Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Points of View

More questions and replies...

Anonymous said...

Hi Steven, I would like to hear your views on 2 issues. (for a start anyway)..;-)

Firstly you in your literature that, as an issue of immediate concern, "young people should have more facilities". Does this mean that the play areas in your prospective ward would get more equipment and better maintenence?

The second question is what is your opinion of a prospective tunnel under the Pentland Firth?. Could a project like this not rid us of an inefficent and costly ferry service, provide an ideal export conduit for energy generated from the huge potential of alternative energy. Provide cheaper transportation for local produce thereby opening opening up a far wider range of markets.


Would something like that "spoil" Orkney by connecting us to the mainland, thereby deminishing our island status. Perhaps reduce the subsidies given out by central goverment because of our remote status, (although seemingly not as remote as the Western isle, or Shetland, and finally leave us open to hordes of illegal immigrants?...(yes, I do mean Wickers)....;-).

Steven Heddle said...

The 'more facilities for young people' statement is based on the lack of facilities for play or activity. This is even compared to when I was younger, with the demise of Costies, now Powerbowl, and removal of play equipment from the Bignold Park, King Haakon Street, Manse Road, and the Willows, imposition of 'No Ball Games' rules at places like Broadsands Road, and impossibility of playing on the road (not that it was ever a good idea). Also I've seen what is in place in Westray for the young people (The Hofn) and it seems an excellent facility.

More play equipment would be a part of this certainly, and as it is mainly a capital cost with little revenue implications, and as it ticks lots of activity agendas I don't see why this should not happen. Another aspect would be to see what can be done for teenagers- Walter Gorman is doing good stuff with the bands nights, and, in an ideal world where KGS was a community school in the current location, I would like to see its hall and stage etc available for use.

A further aspect of this is that the new housing developments are high on density but low on amenity and I would hope that equipped play areas could be incorporated as a condition of planning consent.

Regarding the idea of a tunnel under the Firth, I suppose it would enable easier, cheaper access (if it was free), but I think it would be a disaster for Orkney. We would lose our local authority and Health Board, and create a lot of unemployment or relocation South. The outer isles would suffer as a consequence of control shifting south. The whole ethos would change with a more transient population, and crime would increase because there would the chance to get away with it, rather than having the 'border control' of limited ferry crossings.

The renewable energy export benefit doesn't come close to making up for any of this, and would the cable not need to be buried in the tunnel anyway, making it more costly than just laying one on the seabed?

So I say no to any Pentland Firth tunnel idea!

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