Local group puts wind farms on political agenda

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

Prospective parliamentary candidates in the south of Scotland have been asked for their view on energy and wind turbines in particular, by the Borders Network of Conservation Groups (BNCG).

All candidates in the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat and the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency were sent a questionnaire on energy policy and BNCG have published the responses.

Three of the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk candidates did not respond - Michael Moore, Jesse Rae and Peter Neilsen - while the other four came up with a cross section of answers.

When asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement ‘The UK government should recognise that wind energy is not as efficient, cheap, reliable or green as was previously thought and divert subsidies to cleaner, more cost effective and reliable sources of energy’ responses were mixed.

John Lamont (Cons) “strongly agree”, Kenryck Lloyd Jones (SLab) “agree”, Pauline Stewart (Green) “partially agree but not nuclear energy, and Calum Kerr (SNP) “Disagree. Wind should be part of energy mix, preferably offshore.”

The statement that the UK government should designate the Scottish side of the Cheviot Hills and their foothills as a national park had some interesting replies: Lamont, Stewart and Jone were all in favour of a national park in the Borders but Stewat and Jones said that it should come from the Scottish Government. SNP candidate Kerr went further and described the ideas as “disrespectful to the Scottish Parliament”.

An automatic compensation scheme for house-owners in the UK whose property values have been affected by wind farms was supported by Lamont and Jones but Stewart disagreed saying “taxpayers should not fund. Like to see more information about effect of wind farms on property prices, and Kerr was unsure, adding that the “Scottish Government is researching impact of wind farms on property prices.