Letters to the editor

wind farms

Beware Greeks bearing gifts

There is an idiom “beware Greeks bearing gifts” but it might just as well apply to wind farm developers.

Rumbletonrig wind farm project manager Paul Beale of TCI Renewables has come bearing gifts to help oil their ambitious proposal to erect nine turbines in the beautiful landscape near Greenlaw through the planning system.

The wind farm would bring community benefits, business opportunities, skills training and apprenticeships, a new pitch for the local football club, and unbelievably, benefit to tourism and no doubt more to come.

People should be aware that from when the benefits package is agreed to when funds are available for distribution will be years and of course it may not come at all.

Say the package is agreed six months before the application is lodged and it takes a year to come before the planning committee and is consented what then?

The developer may sell the permission but if he is continuing with the proposal still has to put finance in place and build the wind farm which can easily be another eighteen months. And then no benefit is generally available until electricity has been generated for a year. That is four years from when the benefit arrangement was agreed with the developer.

If the planning committee refuse the application a successful appeal would add another year or so to that and of course if the appeal is dismissed there is no benefit to distribute.

Then there are others in the wider community who do not want the wind farm in their midst for whatever reason including impact on their health and environment and for some the catastrophic loss in the value of their property.

I often hear people say “I don’t mind wind farms - pause - but I wouldn’t like to live next to one” and yet they do not seem to mind this sort of development being forced on unwilling victims like those who would have to live day and night with this development.

At the memorandum of understanding signing Liz McIntyre, Jack Clark and Norman Latimer all look pleased as punch giving the developer a great photo opportunity and some rare “good” publicity. They would all look quite different if the turbines were to be planted next to them.

Graham Lang,

Scotland Against Spin www.scotlandagainstspin.org

church

Abandoning tradition

With the issue of women priests/bishops and homosexual marriages still dividing the Church of England, and the departure of several traditionalist bishops, one of whom, the Bishop of Fulham, described the Church as now being run by “liberal fascists”, we must ask ourselves why since the 1990s, the church has adopted political correctness and abandoned 2000 years of tradition.

They fail to understand that the Church does not exist to mirror society and its whims.

Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Anglican-style plunge in church attendance.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves.

The leaders of the Anglican Church and similar bodies often don’t seem to be offering anything you can’t already get from a purely secular liberalism, which suggests that perhaps they should pause, amid their frantic ‘modernisation’, and consider what they are doing as they abandon historic Christian doctrines.

G.M.S. Lauder-Frost.

School House, Mordington.

jim clark

Edington was Jim’s home

Every week I purchase The Berwickshire News to read about my local sporting events and also news which I enjoy to read.

I was bitterly disappointed last week to read on the front page, in bold letters, that there was a plan for a Jim Clark museum at the old Berwickshire High School in Duns by the Jim Clark Trust.

I must say that we are missing a large point of where Jim Clark actually lived and also worked. He came from a lovely part of the countryside called Edington.

I am now 42 years of age and over the past 25-30 years when I lived in Chirnside I always wondered why, whenever you heard about Jim Clark, we are made to believe his home town was Duns.

There are also plenty people who question this day in day out.

Has anyone approached the farmer at Edington to ask, if there was to be a museum built, would there be ground available to use to do this? Probably not!

Jim was a World Champion racing driver, and a very very good one at that, so it would be nice if the museum was planned to be positioned where he did spend his time.

This year saw the 50th anniversary of when he won the World Championship and I turned out to watch his car being driven on the road between Duns and Chirnside (as I could not make Duns in time) only to find out an hour or so later after waiting on the bottom Chirnside Road that the local constabulary had stopped this happening. Why weren’t we told this earlier? It even said in the Berwickshire News that the cars would be travelling the route.

They now have a rally in his name which has been run for approximately 20 odd years but even that does not go anywhere near where he once lived? The closest stage is Edrom but what is wrong with having a stage through Chirnside as a mark of respect to the World Champion to go past his clock at Chirnside’s Crosshill?

Robert Paterson,

Paxton.

flodden

Dismissing democrats

I thought that the News’s report of the presence of the English Democrats at Flodden was somewhat dismissive.

The party has fought elections in England for ten years. For a comparatively new party it has had some considerable success.

The elected mayor of the Doncaster was an English Democrat, the party’s candidate for Police and Crime came second in South Yorkshire and it stood candidates in every English region in the last elections for the European Parliament, as well as standing in the General election and council elections around the country.

It is a moderate English nationalist party with a policy of taking England out of the EU and putting England first, which believes that the English should have their own parliament separate from the UK parliament, perhaps in Leeds.

Robert Craig,

Priory Road, Weston-Super-Mare.

flower show

Grantshouse show success

On behalf of the flower show committee, I would like to thank everyone who supported this years show.

It was especially nice to have exhibitors who have not entered at Grantshouse in the past. The industrial section was exceptionally well supported.

The cups are being engraved and will be returned to cup holders very soon.

