OPINION: Yet another balls up as Council fails to halt unwanted wind turbine project


We believed the SNP administration at West Dunbartonshire Council was a basket case and said that often on this digital platform.

Now we are beginning to wonder if the Labour administration that replaced the Nationalists has the ability required to put a nut in a monkey’s mouth.

What a shower of roasters our arrogant council – elected members and officials – has turned out to be.  And now they are being sleekit with it.

Public notices for planning permission have to appear by law in a local newspaper, but none has so far for the contentious request to erect an unsightly wind turbine in Bonhill.

And the natives of Broomhill Crescent near the Beechwood estate are furious that the groundwork for this has already begun, despite the fact that planning permission has not so far been given.

We are told that an advertisement has appeared however in a giveaway magazine, which is distributed free around the doors in West Dunbartonshire.

In fairness, it’s not a bad wee magazine but it’s not a newspaper and having been banned ourselves from talking direct to the Council for the spurious reason that we are not members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), we wonder if the Community Advertiser meets that requirement.

Or if any other publications such as The Guardian or The Observer, which choose not to be members of IPSO, which was brought in eight years ago to replace the not fit for purpose Press Council, have to show their IPSO credentials before they can so much as ask their press office for details for a caption for a photograph.

Labour must should be black affronted that our local council, traditionally Labour for the past 70 years and more, is acting more like we are in Belarus rather than Bonhill, Brucehill and Bellsmyre.

It was the lack of advertising and hemorrhaging circulation that brought the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter to its knees this week – it no longer publishes on newsprint but has gone on-line.

Both the once successful Reporter and the Lennox Herald once had editorial and advertising offices and print works in the local area, but these are now closed.

And the local council, quite frankly, have done little to support them with advertising revenue.

However it appears that they want us, The Democrat, to support them by not printing items they find embarrassing. Fat chance.

There are more than enough of these stories to keep us in business, and there are of course positive stories too which we publish regularly on our digital platform.

By taking their complaints to IPSO about inaccuracies or seeking apologies – they have to pay for that, or rather the council taxpayers have to meet the cost – for what we have written the Council gives up its right to sue us for stepping out of line, but there is already a process in place whereby they can take us to court.

We take immense pride in what we do, holding the local authority and other publicly financed organisations to account.

We publish and be damned, and will continue doing so with the same if not increased vigour while West Dunbartonshire Council continues to act like a totalitarian state and ignores our democratic right to Freedom of Speech.

Top picture: Bonhill Bridge and the River Leven from the air.

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