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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Last Thursday's decision by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to give the go-ahead for the building of the Eishken windfarms has given rise to an unholy row in Kinloch about the level of support, or perhaps lack of it, for the project.

An unofficial poll suggested that 87% of people canvassed in a door-to-door survey, were opposed to the Eishken windfarm being built. Since the Sunday sailing row down in Harris, my faith in door-to-door surveys has reduced somewhat. After all, it won't do not to sign, where it is blatantly obvious that everybody else has signed, and it is also blatantly obvious that (if you don't want to sign) that you haven't. The Councillor for Kinloch has rejected the results, calling the methodology [door-to-door survey] rubbish. Not quite rubbish, but the validity leaves something to be desired. Why not a secret ballot all over the island? The Electoral Reform Society should be able to help, and what's a few thousand quid in a multi-million pound project? In the months leading up to the original decision there were repeated accusations that local councillors' voting at the Comhairle did not represent the opinion of their population. I know of at least 3 wards, Ness, Airidhantuim and Laxdale, where this has happened.

Returning south to Kinloch, it is more onerous that 133 objections were raised by residents of the area, which is a large percentage of the population. I think it's most deplorable that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, being fully aware of the controversial nature of the windfarms project, can't be bothered to organise a secret ballot.

On a more positive note: trials were scheduled to start this week at Shader, on the West Side of Lewis, north of Barvas, on a wavepower project. Wavepower units are planned to be built there, linked to the shore by a causeway. This would lead to the formation of a sheltered harbour. There are only two other sheltered ports on the exposed Atlantic coast of Lewis: Port of Ness and Carloway, about 10 to 15 miles in either direction.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 16:54

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