Letters to seek island’s views on water treatment works

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Community councillors on Seil are writing to all 500 island residents seeking views on Scottish Water’s plans for a new £5.6 million treatment works.

An application for the works at land west of the current sewage works at Clachan Seil has just been submitted after years of discussions and consultations.

The plan to send out letters stirred up a lively debate between community councillors and the public at a recent meeting in Seil Island Hall.

There were concerns among the public at the community council meeting on May 28 that sending out letters could polarise the community and was ‘a bad idea’.

But community council chairperson Julie Ferris said: ‘It’s not a referendum, it’s not a people’s vote. It’s to give a definitive guide to our response to the planning application.’

Stamps to send out the letters will cost around £300.

Community councillor John Gordon said: ‘I think it’s an incredible waste of money. There’s better things to spend money on. It’s a very difficult thing to do, I think it’s going to be divisive.’

Mrs Ferris replied: ‘It’s not going to be divisive. The best way to find out the views of the community is to ask the community what their views are.’

Former community councillor Anne-Marie Robin added: ‘I can’t believe this community council is not aware of the views against and those of the silent majority who just wish to get it over and done with.’

Mrs Ferris said: ‘I can’t see what the danger is of asking people’s views. If we send 500 letters out and get just 70 back that tells us a lot. It will be going ahead.’