Angry residents vent their fury at council

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ANGRY residents, many of whom have been faced with the devastation of flooding for a second time, vented their anger at council officials at Tuesday’s flood meeting in Stonehaven.

One business owner, Lesley Duff, who owns popular shop Aunty Betty’s cafe, asked the local authority if she should sue them after her premises was damaged by flooding?

She said: “I have shutters, sandbags - I have all of this and that. It was the council’s benches and bins which battered my shutters. I cannot get my insurance money- should I sue you?”

Chief executive of the council, Colin Mackenzie, who chaired the meeting said that she should seek independent legal advice and the local authority would deal with anything that comes before them.

This was not the only angry response of the night.

John Briggs, who also owns a business in the town and has now been flooded twice, said that he did not trust Aberdeenshire Council and cited insurance companies’ unwillingness to insure people as evidence of this.

He also called upon Mr Mackenzie to resign and describing his assurances as “insulting,” adding: “I don’t think you care.”

In a heated response, Mr Mackenzie explained that he did understand as he had been flooded three times in his previous home so he could empathise with the issues facing the town.

“I certainly do not apologise for being the chief executive,’’ he said.

‘‘This is one of the best councils in Scotland. We learn and engage with people listen to what they have to say and take it forward.”

Many of the people affected by the floods took the chance to criticise the local authority’s handling of the situation, with many saying they didn’t want to return to their homes because they felt it would happen again and they didn’t know what to do.