Letters to the Editor

Here are the letters sent to us this week that can be seen on page 10. If you have a letter you can e-mail it to news@mearnsleader.com or mail it to 12 Ann Street, AB39 2ER.

Town Hall Trust - Virulently attacked

Sir - Trustees have become aware that in a particular social medium they have been virulently attacked.

A self-confessed “rant” was posted, both petulant and aggressive in tone, in which the author inaccurately accuses Trustees of questioning the author’s integrity, and in general infers a campaign of obstruction.

The occasional crudity of the wording of this “rant” palls into insignificance alongside the numerous obscenities and thoroughly objectionable comments attracted by the post negating the efforts of the Trust.

Had the names of Trustees been mentioned, one might surely ask whether the comments were actionable.

Trustees, while understandably distressed by the venom accorded them in the comments, would merely ask that in future any such complaints be directed to them in a more reasonable and formal fashion; that is, by letter to the chairman addressed to the Town Hall, or by e-mail to trustees@stonehaventownhall.org.

Members of the Stonehaven Town Hall Trust work as hard as anyone else who is involved in the voluntary provision of services and helping to improve facilities for the people of Stonehaven. They do not deserve abuse.

Yours etc,.

Alan McConachie,

Chair, Stonehaven Town Hall Trust.

Town partnership - Who do they represent?

Sir- An excellent letter from Jackie Bruce which makes just about all the points.

Perhaps only Mr Samways would continue to contest the uncontestable - yet contest it he does.

His logic seems to be that a new, additional supermarket must be within short and easy walking distance of the town centre. Because there’s no large site available that close in, he’s talking about a Tesco Metro or a M&S Simply Food - i.e., small. That might be Co-op monopoly-busting, but it isn’t the answer and it isn’t what people want. And since when was Spurryhillock a five-minute stroll?

Mr Samways, in this matter at least, is not wisdom incarnate but merely a lobbyist.

Elected representatives may in the past have listened to lobbyists, but that isn’t the answer, either. The town needs and the town demands a big, new, non-Co-op supermarket, and if there isn’t a suitable site for it within yards of the town centre, well then there isn’t. It doesn’t alter the fact that any elected or unelected individual or body purporting to represent residents, should be bending its efforts to providing what residents are crying out for - which is not the fudges that have been offered to date.

In the unlikely event that the town centre, contrary to experience elsewhere, was adversely affected (Inverurie, Montrose and, whatever he says, Banchory, and numerous other places indicate otherwise) and that what works everywhere else somehow won’t work for Stonehaven ..... well, just who are you representing, Mr. S? Thousands of residents, or a handful of shopkeepers - who aren’t at risk anyway, because who buys meat or delicatessen products or jewellery or flowers or specs or bike parts or ladies’ wear or a holiday or a hair-do from - or conducts banking transactions, or places a bet on a horse at - Tesco? Come on, get real.

Mr Samways says that “what is required now is a willingness dispassionately to consider all options.”.

Personally, I have the impression that little if anything is ever seriously considered outwith his agenda.

Yours etc.,

John Sutcliffe.

via email

Change 100 - Equal Opportunities

Sir- We know that disabled people are much less likely to be in employment than the rest of the UK population.

The latest research from Leonard Cheshire Disability is, therefore, not surprising. The charity has found that nearly three quarters (73%) of the public feel that disabled people should be given more opportunities to find work.

This is why we launched our new programme, Change100, which matches talented disabled students with some of the UK’s leading companies. Since we launched the programme last year, we have had excellent feedback from leading employers on the calibre of the students, and all those seeking work have secured employment.

Applications are now open for disabled students from universities across the UK to apply for our 2015 Change100 programme. If you are studying or have just graduated, visit: www.leonardcheshire.org/change100 to find out more about this exciting opportunity. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2015.

Make this New Year’s resolution one to remember.

Yours etc.,

Peter Jenkins

Managing Director, External Affairs at Leonard Cheshire Disability

Oil prices - Lesson from the Middle East

Sir- As we in the UK come to terms with the challenge presented by the steep fall in oil prices we should maybe learn a lesson from the Middle Eastern state of Saudi Arabia, which has 90% of its revenues coming from oil and recently unveiled its 2015 budget.

This budget signalled the Government’s intention to maintain its large public spending policy despite such a fall. Indeed, it will increase public spending by just under 1%, building infrastructure and creating jobs while investing in key sectors such as health and education as it looks to diversify its oil-based economy.

While it acknowledges that its budget deficit will increase to $38.6 billion this is unlikely to impact on the country as the IMF estimates that Saudi Arabia has about $750 billion in foreign-exchange reserves built up over the years from oil sales.

No one can disagree that oil prices are volatile, but there is clearly a lesson here for the UK in establishing an oil fund, allowing us to reap the rewards in the good times and maintaining spending when times are tougher.

Yours etc.,

Alex Orr

Thank you - Cookies, Milk and carrots

Sir - I just wanted to write and thank all of the people of Kincardine and Mearns for the lovely treats on Christmas Eve. I was spoilt with all the mince pies, milk, cookies, carrots for the reindeer among other treats that were left out for the crew and myself.

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas day and I’m sure I didn’t miss anyone on the list. Mr Rankin I hope you enjoyed those pair of slippers on Christmas morning as you just managed to slip onto the nice list.

Mr S Claus

North Pole