Independent anti–wind farm campaigners and Thursday’s elections
Credit: Lyndsey Ward ~~
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I am writing regarding the Radio Scotland ‘Call Kaye’ programme yesterday. Alex Salmond was taking questions and I was fortunate enough to get on regarding my concern about wind farms. Please scroll on for approx 33 mins and listen
I was unable to make the point that I am, as are many other wind farm campaigners, NOT aligned to Donald Trump. Thousands of people have been campaigning against wind farms for many many years. No one is jumping on Trump’s bandwagon. He has jumped on ours.
I was also not able to speak again after Salmond spoke about Dundee and jobs (listen to end of part of programme I was involved in), despite being asked to stay on the line and Salmond saying I would be able to respond. I can only wonder if the programme directors had decided enough time had been spent on the wind farm subject or whether a clearly rattled First Minister declined to engage with me further and preferred to have the last word on the subject.
I would like to draw your attention to the following points.
- Alex Salmond (AS) stated he had been elected with 70% of the vote in AberdeenSHIRE – as he made great pains to emphasis. I wonder how he would feel if he knew that his constituency is often referred to as AberDOOMshire by those fighting wind farms. Perhaps he is aiming to make his constituency the showcase of just how many turbines can be fitted into one area with over 400 applications last year. I wonder what his constituents would say about that.
- AS said he thought 70% of application decisions made by councils were upheld by the government. I am unsure of those statistics and would be interested how he came by them. I would like to draw attention to the recent government approval of the enormous wind farm on Shetland – despite the huge majority of people objecting.
- AS rubbished the The Scotman’s poll which gave a large majority to those NOT wanting windfarms. He strongly implied that the poll could be subjected to multiple phone calls from individuals to skew the results. I understand this was an ONLINE poll not a telephone one.
- AS was happy to endorse polls from the renewable industry. I understand work is being done analysing the YouGov poll. I have been informed so far that it was commissioned by Scottish Renewables but over 90% of respondents did not live in Scotland where the targets for renewables are five times those of England and Wales. Only 81 people in Scotland were polled out of the 1009.
- AS seemed keen to bring Donald Trump (DT) up on a regular basis. It would appear that he would like to link all anti wind farm campaigns to DT. That is NOT true – see my comment at the start of this email. What is obvious is that it takes a celebrity to get this government and AS interested enough to respond. Concerned voters have struggled to engage with MSPs about this matter for a very long time and how their lives are affected, but have often been dismissed. AS prefers a public spat with a celebrity to reasoned debate with the electorate.
- AS quoted jobs in Dundee. The Scottish Government have a regular habit of quoting large numbers of jobs created without ever giving an independent, genuine breakdown of said jobs. Consultancy Verso Economics stated that for every 1 job created in the renewable industry 3.7 were lost in other sectors. When you consider industry picks up the remainder of the cost of the subsidies that domestic energy users don’t pay that is understandable. In addition, regarding Dundee, AS said he thought people were now happy with the turbines that had been built. I would challenge that as I know communities stop complaining and campaigning once wind farms are built – they see no point anymore. That does NOT mean that they are happy with them.
- AS did not acknowledge rural people suffering from industrial wind farm development.
- AS did not respond to the plight of some having a 500ft turbine less than 1 km from their front door.
- AS did not comment on having a wind farm on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh
- AS did say he agreed with my comments regarding unfairness of planning. This can only refer to the 28 days that residents have to respond that I mentioned – whereas developers have years to prepare and consultees have four months. I would like AS to be pressed on this and ask him to commit to changing the system so that the residents are given four months to examine the Environmental Statement that is submitted by developers at planning as they are highly technical and can be in excess of 2000 pages long. It is not unusual for inaccuracies to be found in the ES and picked up by residents – they need the extra time.
