Letters to the Editor - June 19

You can send your letters to news@mearnsleader.com

Girlguiding - Looking for Support

Madam- There are more than 200 girls involved in Girlguiding in Stonehaven from age 5 to 18. We have 13 different units of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section which meet at different times and days throughout the town. We also have a waiting list of about 50 girls who want to join Rainbows and Brownies. We are looking for support for the Unit leaders, who are all volunteers, thus enabling the Leaders to concentrate on running their Units. The Leaders have to plan and prepare meetings and sleepovers, holidays and camps. A large number of the leaders also have full or part time jobs asa well as their own families to look after.

The leaders enjoy what they do, interacting with the girls and having fun and friendship with other adults - it’s not all paperwork! We would like your readers to think how they could help - helping with craft or outdoor activities? Helping with administration or accounts? Fundraising? Becoming a Unit Helper?

There are two Unit Leader stepping down in the summer and we need volunteers to help these Units continue. If anyone can help in any way please contact us and we welcome your questions. Our email is stonehavendc@outlook.com.

Yours etc.,

Alison Dyson and Clare Thomas

Stonehaven District Commissioners

Car parking - No progress

Madam- It was reported on August 8 2013 that the Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) had been granted permission to convert the site of the old gas works in the harbour area into a car park.

Acquiring the site from Scottish gas networks we the public were told that 60 spaces would be created and solve some of the parking problems. Fast forward nearly two years and still nothing has developed into what was an enterprising idea by the STP.

The site apart from being an eyesore would have been an excellent opportunity to relieve pressure of parking in an area of already congested traffic. The backies car park is inadequate in the summer months of allowing tourists to stop and enjoy the ambience of the harbour while residents in the street areas I’m sure would also use a car park that could house more like 100 spaces.

What do other readers think.

Yours etc.,

Ali Brown,

3 Kingsgate,


Recreation grounds - Response to statement

Madam- You reported in your edition of June 12 that Stonehaven Town Partnership had issued a Press Release in which they had raised concerns over the long term future of Stonehaven Recreation Grounds.

As Solicitor to the Stonehaven Recreation Ground Trustees, I have been asked to respond to the comments made by STP and to assure the people of Stonehaven that there is no danger whatsoever of the Recreation grounds being lost to the town.

The present Trustees and their predecessors have run the Recreation grounds for the benefit of the people of Stonehaven for well over 100 years. The terms on which the Trustees hold the Recreation grounds and operate them for the community are contained in the Stonehaven Town Hall Order Confirmation Act 1902, and the Grou8nds are presently held on a lease from Stonehaven Town Council granted in 1932 for 999 years. The Scottish Parliament passed the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012 which comes into effect on 28 November 2015 and has the effect of converting the Lease to ownership. However the Lease is not the entire picture as the Trustees are bound by the terms of the existing Trust contained in the 1902 Act and will continue to hold the Recreation Grounds as such, and for no other purpose.

The members of the clubs who use the Recreation Grounds, who are known as the Subscribers, can ensure that the Trustees will retain the use of the grounds as a recreation ground. Nothing in the 2012 Act changes this.

It is disappointing that Douglas Samways and the STP have raised unneccessary fears over the Recreation Grounds, as nothing will change. The Trustees, who are members of the Bowling and Tennis Clubs, give up a great deal of time to ensure that the Recreation grounds are run for the benefit of Stonehaven. many in the town may not be aware that the Recreation grounds are not run by the Council, they receive no financial support from the Council, but the Trustees work quietly in the background to ensure that Stonehaven has these excellent sporting facilities available. The Trustees should be supported in the work they do rather than be the subject of inaccurate comments and groundless fears from STP regarding the work that they do.

Yours etc.,

Gordon Ritchie


via email

Politics - Appeal to Mr Donaldson

Madam- In the light of the Charles Kennedy scandal I have been trying to get the views of my MP, Stuart Donaldson about the SNP’s reluctance to stop “Cybernat “ abuse of members of the public, and public figures. So far I have had no response so I am appealing to Mr Donaldson in your newspaper.

