IT really is "last chance saloon" for Skye this week as the next phase of a disturbing Scottish western plays out.

On Wednesday (November 8) Highland planning councillors will re-evaluate their "no objection" decision on SSEN’s application for new catastrophic overhead power lines and further infrastructure in stunning Skye. It is specifically designed to encourage and enable new multiple wind turbine applications despite there being no guaranteed route to market for yet more excess wind energy.

This can only increase the constraints burden on consumers who will have to pay millions to switch these monsters off. What a bizarre business model except for those gleefully raking in the spoils of a half-cocked policy that surely everyone, except the green-sloshed politicians, can now see is not fit for purpose.

With SSEN submitting further environmental information regarding Skye after the councillors' original decision it is only correct that planners revisit the application and make the right call this time. Without an objection Skye will not get the public inquiry it deserves where SSEN can be cross-examined by independent experts and their proposals scrutinised in the public domain. If SSEN is allowed to succeed Skye will be changed forever and not for the better.

Rural Scotland is fast becoming like the Wild West as Scottish Government-backed Big Energy rides roughshod into pristine environments and over residents' wishes to stake their claim and spear their public money-making industrial junk into areas that should be fiercely protected.

There are two definitions of "last chance saloon’’ according to the Collins dictionary. One is a place frequented by unsavoury characters and the other is a situation considered to be the last opportunity for success. If you have ever encountered the dismissive attitude of those intent on colonising rural Scotland in the name of "green" you will know that both definitions will apply.

It may seem dramatic to refer to Custer’s Last Stand but the enormous pressure and distress felt by targeted communities in Skye and across Scotland feels like they are fighting for their way of life against a ruthless "green" invasion with no-one in authority on their side. Attitudes are hardening as citizens become more aware of the scale of the industrial devastation they are expected to accept even though evidence of need has not been given to them. Politicians must stand with us and demand answers and not just hitch their wagons to the destructive "green" gravy train choo-chooing its way through our world-famous natural environment.

Lyndsey Ward, Spokeswoman for Communities B4 Power Companies, Beauly.

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Keep thugs out of school

FOLLOWING the criminal activity before and during so-called Bonfire Night many are calling for the sale of fireworks to be restricted ("Fresh calls for ban on sale of fireworks after attacks", The Herald, November 7). I would go further and say that the sale of fireworks should be banned completely as should all fireworks displays.

They originated in medieval times when entertainment was minimal. Our increasing environmental awareness and numerous other more cerebral attractions available to us means that time has passed them by. Their wasteful nature doesn't fit in with the modernity of resource conservation. Zero Waste Scotland should be focused on getting rid of these things.

As far as the teenage thugs who threw fireworks at police, fired rockets at shops, and stoned firefighters, ask yourself what it must be like to teach in a city school where these creatures are free to disrupt at will, with teachers bereft of sanctions to stop their disruptive behaviour. Head teachers are discouraged from expelling disruptive pupils because of the inane ideology of "inclusivity". What is required is a means to remove disruptive thugs permanently from the classroom so that lessons may proceed smoothly. While the Criminal Justice Act of 1982 abolished borstals, clearly there is a need for facilities which would cater for these deviants and criminals in the making.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

Where are the young apprentices?

WITH the belated recognition that not everyone wishes or is equipped for university study, there has been more emphasis on offering good quality apprenticeships. Yet the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development reports that, since 2015-16, there has been a decline of 28 per cent in the number of 16-24-year-old Scots embarking on an apprenticeship, while the number of over-25s embarking on an apprenticeship has doubled over the same period.

This does not come as a surprise to anyone who has spoken with tradesmen running small businesses. Several that I have used over almost 20 years used to have one or more young apprentices learning their trade from the master craftsmen. Now, they do not. The reason, it transpires, is that younger potential apprentices do not have an adequate skill set and, even more so, do not have an appropriate attitude: they think that they should start at the top. In short, it isn’t worth the tradesman’s while to employ them.

Perhaps by the time young people reach 25 or more, they have learned that application and self-discipline are required to progress in a trade or other career, and that they have a lot to learn. Never mind, at least they get to vote at 16.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

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Hybrid cars are the answer

I CAN suggest to Steve Barnet (Letters, November 4), a practical alternative to a pure EV which obviates the charging problems experienced by his daughter. Facing the same concerns in 2022 I decided on a particular type of hybrid vehicle which combines a petrol engine with a battery, the former charging the latter.

The front wheels are driven by the battery under low load speed) conditions, with the petrol engine cutting in automatically to provide assistance when called on for acceleration or higher-speed driving. There is no plug-in battery charging with the uncertainties and difficulties his daughter experienced with her pure EV. All that is required is to top up the petrol tank when needed, and in my experience the petrol consumption is excellent at 45-50 mpg.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

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Cenotaph should be moved

AS a regular visitor to George Square in Glasgow the first thing I would want would be to move the Cenotaph to the other end of the square to make a much more coherent use of the space ("Cafes and play areas ... images show how new George Square would look", The Herald, October 26, and Letters, October 27 & 30 & November 1 & 6) . The Cenotaph, with its symmetry and tragic meaning, should not be competing with the City Chambers and its display of civic pride. Both are magnificent structures and should be standing alone.

John Jamieson, Ayr.