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Refreshingly forthright - Letter last week Dr Stirk

Madam - It is said that one should speak as one finds and I have to say that I found Dr Stirk’s letter of last week refreshingly forthright however, given my four-and-a-half years experience of having lived in Stonehaven, I thought the comment “a step too far” was understated, a flight - a flight of stairs would have been more appropriate!

Dr Stirk’s further comment “We are not supposed just to do what we are told to do, it is supposed to be the other way round,” reminded me of a period some time ago when I wrote to John Swinney to compliment him on his quote in an Angus newspaper “politicians are employees and servants of the people as boss, not the other way round”

The latest revelation that more power could be given to the local authorities is, I suggest yet another folly, for without the necessary system in place for the people to become involved, such as web cams in the debating chambers to help identify the sheep from the goats etc, how can the people expect to air their views and exercise their rightful powers on a more regular basis?

It is also said that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, today centuries later - different “fiddle” same old tune.

Yours etc,.

John Ritchie

via email

East Newtonleys - Response to last week

Madam - Re the article Fri July 31st.

If the members of SDCC & STP have been in Stonehaven for any length of time they should be aware that the site at East Newtonleys has always been designated as an industrial site which includes large buildings.They should also be aware that Bancon have proposed to run the rainwater eastward to the sea.

My only concern regarding the re location of the council depot is that we get another mini market squeezed into Spurryhillock. Kirkton Road is already struggling to cope with traffic at peak times and the people of Stonehaven deserve a proper supermarket. With regards to flooding, I did not see the same objections to the SMG’s development at Dunnottar Park where the run off must go into the Carron.

My final point is the Carron River’s outflow to the sea. Fifty years ago, the River Cowie took a right turn at the Craws Nest, ran south under the three bridges where it met the Carron and followed the sea wall parralel to the High Street to enter the sea near the Backies.

Yours etc,.

Bill Ross

Martin Drive

Stonehaven.

Good parents - Be tolerant of seagulls

Madam, – Whenever wild animals or birds trouble us humans, there follows the inevitable cries of ‘cull them’.

Every summer millions of people flock to the coast where many gulls live.

Despite warning notices, some visitors insist on feeding them, while others seem to find it impossible to place their leftovers in a bin.

The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being fierce defenders of their offspring, the birds will occasionally be aggressive – for a few weeks a year – to those they consider too close to their nests or young.

The fact is, there are simple, inexpensive and non-lethal methods that can be used to deter birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish and we have free factsheets available on deterring gulls and a number of other species.

Otherwise we should show tolerance through the breeding season, not least because they are just being good parents, and six of the seven gull species are in decline.

Numbers of coastal gull species are dropping partly because we humans are stealing their fish.

It would be a shame if we slaughtered them because they steal a few of our chips! – Yours, etc.,

John Bryant

Wildlife Consultant