Letters to the Editor – 2.7.20

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Will community benefit from hydro scheme?

So the tiny Morvern peninsula (population around 320) is to have yet another hydro scheme foisted on it (‘Morvern community hydro confirms financial deal’, report Lochaber News, June 25).

No doubt someone will make a great deal of money out of the deal but will the local community really benefit despite the hefty injection of public money?

There are already 13 schemes whose cumulative contribution to Morvern is at best derisory.

It is not good enough for the developer to hide behind community ‘sustainability’, ‘shared-ownership’, ‘involvement’, ‘strategy’ and other buzz words. There needs to be total transparency, openness and frank engagement with the local residents as to where the income, if any, will go and just who will disburse it.

Information which has so far been woefully lacking. The Scottish Government will want to know, the local community demands it.

Iain Thornber, Knock House, Morvern.

More questions raised than answered

With reference to the article on children missing out on school meals (Lochaber Times, June 25) featuring Mr Fotheringham and his organisation, in my opinion Councillor Ben Thompson’s facile attempt to protect the administration in the statement he made leads to many questions. Firstly why were the catering staff being paid and not furloughed which was allowable under the scheme and pointed out by some of his colleagues very forcibly at recent meetings, if they were not engaged in catering; why were they not under the Civil Contingencies Act reallocated to other duties; where is the evidence they used all the monies allocated to them for free meals; and what percentage actually used the vouchers? What was the total allocation from Scottish Government for this service?

Total transparency is required in this and many other matters Highland Council have been doing without full democratic scrutiny during this pandemic.

Jimmy Waugh, Ballachulish.

Faith is the answer to fear

Over the past few months people everywhere have been under the paralysing grip of fear, paranoia and dread; the COVID-19 pandemic has seen to that. Because of the lethal plague, sweeping the country, society at large has lost a perceived sense of control – and no wonder.

With the prospect of death and grief staring everyone in the face, lockdown and social-distancing has had to be enforced by the authorities. While this action, to safeguard lives, has been right, proper and necessary – it hasn’t eliminated the anger among queuing shoppers when the two-metre rule is violated! We have all seen the panic-stricken faces of those fearing the unknown foe.

Bible-believing Christians have also endeavoured to follow the same government rules and guidelines, in seeking to protect themselves and others from exposure – but they have not been gripped by the same despairing feeling of utter helplessness and hopelessness; God’s grace in their hearts has seen to that.

Virus, or no virus, they trust in God’s blessed promise: ‘Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.’ (Isaiah 43:1). They may not be immune from the bodily effects of COVID-19, but not one single pestilence symptom will alarm or distress them in the same way, all because the Lord has assured them, whether it be wellness or unwellness, life or death: ‘Lo, I am with you always; I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Hebrews 13:5).

Sadly, these truths mean nothing to the unbeliever or an unconverted world.
It is high time we repented of our sins, individually and collectively, and turned again to the God of our Fathers. When we do, blessing will follow: ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.’ Psalm 33:12.

Donald J Morrison, Inverness.