David and Goliath Crowdfunding Campaign Launched in Preparation for Whitesands Flood Protection Public Inquiry

On Friday 17th August, the Save Our Sands campaign will launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds in opposition to the Council’s controversial Whitesands Flood Protection Scheme.

The Whitesands Flood Protection Scheme has caused controversy since its inception back in 2011.  Opposers of the scheme express serious concerns over: the wasteful nature of the £25-35 million proposed to be spent on the scheme (with over £4m already having been spent); the number of car parking spaces the town centre would lose, impacting on businesses on the Whitesands and all surrounding streets (including the High Street, which is already struggling); and the way in which the proposed 2.9m (9ft 6in) barriers would obstruct the view of both the river and the historical Devorgilla Bridge, impacting on both local residents and tourists alike.

On 6th November 2018, a Public Inquiry will begin to consider these objections, allowing both the Council and objectors (made up of residents and local businesses) to state their views.  However, the Public Inquiry has all the makings of a modern-day David and Goliath fight for the people of Dumfries and Galloway, as the Council are estimated to have already spend almost £90,000 on a team of lawyers in preparation for the Public Inquiry, with no funding having been made available by the Scottish Government to support the objectors’ case.

In 2015, a public petition secured over 6,000 signatures in opposition to the proposed scheme.  The Save Our Sands campaign is now asking for the support of local people in fighting their case in the Public Inquiry, with a fundraising target of £5,000.

John Dowson, a member of the Save Our Sands campaign, urged;

“I am really asking local people to make a donation towards this fighting fund. Every penny will be accounted for and directed towards ordinary people in Dumfries having their voices heard in an effective way. Many objectors have already been silenced for fear of being cross examined by the Council’s lawyers, but we are prepared to take them on and win. We need your help to do this well and with dignity. Please consider donating towards this cause”.

The tight timescales involved in the Public Inquiry mean that any supporting documents need to be submitted by the 9th October 2018, forcing a deadline of 14th September to commission professionals.  Any funds secured through the Save Our Sands crowdfunding campaign will therefore be used to secure professional services (including a town planner, hydrology engineer, architect and lawyer) to put forward a strong case in opposition to the Council’s plans.

Once the page goes live at 05:00 on 17th August, supporters are being encouraged to contribute to the cause, by donating through the campaign’s Crowdfunder page: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-sands

Every donation, no matter the size, will help to tip the scales in favour of the individuals and businesses opposing the scheme.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

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