Tag Archives: parliament

Reid Calls For Inquiry Into Scottish Electricity

Alan Reid mpFollowing early January’s storms and the resulting electricity black-outs, Alan Reid, MP for Argyll & Bute said,
“I am full of praise for the engineers from Scottish & Southern Energy who worked such long hours in very difficult conditions to restore power to the many affected communities. However, prevention is always better than cure and questions must be asked as to how the Argyll & Bute electricity supply network can be improved to make it much more robust against the storms which seem to be happening much more often these days. When Parliament returns I will be calling on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to mount an inquiry into the state of Scotland’s electricity supply network and how it can be improved to reduce the problems caused by future severe storms.”

On 12th January Mr Reid’s calls were answered when it was announced that a Select Committee will be looking into:-

    • ? The frequency and severity of weatherrelated power cuts in Scotland.
    • ? The consequences of such power cuts to individuals, businesses and public sector services.
    • ? The current condition and technological state of Scotland’s electricity transmission network.
    • ? The advantages and disadvantages of using an alternative electricity transmission infrastructure, particularly regarding its vulnerability to weather-related damage.
    • ? Was the response provided by the energy companies satisfactory? ?
    • How the regulation of Transmission System Operators and Distribution Network Operators impacts upon investment in Scotland’s electricity transmission network.

The Committee welcomes written evidence from interested parties on any, or all, aspects of the inquiry by 2 February 2012.
Submissions should be in Word format and sent by e-mail to scotaffcom@parliament.uk. The body of the email must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address and should not exceed 2,000 words.

Mr Reid said,
“I welcome this inquiry. I encourage people who were affected by the power black outs to give their views to the Committee before the closing date of 2nd February.”

Alan Reid MP’s Flying Visit to Tiree

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Mr. Alan Reid MP flew over for the day to Tiree on Wednesday 23rd September to hold a Surgery at the Council Offices.

Despite posters and advertising in the An Tirisdeach, it was a quiet morning and it would have been easy to think Tiree had no issues to raise with their Westminster MP. Also, due to Tiree’s extreme weather at the beginning of the week, the Modern Studies schedule was scuppered and Mr. Reid’s visit to Tiree High School was cancelled.

“The issue on everyone’s lips”

This gave Mr. Reid plenty time to be interviewed by An Tirisdeach before heading off for a late lunch at the Cobbled Cow, and then on to Ruaig to look at the turbine site as well as the two new builds at Caoles which have generated so much verbal indignation.

Our interview began with Mr. Reid stating that the “issue on everyone’s lips” was the camper vans that have increased due to the new RET system introduced this year. Although tourism is important to the economy of island life, it is argued that the camper vans add nothing to the economy and are frequently seen as detrimental to a fragile environment.
Andrew Montgomery, factor of Argyll Estates has had his own negative experiences with some of the drivers of camper vans who are insensitive to island life, and he is not alone as Mr. Reid stated: “the comments I have had from people have been mostly negative.” However, as the summer season is now over this is an issue that will come to the fore again next summer.

“Ill thought out regulations”

Mr. Reid’s opposition to the Draft Crofting Reform Bill has been well documented, he simply stated “ The proposed regulations are ill thought out and it will be extra red tape to no good purpose. The Scottish Government has to agree a sensible way forward with crofters that will give crofting a sustainable future. That is not apparent in the current Draft Bill.”

Inevitably the state of Cal-Mac ferries was discussed and Mr. Reid added to previous comments: “I receive regular and justified complaints that the winter sailings to Tiree & Coll are too few. I cannot stress enough the importance of building a fleet that would be reliable. The money has to be found.”

“It’s a disgrace that the firestation lacks basic facilities”

The plight of our firefighters also came up. “It is a disgrace that the fire station lacks basic facilities. It must be a priority to install them. Firefighters risk their lives to protect the local community, the least one can do is provide them with decent facilities. I will be keeping an eye on how this progresses.” The unregulated shenanigans of the bankers and the thorny subject of MP’s expenses also came up, but lack of space in this issue means these subjects will have to wait until issue 452.

Alan Reid M.P. Writes for An Tirisdeach

Water is one of life’s essentials which we tend to take for granted. It always comes as a shock when we turn on the tap and find the pipe is empty.
The recent disruption in the supply to 75 houses on Tiree showed that Scottish Water’s procedures for coping with a fault in the island’s water supply were not up to the job. I have written to their Chief Executive asking for an explanation of why the fault occurred and why their contingency plan wasn’t up to the job. I have asked them what their revised plans are should disruption to the island’s supply happen again in the future. I will let your readers know Scottish Water’s response.
My home is on the Cowal peninsula, so when the ferries go off, there is always an alternative route to connect the rest of the world to us. However, for islanders this is not the case and reliable ferry services are essential. The disruption to services at the end of May because of a mechanical failure on the Clansman highlighted the absence of back-up vessels. With an ageing CalMac fleet, there is clearly a risk that mechanical failures will become a more regular occurrence. Since the new agency Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL for short) took over responsibility from CalMac for commissioning new vessels, the ordering of new vessels seems to have dried up. I have written to Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson about this and urged the Scottish Government to invest in a modern fleet for CalMac.
Following concerns raised with me by fishermen about the siting of the planned offshore windfarms in prime fishing grounds, I wrote to the Crown Estate. I’ve received a reply from Ian Pritchard, their Head of Offshore Operations. In his reply, Mr Pritchard says that there is still to be a great deal of consultation and data gathering before any final decision is take and writes, “I would anticipate site boundary changes and/or mitigation measures to be adopted as a result.”
Two controversial proposals out for consultation are the Draft Crofting Reform Bill and the Council’s proposals for Care of Elderly. I would be interested in hearing people’s views on these or any other subjects.
I will be visiting Tiree later on in the summer as part of my annual constituency tour.
If anyone would like to see me during my visit, please contact my office.
I am always interested in hearing from constituents and can be contacted at my constituency office, 95 Alexandra Parade, Dunoon PA23 8AL, Tel 01369- 704840, Fax 01369-701212, email reida@parliament.uk
Alan Reid MP 20 July 2009

Scottish Youth Parliament

YOUNG PEOPLE URGED TO STEP FORWARD FOR SCOTTISH YOUTH PARLIAMENT

Attention 14-25yr olds

Young people in Argyll & Bute are being urged to put their names forward for election to the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The two youngsters who are standing down said
“It’s a great opportunity to find new ways of making things better for young people”.

The role of a MSYP is to represent the views of other young people both locally and nationally. To be an MSYP, you must be aged between 14- 25yrs and live in Argyll & Bute. Argyll & Bute Council Leader Dick Walsh urged young people to put their names forward
“This is Scotland’s leading rural area, and it is vital that we have an effective voice at all levels. This is an excellent opportunity for any young people who want to make a difference.

A chance to have your voice heard as a representative for your generation. If you have any questions about what is involved in being an MSYP, EMAIL Argyll & Bute at youngscot@argyll-bute.gov.uk.