Emergency planning tops Bute priorities, says MP

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Worries over a repeat of last winter’s power cuts topped the list of local priorities when Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid visited Bute on the last leg of his annual constituency tour this week.

Mr Reid visited the post offices in Port Bannatyne and Kilchattan Bay and held a surgery at Rothesay Pavilion – and afterwards called on Argyll and Bute Council to go public with its plans to make sure there’s no repeat of the situation in January, when Bute was cut off for the best part of three days.

“People were commenting that we had all these problems [in January] and that the council seemed to be caught unprepared,” Mr Reid told The Buteman.

“Are they better prepared now? We don’t seem to know. It may well be that the council has plans, but people want to know what those plans are if there’s a repeat of January’s storms.

“They want assurances that if the same thing happens again this winter, everything will kick into place straight away.”

A council spokesperson told The Buteman an emergency planning programme for the whole of Argyll and Bute would be launched towards the end of October.

We’ve also been promised a more detailed response from the authority on Monday, and will publish it here when it’s received.

In addition, Mr Reid said he hoped to hold a public meeting in Rothesay in the next few weeks to discuss the subject of emergency planning, after the launch in Rothesay of a report by Scottish MPs into the power companies’ response to the January storms was attended by only one person – The Buteman’s reporter.

* More on Mr Reid’s tour visit to Bute in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, October 18.