Community benefit fund

with the Meikle Carewe windfarm due to be operational by April next year, Stonehaven Community Council are urging local groups and organisations to be ready to make bids for their share of the associated community benefit fund.

Council members Peter Greig and Stuart Alexander attended a meeting to discuss the community fund and they reported that the developers had taken the form relating to the benefit fund of the Tullo windfarm, near Laurencekirk and modified it to suit themselves.

Mr Greig explained that £22,500 would be available every year. There would be three months in which to apply and a two month period during which all applications would be considered and agreed or otherwise.

Mr Alexander said that the community benefit fund was open to five community council areas, so it covered a large geographical area. A scoring system for applications will be put in place and the whole thing will be done objectively.

The fund is being administered by the Kincardine and Mearns Area Partnership, who are being paid 10% of the fund “on top” for doing so.

Mr Greig said: “The message to local groups is get you applications in.”

David Fleming told the meeting that from the third week in January, large pieces of turbine equipment will be transported on a convoy of lorries from Montrose up the A92 to the windfarm site.

There are hopes that the Stonehaven beach toilets will open again next summer.

Allan Sutherland told the meeting that a sponsor to pay for the toilets to open was being sought.

Councillor Wendy Agnew said that the toilets will be repainted so that they will be in good condition and ready to reopen.

The police report to the community council said that there had been 50 offences in the area in the past month, including thefts, assault, vandalism and traffic offences.

Police have urged people to be mindful of their own personal safety at this time of year, particularly with regard to alcohol.

There have been incidences of counterfeit £20 notes being passed in Stonehaven. In all cases, such instances should be reported to the police.

The police reported that a ring round system is now in operation among Stonehaven shops in a bit to combat shoplifters or any other suspicious persons.

Member George Strang is to contact the traffic police regarding the possibility of making Belmont Brae one-way and regarding parking issues at the bottom of Slug Road.