News in brief: National park clean-up, public meeting over wind farm, MSP’s plea for C diff inquiry result

LEC litter team

One of Argyll’s biggest landowners says it has declared war on litter by implementing a summer clear-up programme.

Eyesore: an ugly site on the Bonnie Banks
Eyesore: an ugly site on the Bonnie Banks

Last week 18 workers from Luss Estates took to the lanes, lay-bys and beaches of west Loch Lomond picking up more than 60 bags of litter in a blitz on some of the area’s most popular beauty spots – clean-ups are now planned every month.

Simon Miller, chief executive of Luss Estates, said: “West Loch Lomond is renowned for its beauty, and we want to keep it that way.

“In just a few hours, our team collected a staggering amount of litter, with much of the estate still to be covered.”

A planning application for a community wind farm above Helensburgh will be submitted later this year, a public meeting has heard.

The meeting was called by Rhu and Shandon Community Council, since the site chosen by Helensburgh Renewables is within that council’s area.

Planning permission is still being awaited for an anemometer, and an environmental study costing £170,000 is being planned for the five turbines.

The community council is due to consider the wind farm plan at its next meeting on June 11; draft minutes of the public meeting are available here.

The community council has already said that a series of conditions should be met before the anemometer plan is approved, while the Helensburgh Turbines Evaluation Group has requested more information.

MSP Jackie Baillie has expressed her disappointment after Alex Salmond refused to give a final date for the publication of the Vale of Leven C diff inquiry at First Minister’s Questions last week.

The Labour MSP asked the First Minister to put an end to five years of waiting and finally give an accurate date for the publication of the judge-led inquiry which began in October 2009.

The inquiry was granted, after lobbying from the families, in April 2009 and was due to report three years ago in May 2011. However after a series of delays there is still no final date for publication.

Fifty-five people developed Clostridium difficile, and 18 people died, during the outbreak in 2008 at the Vale of Leven Hospital. C.diff was also blamed for nine deaths and was a contributory factor in nine more.

Jackie said: “The families of victims who died as a result of the outbreak had to fight hard for a public inquiry and it is simply unacceptable that seven years after the first deaths we still do not know when the final report will be published.

“The costs have reached almost £10 million and these delays have prolonged the suffering of the families who are still waiting for answers.”