Wigtown Community Council notes

Mid Galloway elected members, community council representatives and MSPs and are to hold crunch talks at the end of the month with Scottish Power chiefs over the electricity shutdown during the March blizzard and the frequency and duration of power cuts in the south Machars area.

Mid Galloway Councillor Alistair Geddes said: “This will not be a talking shop. We want to know what Scottish Power will do and in what timescale.

AS the compensation cheques for the loss of electricity during the snowstorm in March land on the doorsteps of many in that area, a Whauphill resident told members of the Wigtown Community Council that Scottish Power branded the three-day power crisis “unfortunate”.

John Jennings, who complained to the utility provider after his business was affected, was visited by Scottish Power regional manager Neil Carruthers. Mr Jennings said Mr Carruthers not only explained in detail the chain of events after the snowstorm hit on Friday, March 22, but took him to see the infrastructure at Sorbie that caused some of the problems.

Mr Jennings said: “He told me the whiteout coincided with high expenditure work at Sorbie. One of the two links was down on the day putting a huge overload on the other one. Mr Carruthers called this ‘unfortunate’”.

Councillor Geddes remarked that the Scottish Power man’s “unfortunate” comment to Mr Jennings “resonates like the wrong kind of snow”.

He also blasted the utility for their lack of communication with local communities affected to inform them of why their electricity was going on and off with such regularity.

Mr Jennings added that Scottish Power’s data does not record power cuts for less that five seconds, but any cut in supply could damage sensitive computer equipment and disrupt businesses who rely on the internet.

Fellow Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol said he was led to believe that the problem was one of voltage.

“This area is suffering periods of low voltage and that is affecting ATMs, CCTV and modems which is leading to serious problems in the south Machars”, he said.

The gents loos in Wigtown do not reflect its esteemed status as Scotland’s National Booktown. The Wigtown Community Council meeting on Monday heard about problems with its “limited dimensions”.

The members were also stunned to hear the toilets were shut on the bank holiday Monday when the town’s spring book festival was on.

Mid Galloway Councillor Jim McColm said: “After booktown events 100 people are coming out at the same time.”

He added that there were still plans to improve the bowling green clubhouse that public toilets were part of that.

Fellow councillor Alistair Geddes felt that Wigtown should push for “superloos” similar to the ones install in Newton Stewart, Stranraer and Whithorn.

An application for a clay pigeon shooting range that members of the Wigtown Community Council objected to in April may go ahead at a less populated location.

The shooting range proposed site was at Causewayend, between Wigtown and Newton Stewart but a fresh application is now in the pipeline for a clay pigeon shooting range at Palgowan to the north of Newton Stewart.