No more unrepresentative meetings
Billy Fox’s outrageous slur (Shetland Times, 8th October) on the chairman of the group looking into community funding from the VE windfarm is a sad example of Sustainable Shetland’s quite unprincipled approach to opposition to the windfarm. SS has consistently attempted to cast doubt on the integrity and expertise of all those involved. In the same article Billy Fox also has a sideswipe, without any basis of fact, at the lack of expertise of a staff member of the renowned Macaulay Land Use Institute. That scientists may now be head of communications but Billy Fox knows very well that he has a long and highly credited track record in peat studies. This will not do.
This unprincipled approach of SS was very apparent at the public meeting last year at Aith (and elsewhere) where it was clear that some opponents were attending more than one meeting, coming from outwith the local areas and even outwith Shetland. The atmosphere was intimidatory for both those undecided and those supporting the windfarm. This meeting was not representative of the West Side. Sustainable Shetland had also ensured that there was a vote and that it was for or against. This left those who thought the scheme too large but who might have wanted a compromise without a vote.
The last thing Shetland needs is another round of such “public” meetings gerrymandered by a handful of passionate opponents … or supporters. It is time now for our elected representatives to carry this forward and for everyone to express their opinions to their councillors and the SIC planning department, unpressurised and in private.
P.S. Accompanying the article was an impressive picture of a wind turbine towering above the Town Hall. But in case there is an outcry somebody should point out that the Town Hall will be nowhere near a turbine and will continue unopposed as Lerwick’s much loved landmark.