Re­think road plan

Rutherglen Reformer - - Primary Ones - Liisa Hep­worth alan­hep­worth561@bt­in­ter­

DearEdi­tor I read with in­ter­est your ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing air pol­lu­tion in Ruther­glen.

It is a fact that air pol­lu­tion in Ruther­glen ex­ceeds Gov­ern­ment lim­its and that Ruther­glen will soon be de­clared an Air Qual­ity Man­age­ment Area due to the high level of dan­ger­ous Par­tic­u­lates in the air.

In the mean­time South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have granted plan­ning per­mis­sion for the Cathkin Re­lief Road and work on this is in­tended to com­mence in the spring of 2016.

The STAG Re­port pre­pared in 2007 iden­ti­fied air pol­lu­tion as a ma­jor neg­a­tive if this pro­posed road went ahead.

The an­tic­i­pated in­crease in traf­fic as a re­sult of this road, 164 per cent as stated in the re­port, will surely only ex­ac­er­bate the air pol­lu­tion prob­lem, es­pe­cially when all that ad­di­tional traf­fic stacks up at the Mill Street/Main Street cross­roads.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil should se­ri­ously re­think their plans and aban­don this un­wanted, un­nec­es­sary and ex­pen­sive road pro­ject. Alan McLen­nan Dip Arch ( Glas­gow), RIBA, FRIAS, FASI, FCIOB, MCIArb, MAPS, MAPM. Beech Av­enue,

Tur­bine plan op­po­si­tion Af­ter read­ing on Face­book at the end of Septem­ber un­der the ti­tle ‘Fur­ther ac­tion taken to pre­vent energy bills ris­ing’ I was glad to hear that the gov­ern­ment is tack­ling this se­ri­ous mat­ter and, fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion, re­mov­ing FiTs pre-ac­cred­i­ta­tion for wind tur­bines.

A FiT (feed in tar­iff) is the last of the sub­si­dies be­ing re­viewed by the gov­ern­ment which up un­til Oc­to­ber 1 could be guar­an­teed at the cur­rent high sub­sidy re­turn on any wind tur­bine ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted for preac­cred­i­ta­tion.

The sub­si­dies and tar­iffs our gov­ern­ment pays out to wind de­vel­op­ers comes from our elec­tric­ity bills and of course hit the poor­est the hard­est. A to­tal of £1.8 bil­lion has been paid out to wind power op­er­a­tors since May 2007 in the form of a sub­sidy.

In­tro­duced by the UK Labour Gov­ern­ment to en­cour­age in­vest­ment in re­new­ables, this sub­sidy is re­couped via a sup­ple­ment added di­rectly to all do­mes­tic and com­mer­cial elec­tric­ity bills. Ac­cord­ing to the Re­new­able Energy Foun­da­tion last year the levy adds al­most £69 to the av­er­age house­hold’s cost of liv­ing, with £33 of that in elec­tric­ity charges alone. Re­cent fig­ures from this year in­di­cate that the fig­ure added to our bills is a lot higher be­cause of the huge amount of wind tur­bines in Scot­land. Ad­di­tion­ally, as our na­tional grid sys­tem can­not cope with power ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively, it’s the gov­ern­ment that pays out again to switch the wind tur­bines off. The Na­tional Grid has paid out al­most £80 mil­lion to wind farm op­er­a­tors in Scot­land since 2010 to shut down their tur­bines and keep them idle. More lo­cally £12m was paid out last year to switch the nearby Ea­gle­sham tur­bines off. This is all paid for by the public through our power bills.

Re­cently, af­ter look­ing closer at a gov­ern­ment con­sul­ta­tion site, I was ini­tially sur­prised to see that our lo­cal char­ity Healthy ‘n’ Happy in Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen was up there with the list of pri­vate de­vel­op­ers who had all in­di­vid­u­ally writ­ten in with very de­tailed and unique re­sponses urg­ing the gov­ern­ment to con­tinue to keep the very high sub­si­dies in place for their own plans to make money.

These de­vel­op­ers don’t give a toss about those suf­fer­ing from fuel poverty, they just want to earn as much money as pos­si­ble from their wind tur­bines. It strikes me that Health ‘n’ Happy’s pro­posal to build a large 76m in­dus­trial wind tur­bine in Cam­bus­lang is lu­di­crous.

They are well and truly caught up in the great spin and wind rip off by hit­ting those in fuel poverty and mak­ing their cir­cum­stances worse. Their pro­posal plain and sim­ply is an abuse of public money never mind char­i­ta­ble money.

Last week I was amazed to read on Healthy ‘n’ Happy’s Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust Face­book page that they launched a new, free ad­vice ser­vice for Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen res­i­dents to help with fuel poverty. How can they of­fer such a ser­vice and at the same time con­tinue to make plans to put up a large 76m in­dus­trial wind tur­bine in Cam­bus­lang that di­rectly con­trib­utes to the fuel poverty many of the com­mu­nity are in?

From any char­ity the pro­mo­tion of a ser­vice to sup­port com­mu­ni­ties who are suf­fer­ing from fuel poverty is a com­pletely com­mend­able and a worth­while ven­ture. From Healthy ‘n’ Happy de­vel­op­ment trusts po­si­tion the pro­mo­tion of this ser­vice to the com­mu­nity is com­plete hypocrisy. I no­tice now that af­ter a few com­ments from mem­bers of the public in let ela­tion to their hyp­o­crit­i­cal ac­tions, Healthy n Happy have quickly deleted their whole pro­mo­tion cam­paign page on Face­book as seen be­low.

I recog­nise that we need a mixed power pol­icy and think it makes sense that this gov­ern­ment is tak­ing the sen­si­ble ac­tion in re­duc­ing these over in­flated tar­iffs to help ad­dress the huge amount of fuel poverty suf­fered in our com­mu­nity and across the na­tion. Build­ing wind tur­bines will not solve cli­mate change and the sooner peo­ple wake up and ac­cept this fact the bet­ter. It’s in­ef­fi­cient, in­ter­mit­tent and can­not be re­lied on as the main source of power gen­er­a­tion. This gov­ern­ment needs to look at other ways of tack­ling cli­mate change and stop build­ing so many use­less wind power sta­tions all over our beau­ti­ful ru­ral coun­try­side be­fore it’s too late.

Healthy ‘n’ Happy? Well the sooner you with­draw your plans to put up a large un­wanted 76m in­dus­trial wind­tur­bine and re­move your hypocrisy the bet­ter.

From a char­ity who claim they op­er­ate with com­plete in­tegrity and have the hap­pi­ness and well­be­ing of ev­ery­one in Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen at heart act now to help stop fuel poverty by ditch­ing your plans for an in­dus­trial wind tur­bine.

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