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YOUR VIEWS: Highland Council charter ‘ignores public opinion’ and best wishes for Inverness janitor

By Gregor White

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Protesters demonstrated against the charter at Highland Council headquarters. Picture: Callum Mackay
Protesters demonstrated against the charter at Highland Council headquarters. Picture: Callum Mackay

‘Shameful’ backing of social values charter

Today (Thursday, June 28) a little more local democracy died in the debating chamber of Highland Council.

Councillors in their “wisdom” voted through the Social Values Charter for Renewables Investment with no public consultation and no agreement with the industry to pay anything more than the previously accepted £5000 per MW installed.

Quite what the point in doing so was without industry agreement to cough up 2.5 times that amount is unfathomable. Trade association Scottish Renewables had written to all the councillors prior to the meeting baulking at the very thought of reducing their members’ rich pickings, pleading little more than corporate poverty. Forgive us if our sympathies do not lie with government-backed multinationals harvesting the Highlands for their profits. They lie firmly with the “little people” routinely stomped over and ignored as the Big Energy gravy train hurtles down the track through their communities.

The majority of councillors present CHOSE to ignore public opinion, including those representing their communities from Caithness to Beauly standing outside council offices to greet them, and 39 voted for the charter. Twenty-three voted for an amendment asking for the public to be consulted and for full mapping of all renewable and transmission projects to allow cumulative impact to be transparent and easily available to everyone.

Well done to those who backed democracy and shame on those who appear to have ideas above their station and their heads firmly planted in the sand when it comes to understanding public opinion. It appears to those looking in as ill-advised grandstanding and muscle flexing rather than being a competent process.

Now not only are we having to fight ruthless global investment companies determined to destroy our lives and environment for profit but also the very people who are supposed to represent us.

A full list of who voted against local democracy and for this “Weasel’s Charter” should be made available so we all know who NOT to vote in again if we want our voices heard.

Lyndsey Ward

Spokeswoman for Communities B4 Power Companies


Janitor Pat McDaid and his granddaughter. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Janitor Pat McDaid and his granddaughter. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Best wishes for retiring janitor

Pat McDaid retired as janitor at St Joseph’s and Bishop Eden’s schools in Inverness after nearly 24 years.

“Enjoy lots of adventures in your retirement. You were always there for the children, parents and staff. The next Janny has a hard mark to reach.” - Yvonne Thain

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