact is there have been two sad fatalities in Lanark in recent years, basically caused by lorries that are too big for their drivers to manage safely in the public street.

Unbelievably the government has just announced a change in the rules to allow even longer trailers for articulated lorries. A long term trial is to take place, on the public street, of trailers over two metres longer than at present with a view to allowing all articulated lorries to be longer.

The research has been poor. It is calculated that millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and several lives will be saved every year. That is, until we read that the downside has not been calculated.

They assume that, as it is only a small increase of just over two metres, pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers will not notice the difference!

For the same reason they have decided that no improvements will be needed to road layouts! They seem to have forgotten that there have been several “small” increases in lorry size, length, width and weight over the years, all on the basis that a “small” increase will make no difference.

There is absolutely no need for longer lorries. Environment and safety campaigners have, as usual, been ignored by the government. – Yours etc.

RALPH BARKER,

Carlisle Road,

Crawford.

Amazing support

Dear Ed, – We would like to thank everyone who has helped us with our Amazing Africa Interdisciplinary Study.

Our Nursery and Primary classes have all learned lots of different things and their learning has been enriched.

Thanks to our Nursery parents for bringing in various interesting items associated with Africa eg. Mrs Gillan had lots to share about Malawi. Thanks also to Artsnet Big Drum and Zoologica for their particular and unique contributions.

To Harry Jamieson and Heather Graham, thank you for giving of your time and sharing experiences. Special visitors Paula Fummey and Tunde Oke from Ghana added true life knowledge and understanding to our P4s learning.

We also look forward to meeting Nathaniel Chalamanda, originally from Malawi now working with the Network of International Development, and P3s visit to the National Museum Scotland in Edinburgh for African dance sessions.

We were also involved in some fundraising early on and thanks to the Gazette for featuring us.

Rm 6 continues to raise funds aimed at buying some livestock or water purification for an African village.

Finally a huge thank you to our staff, parents and children who have produced some fantastic home and school projects.

Everyone has been involved, everyone has learned lots and shared their learning with each other. Everyone deserves a big thank you. – Yours etc.,

MARION GIRDWOOD,

Acting Head Teacher,

Crawforddyke Primary,

Carluke.

Dairies closure

Dear Ed, – An explanation and an apology through your paper from Quothquan Dairies would be appreciated as to why it let down all its loyal customers by suddenly stopping!

The firm canvassed well before it started for our custom so surely it would have been courtesy to advise us that it was going to stop! – Yours etc.,

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED.

Rally in Edinburgh

Dear Ed, – This Saturday, October 22, hundreds of disabled Scots and their friends, families and supporters will rally in Edinburgh to protest against the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill.

Many fear this Bill will decimate their living conditions and erode the principle that those with disabilities should be able to live with dignity, as independently as possible.

Almost £1 billion in Scotland could be cut from their incomes over the next four years.

Those attending the rally aren’t complacent. We must tackle the public debt. And yes the current welfare system needs to be comprehensively overhauled. But too many measures proposed in this Bill remove benefits from the vulnerable, to save money.

We are all going to have to tighten our belts. But disabled people are not prepared to bear a disproportionate burden.

They will not be confined to home, pronounced fit for jobs they can’t cope with, or pushed back to a twilight existence at the margins of society. On Saturday, their voice will be heard. – Yours etc.,

LORD COLIN LOW,

President,

European Blind Union.