The date of the AGM will soon be announced and it is hoped for a good turnout so that new committee members can be elected as some members will be standing down this year.

The future of the show is very much dependent on local support so we urge you to please come along to the meeting.

Pam Hogg,

Blackburn Cottages, Grantshouse.

charity darts

Ladies help raise cash

I would like to thank the ladies who came along and supported the Frankie Moul/Margaret Thompson Memorial Darts Competition held in the Tavern, Eyemouth in aid of Cancer Research.

Thanks also to those who donated raffle prizes, Douglas for providing the food and to Irene Aitchison for her help once again.

The winners were Jackie Robertson and Alison Burnett with Jen Fyffe and Pam Thompson runners up.

The total raised was £150.

Margaret Driscoll,

Lyndale, Burnmouth.

fundraiser

Boost for junior players

Duns Junior Football club would like to thank everyone who contributed and attended their coffee morning on Saturday. The excellent sum of £535.33 was raised.

Elaine Baxter,

Duns.

RDA thanks

Coffee in Coldstream

I write on hehalf of Berwickshire Group RDA to thank the good people of Coldstream who supported our coffee morning on Saturday, September 21, and to the Mofat family for the use of the Eildon Centre.

The very good sum of £374.91 was raised for group funds.

A huge thank you to everyone who lhelped on the day and donated baking and raffle prizes.

Margaret Morgan,

Group chairman, Newlands, Reston.

war veterans

International search

I live on part of a former World War 2/Early Cold War radar base and I have so far managed to track down 14 former World War 2 WAAFs who served here and around 35 1950s airmen and a couple of officers.

I have managed to put WAAFs who lost touch in 1945 back in touch and airmen back in touch who have not seen each other since 1955, in one case a gentleman and his best man.

For me this is a national and international search for all former veterans and their family members.

Without your support my ability to reach veterans is greatly limited. I am really greatful for any help you can offer me with getting the word out. I can be contacted at the following address: Green Acres, Osier Lane, West Beckham, Hiolt, Norfolk NR25 6PL or by telephone on 01263 824069.

Mike Digby,

Holt, Norfolk.

bedroom tax

Damaging and unfair tax

While the eventual u-turn by the Labour Party on the Bedroom Tax is to be welcomed, it has only taken it six months of confusion, twists and turns to come to a position on what is quite clearly a damaging and unfair tax.

Labour was in fact panicked into making this announcement in fear of looming bad headlines over their internal splits. The fact it has taken this long to make any decision, after all the contradictory statements we’ve heard, is evidence that we cannot trust this one.

In addition, we know from their past history that the Labour Party cannot be trusted to keep the policies they are forced into. In 1997 they cut single parent and disabled benefits and we know Alistair Darling reneged on a Labour promise to introduce a wind chill factor to payments for cold weather payments, another policy they were pressured into.

The only guaranteed way for Scotland to get rid of the Bedroom Tax is with independence. Independence will ensure that Scotland’s welfare policy is in Scotland’s hands and allow us to address other punitive welfare cuts from a Tory government we didn’t vote for.

Alex Orr,

Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh.

film premiere

Children in Chains

Children are, or should be, our most cherished responsibility: yet in many parts of the world that attitude is turned on its head – and for no other reason than to satisfy the political or religious ambitions of the powerful over the dispossessed and most vulnerable.

Such travesty of justice and morality is all the more damning for all of us, when its executed in our name or as a result of our governments support or indifference.

Jon Pullman, journalist and film maker, has made a film called ‘Children in Chains’ which exposes this subject and exposes our unwitting collusion – and what we can do about it.

We are privileged that the premier of ‘Children in Chains’ (UK release; 2013) will be in this area – to be precise at the Berwick Watchtower Gallery, West End, Tweedmouth, TD15 2HE, on Thursday, October 3, at 8pm. Admission is free. For more details contact Maurice Ward on 07704 329232 or email; mawa005@gmail.com

Lawrence McDonald,

Coldingham.

pensions

Universal cap wanted

Just as the government are bringing in a cap on benefits can we have a cap on public sector pensions too?

Some say when the cost of government borrowing goes up from 2% to a modest 5% around 2017 the government will run out of money to pay any state retirement pensions and public sector pensions.

We’d better start planning now to protect the income of our poorest older pensioners. We can cut the higher public sector redundancy payouts and pensions and put a cap on these just as we are putting a cap on state benefits.

There is no bar to parliament passing retrospective legislation to lawfully claw back the notorious BBC redundancy payouts and others too in the currently nationalized banks.Civil service and local government officers, have been awarding one another scandalous redundancy settlements and public sector pensions recently, many of these payable when recipients are only 50 or younger.

We have to bring in a universal cap. Why were these people treated as being redundant anyway when many walked straight into new jobs?

Police and firemen are a special case but their exceptional retirement age seems to have become a standard age for all public servants retirement in the last few years.

Nigel F. Boddy,

Fife Road, Darlington.