As reported in the Courier, Iberdrola, the Spanish owner of ScottishPower, is dropping the provision of base load energy, closing Longannet Power Station and reneging on a commitment to build a gas plant at Cockenzie.

Apparently, being a renewable subsidy hoover is a lot more profitable than providing an essential public service. Jeremy Corbyn is not far wrong in his call to nationalise our energy providers.

Iberdrola’s offer to hand over the Cockenzie Power Station land to East Lothian Council sounds generous in principle until the liabilities are considered. There is a long list of environmental issues surrounding the site that have yet to be resolved, including: - Removing the asbestos pipe running from the power station to the lagoons along Prestonpans beach; - Stabilisation and processing of the remaining lagoons; - Repair of the sea wall after the chimneys come down; - Removal of the oil jetty; - Flattening the hideous soil bunds surrounding the former Lowe’s fields; - Landscaping the old coal plant; - Detoxification of the power station site; - Decommissioning and landscaping the power station weir; - General landscaping and maintenance; and, - Maintenance of the Electric Bridge in Musselburgh.

The above list is not exhaustive and I doubt it could be ticked off for under £10 million. That’s the figure Councillor Innes should be looking to extract from Iberdrola before any handover.

Remember, on its current budget, our council struggles to keep the cemetery in Prestonpans tidy. Taking on massive additional liabilities, with no transfer fee, could break it financially.

Calum Miller Polwarth Terrace Prestonpans