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Poor show from our councillors and MSP

I recently e-mailed all of our Shetland Islands councillors to address my concerns about the construction of the Viking Energy wind farm, and see what their thoughts were.

I also made a point of telling them that any non-responses were going to be noted.

I initially thought I’d give them a week to respond, but with the first few replies I got a feeling that I’d have to allow another week because of the volume of e-mails that apparently had risen due to Covid-19.

I was very disappointed to only receive ten replies from the 22 councillors e-mailed.

Although I’ve been led to believe one or two couldn’t respond due to conflicts, but that still means half chose not to respond, especially on such an important subject, one which will affect every one of us on Shetland for decades to come.

I’ll list them all here with Yes for response and No for no response.

Malcolm Bell yes
Steven Coutts yes
Duncan Anderson yes
Peter Campbell no
Alistair Cooper yes
Allison Duncan no
Stephen Flaws no
John Fraser no
Amanda Hawick no
Catherine Hughson no
Stephen Leask yes
Moraig Lyall yes
Emma MacDonald yes
Robbie MacGregor no
Andrea Manson no
Alec Priest no
Davie Sandison no
Ian Scott yes
Cecil Smith yes
George Smith no
Theo Smith yes
Ryan Thomson no

I even only got two responses from my own three Westside councillors which was even worse.

Whilst doing this I also e-mailed our MP, Alistair Carmichael, and MSP Beatrice Wishart. I got an auto response from Carmichael, and then over three weeks later a reply, but I’m still awaiting a reply from my MSP, and I am led to believe I’m not the only one, with loads of people saying they’re in the same position.

I find that totally shameful.

The general consensus from the e-mails I’ve received is that they are all struggling with the amount of e-mails they’ve received due to Covid-19, but I got to thinking that Shetland and Orkney are hardly awash with infections, so it sounds like an easy out and it seems my e-mails have been consigned to the spam bin!

For most of our elected councillors and MP/MSP to sit there and say that this wind farm is the best thing for the planet and consumers is actually the biggest slap in the face.

Those who were in place in the council in 2010 have a lot to answer for and I hope they can sleep easy knowing what they’ve unleashed on our beautiful islands. It doesn’t take too much digging on the Internet to find the actual facts about such things, real and proper studies that haven’t been paid for by those with a vested interest so that it isn’t skewed to look good for the investors.

These studies show that aero generators are incredibly bad for our health and also wildlife’s health. The aero generators will never pay back the carbon debt they accrue during their construction. And that’s before we get to the disturbance of the peat lands.

These are very important carbon sinks and hold methane too, another greenhouse gas. We’ll also have major issues with the water table which has a knock on effect on wildlife and humans too.

The issues with this wind farm, and wind farms in general, are far more numerous than I can put in this letter, but I fear they’re all getting swept under the rug for the betterment of the profit sheet to prop up dividends for shareholders.

Constraint payments are already well over £100m to energy companies to switch off windmills because of oversupply this year, so why do we need another, biggest onshore, wind farm?

Because it’s part of the biggest con in modern times, and it’s all legal, with a drip, drip, drip out of our bank accounts.

I digress. I was just writing this to highlight who of our elected councillors and MP/MSP generally couldn’t give a hoot about those who put them in those very important positions to answer to and for their electorate.

Billy Johnson
Bixter