“Swords of Damocles”

THE FERRYDEN Action Group, formed to oppose the proposal to erect two wind turbines within the GlaxoSmithKline premises, has been horrified by two highly publicised incidents in recent weeks.

Ian Paton of the Group told us: “The storms of the first two weeks of December led to two catastrophic wind turbine failures in Scotland.

“One was a total collapse in Coldingham, Berwickshire, and the other, a turbine fire in Ardrossan, Ayrshire. Both disasters were featured in the national press, and one will never forget the dramatic images on TV of a giant turbine on fire, with flaming fire-balls falling to the ground.”

Mr Paton then noted his perceived irony of the local situation: “Less than one week later, on December 15, GSK formally lodged their proposals for two giant turbines, each one 132 metres high, i.e., twice the height of the Old Kirk Steeple, and located less than 250 metres from the Barracks and River Street in Ferryden.

“But if the people of Montrose don’t care much about the Barracks and even less about Ferryden, they should undoubtedly care about the GSK workforce, because it is their health and safety which is most at risk under GSK’s planned siting of these grotesque structures towering over their everyday workplace. In a situation like Coldingham or Ardrossan, no amount of warning notices and compulsory wearing of hard hats and goggles will hack it.”

The Group is unimpressed with assurances from GSK, as Mr Paton explained: “GSK’s arrogance, flying in the face of common sense and decency, is ‘mitigated’ (GSK’s very favourite word) by claiming that their consultations with the Health and Safety Executive, resulted in ‘having raised no concerns at this time’, at least in relation to proximity to housing. Wow! If the HSE have no concerns in a situation such as this, with two massive machines poised directly above a chemical plant, then they are just as culpable as GSK! The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum!”

Mr Paton went on to condemn others whom the Group believe to share responsibility: “The real villains, however, in this scenario from Bedlam, are the Scottish Government for issuing a wishy-washy ‘guideline’ of a 2km separation zone around turbines, and our own Angus County’s failure to adopt the guideline and make it stick! If Angus Council had had the political guts to challenge Salmond’s misleading claim that ‘wind energy is free’, we would not be having this argument.”

He concluded: “The next time you are walking ‘doon the braes’ to Scurdie Ness, and you stop at ‘the fluggie’ (shame on you if you don’t know where that is) and gaze over GSK to the Tower of Johnstone in the North, try to image two ‘Swords of Damocles’ hanging in the sky, a constant threat and danger to life and limb below, and raise your voice against this mad scheme.”