Con­fu­sion over wind­farm cash

Lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion

The Galloway News - - NEWS - Stephen Nor­ris

A Ste­wartry group set up with the aim of dis­tribut­ing up to £6 mil­lion of wind­farm cash has been ac­cused of snub­bing po­ten­tial mem­bers.

At least two com­mu­nity coun­cils have not been in­formed they are en­ti­tled to join Glenkens and Dis­trict Trust (G&DT).

Gate­house and Cree Val­ley both qual­ify for mem­ber­ship be­cause they share a bound­ary with the Glenkens.

But nei­ther was aware they could be­come mem­bers un­der G& DT’s con­sti­tu­tion by nom­i­nat­ing a trustee.

Gate­house Com­mu­nity Coun­cil sec­re­tary He­len Keat­ing said she “had no idea” the town was el­i­gi­ble.

She told the News: “It’s in­cred­i­ble. How can they set it up with­out telling the ad­ja­cent com­mu­nity coun­cils that they have an op­por­tu­nity to join?

“I don’t un­der­stand why they have not got round to telling us. If there is any money go­ing we need to find out about how to get it.”

Cree Val­ley Com­mu­nity Coun­cil was also un­aware that they qual­i­fied for mem­ber­ship.

Chair­man Clif­ford Smithers told the News: “Cree Val­ley and Gate­house should be in­cluded.

“Why did they not come to us to say we could be in­volved or come to a com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ing? It is only right that they in­cor­po­rate ev­ery­body who is el­i­gi­ble.”

The is­sue could be im­por­tant be­cause Black­craig wind­farm near Bal­maclel­lan has new own­ers, Tem­po­ris Cap­i­tal.

Pre­vi­ous own­ers Blue En­ergy en­vis­aged a lo­cal panel to over­see a com­mu­nity ben­e­fit fund worth £260,000 per year un­til 2044.

It is un­clear if Tem­po­ris will fol­low suit – but G&DT mem­bers could influence that dis­cus­sion.

If the agree­ment with Blue En­ergy holds, £5,000 per week will be­gin flow­ing into a com­mu­nity ben­e­fit pot from May, 2019.

Asked which com­mu­nity coun­cils are, or are en­ti­tled to be, mem­bers, G&DT chair­man Alan Rum­ble said: “The core Glenkens com­mu­nity coun­cils are Bal­maclel­lan, Car­sphairn, Dalry, New Gal­loway & Kells and Par­ton.

“The com­mu­nity coun­cils that share a com­mon bor­der are Bal­maghie, Cross­michael and Dis­trict, Cor­sock and Kirk­patrick Durham and Glen­cairn.

“Cur­rently, Car­sphairn and Glen­cairn are not mem­bers.

“New Gal­loway did un­til re­cently have a rep­re­sen­ta­tive but that per­son re­signed from the com­mu­nity coun­cil and the trust. A new rep­re­sen­ta­tive has not yet been ap­pointed.”

Mr Rum­ble did not re­spond when asked why Cree Val­ley and Gate­house were not in­cluded.

Not con­tacted He­len Keat­ing of Gate­house Com­mu­nity Coun­cil

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