Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
WIND FARM REVOLT
Dear Ed, – As recent research shows, when compared with all other means of generating electricity, wind farms are among the least efficient and least economic; and they are not as effective at reducing carbon emissions (the only purpose of their existence) as promoters claim.
But wind farm operators don’t have to worry about efficiency or economics. The Government make us pay for the unnecessary higher costs of wind power by applying a hefty surcharge on the price of our electricity.
They then hand the proceeds in the form of a substantial subsidy to the operators; sometimes even paying them to desist from feeding power into the grid.
In these ways, magically, the fundamentally uneconomic wind farm becomes a lucrative investment. This explains the current uncontrolled demand for planning permission for new sites, the handling of which imposes considerable cost on our local authority and pressure on the planning department.
This method of funding wind power is, in effect, a regressive tax, taking money from every household, including those for whom paying their electricity bill is a constant concern, and handing it over to big business, subsidy-junky investors who build wind farms only because the Government pays them so handsomely.
For the ordinary person, there is no way of avoiding this tax and, as a result of the contractual generosity of the Government, it will continue to be imposed on us all and paid out to each operator for the 25 years each site is licensed.
To twist the knife in the wound, a large part of this subsidy is paid on by the operators as rent to those on whose land the wind farms are erected; these include the wealthiest landowners in the country.
Transferring money from the poorest to the wealthiest seems to me to make the policy more unfair and perverse than even the lamentable and much hated poll tax.
Meanwhile, the country’s energy policy and especially the Scottish Government’s inane and blinkered emphasis on wind power are totally inadequate to ensure security of supply and are almost certain to lead us into crisis.
To add insult to injury, the wind farms, for whose power you and I are paying so dearly and which nevertheless fail to satisfy their fundamental purpose, spoil our landscapes, have significant adverse effects on our countryside and wildlife and seriously affect the value of properties that lie in sight of them.
Large parts of South Lanarkshire are already what the planners call “a wind farm landscape”. A glance at the map of current and forthcoming applications shows that the whole county could be in that category.
This surcharge-and-subsidy policy is totally unacceptable to the electorate at large, cannot be allowed to go on and stopping it must be a plank in the platform of any party that wants to get our votes at all future elections.
It would be interesting to know which, if any, of our MSPs, MPs, MEPs and local councillors support or even accept this combination of circumstances. They will not deserve our votes in future. Those who agree that the policy is wrong must now say so and act towards rectifying it.
In the meantime, our local authority, South Lanarkshire Council, must stand up against the bully boy tactics of the Scottish Government, which is hell-bent on seeing Scotland completely covered in turbines. Enough is enough.
South Lanarkshire already hosts much more than its fair share of wind farms and, along with our neighbouring counties, seems to be considered as a convenient dumping ground for wind schemes – large and small.
The people of South Lanarkshire object strongly to being made to pay for further destruction of our local landscapes, countryside and environment.
One way that people can make an effective protest against these present policies will be to object vigorously against the detrimental effects of any future wind farm application in their area.
Popular revolt conquered the poll tax. Let’s see if we cannot get rid of this latest preposterously unfair imposition. – Yours etc.,
Chairman, CAN Campaign Group,
Dear Ed, – I am willing to pay a reward for the return of a memorial stone which disappeared from my daughter Kim’s grave in Lanark three weeks ago.
The inscription reads: “Night. Love you. See you in the morning”, the simple words she routinely said every bedtime as a child, before kissing us goodnight and toddling off, clutching her favourite teddy bear.
Kim died in January 2010.
I don’t care about the flowers, plants and vases which also vanished but, as anyone can imagine, that memorial holds huge emotional ties and is very, very special to my wife and me. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – I am researching the former RAF West Beckham in Norfolk and would like to talk to any former personnel who served there or their family members.
I live on part of a former World War Two/Early Cold War radar base. I have so far managed to track down 14 former World War Two WAAFs who served here and around 35 1950s airmen and a couple of officers. I have managed to put WAAFs back in touch who lost touch in 1945 and airmen back in touch who have not seen each other since 1955, in one case a gentleman and his best man. For me this is a national and international search for all former veterans and their family members.
Without your support my ability to reach veterans is greatly limited.
I am really greatful for any help you can offer me with getting the word out. You can contact me at by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. My address is Green Acres, Osier Lane, West Beckham, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6PL, or telephone 01263 824069. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – Every festive season, children across South Lanarkshire write to Santa in the hope that he’ll visit on Christmas Eve with a sackful of presents and Rudolph in tow.
Imagine their surprise if they were to receive a reply from the man himself – the perfect gift to help keep the magic of Christmas alive.
For a suggested donation of just £5 to NSPCC Scotland, a child will receive a fun, colourful and personalised Letter from Santa, with a festive story tailored to their age. You’ll be able to choose from seven different beautifully illustrated styles, making them the ideal gift for families with more than one child as each can receive a truly unique letter.
Santa can even write a special poem to celebrate Baby’s First Christmas – a keepsake to treasure for years to come.
Each letter is personalised with the child’s name, age, gender, best friend or family member’s name, favourite activity and achievements, as well as providing options to select a final ‘PS’ thought when you request your letter online. In addition, you’ll also be able to choose whether the letter is signed ‘Santa’ or ‘Father Christmas’. The letters arrive via ‘Rudolph mail’ to make the experience truly unforgettable.
Christmas is a magical time of year for most children, but sadly there are some for whom it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time. By requesting a Letter from Santa, you could bring a smile to a child’s face this Christmas and help us be there for vulnerable children in South Lanarkshire and across the UK, providing someone for them to turn to when they need advice.
You have until midnight on December 17 to place your order at www.nspcc.org.uk/santa or by calling 0845 839 9304.