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Letters / ‘We were let down by our politicians’

Tom Morton’s letter made heartening reading (Opinion: Welcome to Turbineland; SN, 1 September 2019). He reflects a growing awareness that the Viking Energy and associated onshore wind farm projects are completely unsuitable for these islands.

From the outset in 2003 and the signing of the Busta House agreement in 2008, it was obvious to many, despite the secrecy, that SSE had a long term game plan and that local democracy was subverted by a well meaning but naïve and ultimately disastrous decision by a minority of local councillors, to deny a Local Public Enquiry.

We were let down by our politicians influenced by industry lobbyists paid for by Shetland community money. We were betrayed by elected councillors who were board members of the Viking Energy Partnership.

It is rather galling to hear Alistair Carmichael pontificate about the assault on democracy by the proroguing of parliament, having turned a deaf ear to the objections of the Shetland public.

The threat to our environment is real. I recently had a look at the peat slide at the Kames. The area around the slide is like jelly and you can see water issuing from underneath the shifted peat, it felt unstable and I was glad to get away from that place.

The network of natural drainage, ice-age lochs and unique fish and crustacean species will be lost due to contamination from the construction process.

This project has always been about money and empty promises. The fact is that ordinary Shetlanders will be financially poorer if this project is built. Electricity bills, house prices and the effects on tourism will make sure of that.

We should be investing in new technologies. In conversation with Tom Wills during the recent bi-election, he agreed that the VE project was too big and research in tide, wave and hydrogen production was underfunded.

Had he pledged unequivocally to try and stop the VE project in the Scottish Parliament, I think the result might have been different.

It now behoves our elected representatives to do the right thing and work to halt this project.

Dave Hammond
Reawick