Covid-19: Local snippets

RUN CANCELLED The Chapelton of Elsick 10k this year has been cancelled. Organisers said: “Although disappointing to do so, we are sure it is the right decision at this time given the uncertainty that lies ahead in the upcoming months. All runners will receive their refund in the next few days via Entry Central.

GALA CANCELLED The Portlethen Gala Committee has decided to cancel this year’s event. At present there are far too many uncertainties, and due to the school closure they are unable to progress any plans at present.

The committee says: “Hopefully if the situation improves we may be able to organise something on a smaller scale, but everything is in the lap of the gods.”

PDCC MEETINGS CANCELLED Portlethen and District Community Council has suspended its meetings for now. The community council has a notice in Asda saying that “due to the current health scare and the school shutting we will not be holding any public meetings of the PDCC for the foreseeable future.”

STATISTICS Here is a fascinating website with data about the pandemic, including collated figures for around Scotland, such as the NHS Grampian area. It is pulled together by a student in the Highlands so I can’t vouch for its accuracy.

GARDEN WASTE With the council’s recycling centres temporarily closed (and no Saturday collection point in Newtonhill), there have been enquiries about recycling garden waste. The most environmentally friendly option is home composting. You don’t need a compost bin – a compost heap or repurposed container will work just fine!

Alternatively, leave your grass clipping where they are – it’s surprising how quickly they disappear into the grass:…/grasscycling-the-easiest-way…/. For more advice on home-composting, visit:

Interested in building your own compost bin? This is a cheap and easy solution:…/35-cheap-easy-diy-compost-bins…

BONFIRES I have been asked if these are allowable. Aberdeenshire Council websites says that burning garden waste produces smoke, especially if it is damp and smouldering.  This will contain pollutants including carbon monoxide, dioxins and particles.  It is a common misconception that there are specific byelaws that prohibit garden bonfires or specify times they can be lit – there aren’t. 

If only dry garden waste is burned the occasional bonfire should not cause a major problem.  However if a bonfire becomes a persistent problem, interfering substantially with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property then action may be taken under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if it was determined to be a statutory nuisance. 

SUPPORT Pillar Kincardine has launched its new telephone helpline for those who are looking for emotional support, signposting or practical advice during this unusual period that we are in. The helpline will be available Monday-Friday 9am-4pm through the normal Pillar office number, 01569 767222.

POST OFFICE Today (Wednesday 8 April), and for the next few weeks, the Post Office will be operating 12.30pm – 1.30pm in the Newtonhill Pharmacy.

NEWSLETTERS The next quarterly Clochandighter magazine which circulates in the Portlethen area will not be produced. Similarly the biannual South Deeside View – which is delivered in the rural area of the North Kincardine ward west of the A92 – will not be published on paper, however it will be available on line.

KEY WORKERS Aberdeenshire Council’s website has now been updated regarding key worker status including a list of key workers in private/third sectors business against the government’s criteria.

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