Tesco grants change for now

Tesco is not resuming in-store voting in 2020 due to the pandemic, but will be supporting Bags of Help projects in a different way.

During October, November and December, Tesco will be providing grants of up to £1000 to support projects focused on local children and young people.

This theme could cover a large mixture of local causes. Examples include:
• Mental Health support for children and young people.
• Outdoor activities.
• Non statuary educational activities.
• Young carers.
• Bereavement counselling.
• Child poverty.
• Vulnerable at risk children

Other local good causes supporting children and young people will also be considered. For details of eligibility and the application process click here: https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/home/community-apply-bags-help-grant/#more-1742.

New flu vaccine helpline

Here’s an update from NHS Grampian on the local flu vaccination programme which has seen more than 52,000 people vaccinated (as at 5pm tonight). The target is about 225,000 people.

A new helpline – 0345 3379899 – has now been set up which will be capable of managing a much higher number of calls.

However people are asked to await their letter (being sent out over a three week period) before contacting the helpline.

The immunisation programme for flu is designed to be delivered over three months – October to December.

There is more information here: http://www.nhsgrampian.org/nhsgrampian/gra_display_simple_index.jsp;jsessionid=436289861D92ED656E947A8386F94ECA?pContentID=10336&p_applic=CCC&p_service=Content.show&

Fire alarms law delayed

Scottish Government ministers are to ask MSPs to delay new regulations on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms due to the impact of Covid-19.

I posted on 12 October that legislation is currently due to come into effect on 1 February 2021 requiring all properties to have smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms installed in certain rooms.

The first most people knew about this is when we received an advertising leaflet through the post. I contacted North East MSP Mike Rumbles who relayed the concerns of many constituents to the local government and housing minister. Other parliamentarians also voiced similar concerns.

Mike felt that these changes are “an unnecessary financial burden for many homeowners and they could easily be put off until things are back to normal. It is also a concern for households that are trying to isolate and may put vulnerable people at increased risk of transmission.”

Now the minister has said that while fire safety is an “absolute priority,” given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic “and the difficulties this is likely to create for people seeking to install new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, we have listened to concerns and decided to ask the Scottish Parliament to delay implementation.”

Good decision.

Fund offers help to businesses

On behalf of the Scottish Government, councils across Scotland are administering new business grants offered as part of the restrictions that were imposed by the government on 9 October. Aberdeenshire qualifies for the Business Hardship Fund.

The fund was launched on 20 October and the application window is scheduled to close at 5pm on Tuesday 3 November.

The fund is targeted at hospitality businesses and gyms whose business has been impacted by the new restrictions. Details can be found at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business/business-covid-19/covid-business-restrictions-support-fund/

Police look back at September

Police Scotland’s report for September in Kincardine and Mearns has been issued today.

Antisocial behaviour, Violence and Disorder:

There has been a slight decrease in the number of antisocial behaviour calls, with 23 incidents reported. Ten related to youth annoyance. The majority of calls related to noise in the form of loud neighbours / music being played.

There were 14 assaults, which is an increase on the previous month. Of those, 13 are detected and the remaining has a positive line of enquiry. There was one serious assault which has been detected.

Acquisitive Crime:

There have been 15 thefts, four are detected. There have been no reported housebreakings.


One report was submitted for drug/drink driving; the accused had 44mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath against the 22mcg limit.

There has been one instance of dangerous driving and it has been reported to the procurator fiscal for consideration of prosecution.

No reported incidents of careless driving for September.


Compliance with the Government’s regulations and guidance is still at a good level within Kincardine & Mearns. There have only been a few minor issues regarding large numbers gathering and all have dispersed without resorting to tickets. The 4 Es (Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce) are still being employed by officers, and seems to be a successful approach at this time.

During the lockdown in Aberdeen, more of the Community Policing Team were deployed to make licensed premises checks in case there was irresponsible management of the premises and failure to adhere to the track and trace protocols. Most premises had systems in place, although not necessarily following the same format.


You can communicate with Police Scotland using any of the following:
 101 – Non emergency
 Email – StonehavenLowerDeesideCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk
 Twitter – @NorthEPolice
 Facebook – www.Facebook.com/NorthEastPoliceDivision
 Web – www.scotland.police.uk
 999 – Emergency
 0800 555 111 – Crimestoppers.

Tribute to community stalwart

Tribute was paid tonight to former North Kincardine Rural Community Council chair Hazel Witte who died suddenly this week.

Hazel had also edited the South Deeside View community magazine, among other local commitments. She was still a regular attendee at the community council even though she had stepped down a few years ago.

Technically it was the annual general meeting of the community council however this has been delayed until 21 June on the advice of Aberdeenshire Council because of the pandemic. Tonight’s meeting was held virtually. Current office-bearers continue in post.

The community council is hoping to liaise with the local primary schools to have flat stones painted with poppies laid on Remembrance Sunday (8 November) during services.

