Rod Campbell MSP
I write to seek your immediate active assistance on a matter of concern which is affecting communities across Scotland, but not least in my ward, East Neuk and Landward, in your constituency of North East Fife.
The concern is about the divisive impact which the Feed in Tariff and Community Benefit, provided to support the erection and operation of wind turbines, is having within communities.
The position is simple and easily understood.
We are witnessing a deluge of planning applications for wind turbines and wind farms in East Neuk and Landward, and across your constituency of North East Fife. The driver clearly is the financial benefit which accrues from the various forms of subsidy. I, and many others, consider that without those subsidies, the systems would be wholly uneconomic. A false market is being created and that is leading to considerable potential and actual change to our landscapes.
I would be content to deal with applications on their planning merits alone but I consider that the subsidies are bribes which distort reality. I consider that Scottish Executive's planned resultant pressure must even Have an undue influence on the objectivity of Planning Authority officials. They are human.
Communities are being offered wealth, based on those handouts. In East Neuk and Landward, we have witnessed the loss of a Community Council at Largoward, solely due to the division caused by just such a subsidised application.
Other Community Councils are also facing internal divisions and it may in fact be the case that the conflict of interests they now face is making fair representation by them of their communities impossible.
Further conflicts will arise through the very nature of these small rural communities. Moreover, it is often the case that many of the people who become members of Community Counils also step forward to run Trusts, of various sorts, set up to facilitate, or to gain access to, the subsidised funding packages. The conflicts are obvious.
I understand you were present for a short time at the beginning of a debate in Holytrood on this matter on Thursday 1st December. I hope you will now turn your full attention to this issue, follow the difficulties and debate within your communities and assess the impact which this SNP and Scotttish Executive policy is having.
I suggest you will be well advised to attend a few community council meetings in the East Neuk, the public meeting on the 1st March in St Andrews arranged by Cameron Community Council, and, yes, some sessions of the East Area planning committee.
I will be happy to meet you to elaborate on my concerns about the communities in my ward and in North East Fife in general.
This is, as you will know from the vast correspondence in our local and indeed, increasingly, in national papers, is a growing matter of public interest. I am therefore releasing this as an open letter.
East Neuk and Landward
Chairman UKIP Scotland