Had I had the opportunity I would have asked AS why it is acceptable for SSE to consider doubling;ling the size of Fairburn wind farm when it is between 18 – 20% efficient. If anyone worked for a fifth of their day they would be sacked and no bank would lend to a business that was incapable of functioning at a profit.
I am at loss (as are many others) where to cast my vote on Thursday and this is being discussed widely on social networking sites.
I had an online exchange with Willie Rennie – leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats – regarding wind power. He did not answer my serious questions and sent me a link to the Renewable UK site instead. If the leader of a party responds to reasonable questions in this way I am unable to vote for a SLD councillor.
The Labour Party have offered no hope that they will press for change regarding wind farm development either. The Conservatives have been a bit more vocal regarding calling for a moratorium on wind farm development at their recent party conference. Independents do not have to go with party policy – but some of those are pro wind so the voter has to be careful.
The Green Party is as blinkered and committed to covering Scotland with turbines as the SNP. After leader, Patrick Harvie’s shameful and childish behaviour at Holyrood last week when DT attended the Inquiry a vote for his party is impossible.
I am an independent anti wind farm campaigner. I began campaigning when a local friend and neighbour mentioned to residents she was intending to build a wind farm on her land. I decided to research the subject and that has lead me to be a national campaigner.To date this wind farm has not proceeded. I am against industrial development across the UK and particularly in Scotland as I live here and can witness the devastation first hand. I am against the pollution construction causes, damage to the environment and wildlife, the adverse affect on people’s lives, the cost to us all through our energy bills (domestic and industry), the inefficiency, the unreliability, the lies and the scam. I would like to see a moratorium on wind farm development and the facts to be examined by independent experts. I believe once this is done wind farm development will cease in the UK and our precious, irreplaceable landscapes will be saved and people in rural communities can again live in peace without being targeted by predatory wind farm developers desperate for the excessive subsidies on offer – but we need to do it now before it is too late.
Below are some of the quotes I have received in response to the programme.
“Campaigners across Scotland cheered as Lyndsey told the First Minister on national radio how angry people are about having these damaging industrial turbines imposed on their communities. It’s a shame Mr Salmond is so obsessed by Donald Trump, but of course it’s easier to talk about Trump than the ordinary people whose lives are being blighted by the wind rush. I really hope Mr Salmond was listening to Lyndsey because she was speaking for thousands of people across Scotland whose lives and landscapes are being blighted by turbines. How is Mr Salmond going to help the people who can’t sell their homes, can’t sleep because of turbine noise, can’t get B&B guests? When is he going to start protecting Scottish people from the unstoppable greed of wind developers?” —Linda Holt, Fife
“Lyndsey had Alex Salmond on the run yesterday. She forced him to admit that the planning system is stacked against local communities when it comes to windfarm applications from big developers. This is why Councillors in wind development hotspots are calling for a moratorium. People across Scotland hoped the First Minister’s words weren’t just empty electioneering. He needs to stop this indiscriminate windrush before even more damage is done to communities and landscapes.” —Cara Lewis, near St Andrews
“People fighting wind developments across the country were hailing Lyndsey yesterday as she told Alex Salmond in no uncertain terms about their plight in Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye. “She forced him to listen to her – she was brilliant”, said JoJo Jenkins who is fighting turbine applications in Fife. “I went to Holyrood last week with hundreds of our protestors against wind but the MSPs ignored us. We write letters until we’re in the blue in the face only to be fobbed off by ministers’ admin assistants. All the MSPs should get out more and listen to the people who are actually living with turbines.”
“Good for Lyndsey squaring up to Alex Salmond. He had to fall back on poll results that will be shown to be hollow and, excuse the pun, “trumped up”. When Lyndsey and I met Fergus Ewing last autumn we felt hopeful that a bit of common sense would be introduced into the wind energy debate, but it is now clear that the SNPs simply jump to Salmond’s wishes. It is a bankrupt party in a deep hole over its energy policy and the only way forward is down.” —Stuart Young, Caithness
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