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.


Do something about it

Sir - I very much agree with Stuart Alexander’s letter (October 17). While all the huffing and puffing goes on about Local Plans, the recreation grounds and huge housing estate-inspired supermarkets, surely the first act is to secure low price, acessible food shopping for everybody in the town.

I have just returned from Farmfoods Stonehaven, where I bought a 400gram tray of grapes for £1. The same product costs £2.20 at the Co-op , ie 120% higher. Recently, Ian Balgowan calculated that their potatoes were £3000 per ton. The word “competition” is not one you always associate with the Co-op, but the tatties have got the bananas breathing down their necks, they work out at £2500 a ton!

If the Stonehaven Fairtrade group had visited their favourite store last week they would have seen that, had they bought their Fairtrade bananas loose, they would have cost 99p per kilo. If you buy them in a 600gram, 99p “Fairtrade” polythene bag they cost £1.70 a kilo - a hike of 70%. I wonder how much of that extra 74p the poor Fairtrade farmers get?

There are tons of examples of scandalous pricing practices at the Co-op and I am writing to urge Leader readers to do something about it; write to Aldi and Lidl and suggest Stonehaven as a fantastic opportunity, full of people crying out for a low priced supermarket. Both companies are eagerly looking for, and snapping up, new sites. Why should we miss out?

They want people to suggest sites. You could suggest two: the council’s choice, which is Spurryhillock, or the poular choice, which is smack on top of the main Co-op site in David Street, ideally redeveloped to include the incinerated eyesore that was the Bervie Chipper, with a car park on the roof.

It’s very simple to contact them:

Lidl - Google “Lidl our expansion”, click on the first link that comes up, choose your area and key in the details of the opportunity and your suggested site

Aldi - Google “requirement towns Scotland” or email “property.bag@aldi.co.uk (the Scotland email address).

Yours etc.,

Allan Sutherland

1 Willow Row,


Shame on Stoney

Support the Town Hall

Sir - How come the Stonehaven Town Hall is not supported? We had some really good bands that put on a great show on Friday for about 30 people. Colin Clyne is a local lad and it was a shame he had no support. Shame on you Stoney.

Yours etc.,

Liz Wood

Address supplied


Response to Mr Sutherland

Sir- I read last week’s letter by Mr Sutherland and felt that I should respond on behalf of the majority of YES voters.

This ill-conceived rant and occasional character assassination on behalf of Better Together campaigners paints a rather negative and colourfully biased caricature of what was a pretty invigorating and positive time in Scottish politics.

I will concede, as many have, that the Yes campaign failed to fully convince the Scottish electorate on the benefits of voting for independence but it would be incredibly naive to suggest that was the full picture. The real answer is somewhat more complex than that. I do however accept the result, and have moved on.

I would like to ask Mr Sutherland what he feels the ‘Yessers’ should do? Should we all just shut up, go back to our day jobs and pretend that none of this happened? God forbid that people actually wanted to work together to change Scotland into a fairer society where wealth was more evenly distributed and the society was something we could be proud of.

For the first time in many people’s lives, they are becoming involved in politics in a positive way. Now we are in the post-Referendum era and the world of Scottish politics has changed. Better Together has won!

Scottish National party membership is at 85,000 and still rising. The Green Party has also more than tripled its membership. Meanwhile the Scottish Labour party are losing members and its leader has gone, citing its lack of independence from Central office as a major reason. No irony there then. When the Conservatives pull back the bed covers to welcome UKIP as their new Coalition partners on May 2015 I’m looking forward to the benefits ‘Northern Britain’ will receive from those bed partners who sleep exclusively on the far right side of the bed. Sure feels good on the winning side? I won’t countenance the massaged percentages, saged advice nor the unholy alliance as they are rather negative and polarised viewpoints made from a world of half-empty glasses and behind the sofa horror gloom. The reality is more positive and balanced.

The growing reality for Mr. Sutherland and the now rapidly dissipating ‘Better Together’ campaign is that September the 18th was not an end point for the change process in Scotland but a mere starting point. The political landscape in Scotland has changed forever and the old parties now know it more than ever. Put up and shut up are no longer on the agenda Mr. Sutherland. I look forward to the debate continuing, long into the dawn.

Yours etc.,

Name and address supplied

Surely not?

More openness is needed

Sir - I read with interest the comments from Mr Harry McNab, who is the planning director with Bancon, regarding their latest application for East Newtonleys, when I suddenly wondered if this could be the same Harry McNab who had spoken so passionately at the Ury Development pre-determination meeting just three weeks ago.

I thought, ‘Surely not!’, as at that meeting, Mr McNab spoke about the serious damage the Ury Development would cause to local tourism, and here he was asking to expand a development which will be visible for many visitors who are at Dunnottar Castle, our premier tourist attraction.

This already large development proposes a supermarket which has been discounted by most of Stonehaven because of its location, and I have no doubt will also include, in the fullness of time, an application for another 500/600/800 house development at Braehead.

The flooding problems from the Carron were exacerbated by the Glasslaw Burn, the flow of which was greatly increased by the last Braehead development. Despite assurances to the contrary, we should not suppose that another massive development would handle the water run-off any better. The proposal that they will defy nature and send the water flows east to the sea, almost defies belief.

I also wondered about the excellent road infrastructure at East Newtonleys he talked about, as the link road proposal was refused a few years ago, and the roads there are very poor.

A little less hypocrisy, and a little more honesty and openness from developers would be a welcome change.

Yours etc.,

Frank Budd

Chairman Stonehaven Tourism Group