Other issues were covered too including planning applications (such as the Scottish Government approval of a new Ury junction on the B797 Netherley Road), reporting potholes to Aberdeenshire Council, applying for a grant to cover extra costs of providing a virtual meeting service, and the need for community resilience in the rural area during the pandemic (the Larder in Cookston Road, Portlethen, is open to rural residents too).

Mailroom problem hits flu jabs process

Today I received a response from NHS Grampian about the hiccups in notifying residents about their appointments for flu jabs. I had contacted the chief executive on 8 October after a number of people asked me when they would get a letter.

Here is what Professor Amanda Croft had to say:

“Thank you for taking the time to draw my attention to the concerns of North Kincardine residents regarding the organisation of the 2020 seasonal flu clinics. I can understand why this may have caused anxiety.

“National changes to the Scottish Immunisation Recall System (SIRS) which administers patient appointments meant NHS Grampian had to change plans to utilise this system and instead identify eligible patients from local GP systems, which requires permission from individual GP practices. Once we had the information required, letters were sent via NHS Grampian’s mail room. However, due to the volume of mail it was unable to be franked in the required time. We have since moved to an alternative system working with Royal Mail which tries to guarantee next day delivery and continue to work hard to rectify any outstanding issues as swiftly as possible.

“The majority of Kincardine will receive their vaccination during the October school holidays in Mackie, Portlethen and Mearns Academies, with local clinics scheduled in the weeks that follow. Flu Helpline staff have been helping fill these clinics along with answering calls. We have been extremely busy and are trying our best to support patients. As ever, we appreciate your patience and understanding at this challenging time.

“I hope this information is helpful to yourself and your constituents.”

Those of us who received notification in time have found (without exception as far as I can tell) the process to be straight-forward and well organised.

It is unfortunate that some letters arrived after the due date and that the Helpline was overwhelmed.

New planning applications

The applications on the list below were registered last week within the North Kincardine ward and can be viewed using the online Aberdeenshire Council Planning Register (https://upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications/).

Site address: Garden Flat, Netherley House, Netherley, AB39 3QN.
Applicant: Mr Theodoros Konstantinou.
Listed building consent for the installation of damp proofing.
Public comment expiry date: 12 November.

Site address: Land at Cran Hill, Newtonhill.
Applicant: Miss Rhonda Henderson c/o Inspired Design & Development Ltd, 27 Evan Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2EQ.Full planning permission for the erection of a shed.
Public comment expiry date: 12 November.

Site address: 3 Blackbutts, Muchalls, AB39 3RS.
Applicant: Dr Nicola Bain c/o Leitch Design, 20 Brebner Crescent, Aberdeen, AB16 7HX.
Full planning permission for alterations and extension to a dwellinghouse.
Public comment expiry date: 5 November.

Site address: Land to the east of Nether Cairnhill Drive, Chapelton
Applicant: Elsick Development Company, c/o Wcp Architects, 6 Albyn Lane, Aberdeen, AB10 6SZ.
Approval of Matters Specified in Conditions for Condition 3 a) (Levels and Cross Sections), b) (Drainage Plan), c) (Connection of Scottish Water Foul Water), f) (Roads, Footpaths, Cycleways), g) (Walls and Fencing), h) (Landscaping) j) (Layout, Siting, Design and Finish), l) (Waste/Recycling Collection Points), 6 a) (Existing and Proposed Ground Levels), g) (Existing Trees, Shrubs, Hedges to be Removed), j) (Programme of Maintenance of Landscaping), 7 (a-f Surface Water), 22 (Bat Survey), 36 (Waste Management Plan), 37 (Environmental Management Plan) of Planning Permission in Principle Reference APP/2011/3100 for New Settlement Comprising Residential (up to 4045 Dwellinghouses), Commercial, Retail and Community Facilities, with Associated Landscaping, Open Space, Drainage and Roads Infrastructure and Services.
Public comment expiry date: 12 November.

Site address: 12 Argyll Place, Portlethen, AB12 4QZ.
Applicant: Mr Andrew McCrindle c/o Cooper & MacGregor Ltd, 86 Summerhill Crescent, Aberdeen, AB15 6ED.
Full planning permission for the erection of a garden room.
Public comment expiry date: 5 November.

Mystery over post box

When will Hillside will be getting its post box back near the Co-op? It was knocked down by a lorry in March.

I raised this with Royal Mail customer services shortly after the accident happened and the last I heard from the company in June was that the collections manager would be considering it, but they were “also dealing with several other post box enquiries as well.  However, please be assured that they are aware of your request and will deal with it as soon as possible.  As soon as we receive a response, we will let you know the result.”

I have contacted Royal Mail again to see if there is likely to be any progress.

I’m told by residents that it’s very much missed!

There is an alternative post box in the original Hillside settlement by the A92. Otherwise it is a trip under the dual carriageway to the shops on Cookston Road.