Lamont slams SBC windfarm funding slice

06/09/07, TSPL, SCOTSMAN, NEWS,GREEN ENERGY.  RENEWABLE ENERGY, POWER, WIND FARMS. WIND TURBINES. CRYSTAL RIG WIND FARM IN THE LAMMERMUIR HILLS, FIRST MINISTER ALEX SALMOND IS TO OFFICIALY OPEN THE WIND FARM TODAY. AN OLD SHEEP FOLD LIES RUSTING AWAY A RELIC OF THE PAST WITH THE NEW WIND TURBINES DOMINATING THE LANDSCAPE.   IAN RUTHERFORD
06/09/07, TSPL, SCOTSMAN, NEWS,GREEN ENERGY. RENEWABLE ENERGY, POWER, WIND FARMS. WIND TURBINES. CRYSTAL RIG WIND FARM IN THE LAMMERMUIR HILLS, FIRST MINISTER ALEX SALMOND IS TO OFFICIALY OPEN THE WIND FARM TODAY. AN OLD SHEEP FOLD LIES RUSTING AWAY A RELIC OF THE PAST WITH THE NEW WIND TURBINES DOMINATING THE LANDSCAPE. IAN RUTHERFORD

John Lamont MSP has attacked the Government after figures revealed that Scottish Borders Council was awarded under half the money it requested to help deal with windfarm applications.

Last year the Scottish Government announced a fund in recognition of the significant increase in windfarm applications being dealt with by local authorities across Scotland as a result of their energy policies.

Scottish Borders Council has been one of the worst affected by their drive to site more windfarms, and as such requested nearly £141,000.

However, they were only awarded £66,000 by the SNP despite all other councils that applied getting the amount they requested, or in some cases even more

Authorties including those in West Lothian, North Ayrshire and Moray all received a higher slice of funding than they put in for.

“Ever since the SNP started their obsession with wind energy, councils across Scotland have been forced to deal with a deluge of windfarm applications,” John Lamont commented.

“It has been particularly bad for Scottish Borders Council who has spent a huge number of hours on dealing with each and every one of these bids.

“Not only are their end decisions often overridden by the Scottish Government, they often cost a lot of money, which is why the SNP were forced to create a fund to help councils last year.

“As we have been so badly affected in our area, Scottish Borders Council felt the need to ask for nearly £141,000.

“However this request has been flatly refused by the SNP who failed to give them even half of the funding that they asked for.

“Every other council either got the funding they requested or even more than they asked for, and it raises questions as to why the SNP have decided to snub Scottish Borders Council.”

Mr Lamont added that when the local authority’s budget was already under pressure, they could ill afford the added expense.

He concluded: “It just goes to show the SNP’s lack of understanding for the problems that their wind energy obsession has caused in our region.”

‘The Berwickshire’ got in touch with Scottish Borders Council about the statistics but they declined to comment.

A spokesperson said: Our view as a council is that this is a political issue and as officers we do not want to comment.”