Letters to the Editor

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Wind farms

Turbines are polluting

I notice that RES is 
appealing against previously agreed noise restrictions on some of its planned wind turbines at Glenchamber.

If our esteemed Scottish government allows the 
appeal and lifts the sound restrictions, this will 
remove one of the very few protections remaining for people living within a short distance from these abominable industrial turbine sites.

Are we to have no means remaining of keeping our rights?

I feel that, if these conditions are removed, it will open the floodgates for a very wide range of alterations sneaking in, which were put in place at the time of planning to protect people from sound pollution and other intrusive factors, which seem to be a by-product of wind farm sites.

The sounds emitting from wind turbines already in operation near here is very noticeable on occasion and, when all the other turbines are in place, this could be a whole lot worse. If noise conditions are removed and the wrap-around sound is bad, then we will have no course of action open to change this.

We have hen harriers living between Carscreugh and Glenchamber. These birds are a protected – and threatened – species.

The monitoring and protection of rapidly disappearing wildlife seems to be very sketchy at best when considering sites for commercial wind turbine sites.

This will become apparent in a short time if noises from turbines are not monitored and checked. However, to quote: “Money Talks – Beauty doesn’t.”

Anne Lynch,

Torwood Lodge, Glenluce.

Bedroom tax

The poor are now targets

While I welcome the 
approaches being made by Dumfries and Galloway Council, the truth is that more needs to be done on the Discretionary Housing Payments, and before tenants find themselves facing court action and the possibility of being evicted all because they happen to be poor, sick or disabled.

My workload has increased tenfold since the bedroom tax came into affect in April.

Tenants contact me daily asking to help them with their appeal against the bedroom tax.

The grounds for appeal are wide and vary from why they either need the extra bedroom for a member of their household suffering from a medical condition to someone being disabled, through to a need for all the bedrooms for perfectly valid reasons.

Some of those who have contacted me have applied for mutual transfer but have been refused a transfer to a smaller property. If they have fallen into arrears of rent because of the bedroom tax, they are being refused a mutual transfer.

All of these issues are adding to the misery and anxiety being felt by tenants who were already living below the breadline before the bedroom tax was introduced and now are being asked to find anything from £40-£80 per month just because they happen to have an extra bedroom.

What makes matters worse is that tenants are being told they have no appeal against the bedroom tax. I challenged this statement and had it clarified that tenants do have a right of appeal and it is for these issues to be tested at an appeals tribunal.

What concerns me more is many tenants will be put off making an appeal to what has not been tested at law.

I have asked the questions of the council as to what has happened since it passed the motion not to have any evictions and I am still waiting on an answer.

I have written to all the South of Scotland MSPs asking them to support the petition that would allow the Govan Law Centre to address the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, which the council has already supported.

I hope the meeting between the council and the social landlords will take all of these issues into account when they meet where the fine words of sympathy will then be put to good effect.

It was not the poor, the sick or the disabled who created the financial difficulties so why should they be punished in the way that they are by the bedroom tax?

Bad legislation has got to be opposed and, really, it should be for everyone from MPs and MSPs, councillors and the social landlords to fight against the bedroom tax rather than leaving it to the most vulnerable in society who are suffering at the sharp end.

Let all of us with a thread of common decency get behind those who are suffering to tell the government it needs to change the bedroom tax legislation before it inflicts any further misery.

Willie Scobie,

Non-aligned councillor.

Rude behaviour

Charity event was ignored

On Friday, June 21, the 
Order of St John Scotland, a Christian charitable 
order whose sovereign head is the Queen, held its annual Festival of St John in the Crichton Church, Dumfries.

Members of the Order attended from all over Scotland and abroad.

As one of a willing team of local volunteers, imagine my great disappointment that no member of Dumfries and Galloway Council came to welcome these visitors to our region – the first time this has ever happened in Scotland.

Over recent years the 
Order has provided Dumfries and Galloway with a palliative care facility in Stranraer, three mountain rescue vehicles, the Dumfries Day Centre bus, and supported the Nith 
in-shore rescue boat, as well as supporting other charitable groups.

In addition, using two 
people carriers provided by the Order, a group of 
volunteer drivers has transported hundreds of local people to and from cancer treatment centres throughout Scotland.

In the past year alone, this has meant almost 28,000 miles of travel. While I 
appreciate that many of 
our councillors were 
possibly otherwise committed, shame on the rest of you councillors for leaving your constituents to apologise for your lack of manners.

Name and address 
supplied.

Thanks

Big swim raised £1470

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Marie Curie Big Swim event on April 20 at the Merrick Leisure Centre.

A grand total of £1470.21 was raised for Marie Curie. Fundraising through this local group ensures that money stays in this area to help terminally ill people remain at home.

Our next event is a Garden Open Day at Physgill, Whithorn on Sunday, July 14, from 2-5pm.

Several Blooming Great Tea Parties will also be held over the summer.

Jayne Whannel,

Treasurer, Marie Curie 
Machars Fundraising Group.

Poetic offering

Ode from the River Cree

My journey starts in yonder hills

I tumble down with many thrills

By lush fields so green

I am clearly seen

As I move with glee

Because I am the River Cree

Come sit by me as I glisten

Wait a while, eyes closed and listen

For I will take away the stress

When life feels like it’s in a mess

Believe in this from me

Because I am the River Cree

But wait, what’s this, you can hear me say

As I proceed on my merry way

It’s Newton Stewart, my first big town

And it’s about to make me frown

And take away my shiny crown

Because I am the River Cree

My banks are covered in garden waste

From grass to hedge, folks have no taste

Methinks, they think, take this away

Got loads more for another day

Not my job, this is my plea

Because I am the River Cree

As I roll down on through this place

I think that this is a disgrace

Trees lie across my rippling waters

No-one cares, the lazy 
rotters

So I roll on down to the sea

Because I am the River Cree

I roll on down at quite a pace

Slow down, I say, it’s not a race

Slow down, I can’t, not in my power

Stones all gone, the rotten shower

So onward, say I, down to the sea

Because I am the River Cree

By all my paths, folks jog and stroll

Look down, I say, place light your sole

For underfoot there lies surprise

Dog-walkers leave it for weary eyes

Daily witnessed, I always see

Because I am the River Cree

It’s close now to my journey’s end

What’s this I see around the bend?

A crowd of teens, a happy group

With drink that makes them cockahoop

Not old enough, this I can see

Because I am the River Cree

And look at those all in a huddle

Bodies wrecked, brains in a muddle

No drink but drugs got this lot wasted

Left waste from them I have tasted

I leave it here for you to see

Because I am the River Cree

Those that could, those who should

Leave me in a stinking mood

For they all know just who they are

That’s left me with this massive scar

Thoughts of theirs are not of me

So I retire to the sea

Because I am the River Cree

Clean waters up, tidy banks

From me will come but only thanks

Then folks will smile, fish will run

Rejoice will I to see the fun

As I retire into the sea

Once again the happy River Cree.

Name and address supplied.