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Letters / An admission of powerlessness

Noted? One can only wonder what that means. (Council ‘notes’ petitions with no further debate; SN, 9 September 2020).

Could it be that indeed Cllrs’ faith in developers’ carbon calculations are well placed?

One could only hope this to be true because I am still open-mindedly searching, after more than a decade, for someone who will be able to allay my fears that this isn’t going to result in anything green apart from significant money for a significant few.

Now the rumblings are that maybe the tail is actually wagging the dog and that, happy a signal as that may be, it does not bode well in the state of our democratic right.

Feelings are running high; healing needs to occur but where is the common ground to start from when voices are not being listened to?

I have had a number of occasions as citizen or employer or business owner: where approaching the council to express concern constitutes a formal complaint to be waited through with little heed paid to common sense; appealing to councillors reveals a stone wall attitude with a drought of even common courtesy replies; and petitioning leads to, well being noted, (or if taken further results in a public rebuke for not wringing the cap in hand before the comfortable few who ought to be representing the many).

Denying people their voice and not heeding it when raised is a double slap in the face to the electorate. It is telling when so many signatories, rightly or not, perceive their very livelihoods to be at risk through a “gagging order”, sorry “Code of Conduct”.  As one put it the “ever watching eyes” are upon us. Around a third of the adult working population stifled in this insidious shackle.

Even though our councillor Coutts may be “comfortable” does he appreciate that had the entire proposal (sub-stations quarries, lay downs etc) been applied for in one proposal, the carbon payback figures would be vastly different.  Note; the planning applications for the compounds at Voe and Sandwater, “necessary” yet only just applied for, from a project of such longstanding?

Never mind that “it is done and dusted in the past” “nothing we could do”, “it is in policy” – is this an admission of powerlessness in those who seek to trailblaze into self determination?

“Con”- struction; It takes a thousand years to lay down (roughly) a metre of peat. I have seen first hand already the de-sequestering of millennia, through removal of undegraded peat.  This is digging up our northern latitude rainforest.

End. Yes, it is.  I, as many others, cannot now help but question what pride we can now take in this place.

Caroline Henderson
Lerwick