Power company faces battle over lines access

THE power company which supplies electricity to Bute has admitted it faces “big battles” to persuade landowners to allow the company access to keep overhead lines clear of trees.

Neil Wilson, the Argyll operations manager for Scottish and Southern Energy, said landowners often refused to allow the company on to their property to ensure lines were kept free of vegetation.

Mr Wilson was speaking to members of Bute Community Council, who invited representatives from the company to answer questions from the public about the firm’s reaction to the severe weather of December 8 and January 3 – particularly on the latter occasion, when power was not fully restored to the island for four days.

“Those winds were extraordinary,” Mr Wilson said of the January storms.

“It seems almost as if a tornado came over from Dunoon.

“It was an exceptional event, but not because we weren’t doing anything about it. We flooded the place with as many people as we could, but the devastation was enormous.”