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Council calls for a share for Highland in renewable energy profits

13th May 2021

Members at today's full meeting of Highland Council agreed a motion from the Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources, which would call for a fairer share of income derived from the development of the region’s natural resources to establish a Highland Renewable Fund.

In the motion Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, highlighted that at a time when private energy companies are making huge profits from the abundance of natural resources of wind and water in the Highlands the region’s roads were suffering.

Cllr Davidson said: "The basic road infrastructure that the communities of the Highlands rely upon is failing due to lack of investment over a number of years.

“And roads are just one example where the people and the overall environment of the Highlands would benefit from a reasonable share of the income being re-invested in the wider community."

The Leader argued that there are other areas where the quality of life of Highland people would be enhanced from the re-investment of a share of the profits made from the development of the Highlands natural resources.

Cllr Davidson added: “Asking for a share to invest back in the community for the overall benefit of the people of the Highlands is reasonable beyond challenge and the norm in many other countries across Europe.

Cllr Jimmy Gray, Chair of Corporate Resources, described how Shetland Council received £1.7B from the oil industry and is set to benefit from significant annual receipts from wind farm development. He said: “This initiative would be a major driver in improving infrastructure and communications the length and breadth of the largest local authority in the UK and a third of the land mass of Scotland.”

The full motion is as follows:

Highland Council calls for a fairer share of the income derived for the development of the Highlands natural resources.

At a time when massive profits are being made by private energy companies who use the abundant natural resources of wind and water in the Highlands, the basic road infrastructure that the communities of the Highlands rely upon is failing due to the lack of invest over a number of years.

Roads are just one example where the people and the overall environment of the Highlands would benefit from a reasonable share of the income being re-invested in the wider community. There are many other areas where the quality of life of Highland people would be enhanced from the re-investment of a share of the profits made from the development of the Highlands natural resources.

Asking for a share to invest back in the community for the overall benefit of the people of the Highlands is reasonable beyond challenge and the norm in many other countries across Europe. This initiative would be a major driver in improving infrastructure and communications the length and breadth of the largest local authority in the UK and a third of the land mass of Scotland.

 

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