I am quite sure that, if they wanted, the SNP could bring their fabled iron party discipline to bear on these people.

All the main papers and TV stations had detailed, evidenced reports of what actually went on.

Here is an example of what was said by one Cybernat on news of Kennedy’s death “‘Oh dear,’ it read. ‘Now I’m supposed to feel guilty or something. Well f**k you. I’m not.’

And this by the aforementioned Brian Smith on election night when Kennedy lost “GIRFUY (Get it right f***ing up you) you drunken slob Kennedy. Lies, smears and deceit didn’t work. Bye bye.”

The Convener of the Skye SNP branch, ex-policeman Brian Smith, was forced to resign last week. Reports cite such a close association with the new SNP MP, Ian Blackford, that is it inconceiveable he did not know that this is going on and perhaps encouraged it.

His much praised tribute to Charles Kennedy in the House of Commons last week was shown to be hypocritical, and he was asked not to attend the funeral.

I wrote to Mr Donaldson last week, here is a shortened version: “What do you, personally, think of the abuse of Charles Kennedy and what do you think should be done? Please write something I can include in a letter to the papers. This surely isn’t an example of the “progressive politics” the SNP proclaims.”

I received no reply or acknowledgement, so I posted my letter on Mr Donaldson’s Facebook site. Here are examples of the responses I got :“Allen Sutherland has a active member of the snp, I’ve learned a few things and personal know that we condone this sort of thing he does not speak for the snp but has a sole person the matter is been seen to and his in hand”. I’m none the wiser!

Another, more sensible, said “This fellow has been duly disciplined for what we ALL accept were utterly disgraceful comments about the one politician in the UK who died without enemies.”

I have not heard from Mr Donaldson. I truly want him to condemn this behaviour and I want the SNP to take action to snuff it out. This country has changed terribly in the last two years, it has become divided, fearful, and omninously accepting of abuse and intimidation.

The longer our democratically elected MP takes to condemn this the more the voters of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine should be concerned about what kind of monster their votes, and those of 56 other constituencies, have unleashed on the country we love.

Come on, “Stu” cancel a few school visits and take some time out to tell us all what you think.

Yours etc.,

Allan Sutherland

Stonehaven - AWPR Do not sleepwalk into a Silent Spring

Madam- It is with dismay that we are watching our beautiful countryside being ripped up here at the Bridge of Muchalls, we are also keenly aware that it is only the start soon we will no longer hear the sound of the burn at the bottom of the field or the smell of the gorse on the breeze, to be replaced by the roar and smell of speeding cars on the industrial highway through our once unspoilt countryside.

The boast is that this 36 mile project is something to be proud of, but is it really? It is the longest of all the routes, destroying thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, area of wild habitat mature trees, disrupting wildlife, industrialising the countryside, creating a development corridor that is already taking shape creating urban sprawl and encouraging people to use cars,is this really something to be proud of?

No acknowledgement of the loss.

Taking in the bigger picture our the Earth is struggling to cope with our demands on it, we hear a lot about the plight of the Tiger Elephant and many other animals all over the world pushed to near extinction but what about our very own Hedgehog a once common sight the Brown Hare, Brown Trout, Grey Partridge to name just a few all disappearing and more rapidly in the last 20 years, as it happens over many years people get used to NOT seeing them.

All sorts of excuses are put forward but is it not just the demands of modern life on the earth?.

We cant ignore that we are all connected through the Earth, this road uses huge amounts of the world’s resources, mining of metals has a huge effect on local populations displacing them through land grab polluting water and land, destroying livelihoods and even causing wars. The fact is that what we do effects many different aspects of the planet, look at the recent pollution that effected Britain coming from southern Europe, it goes both ways, being aware of this is a start after all its all our future.

The Earth has a huge healing,regenerative capacity but needs time and our help. We do not want to sleepwalk into a Silent Spring.

Yours etc.,

John Fraser,

Bridge of Muchalls.