Covid testing unit on the move

As a result of the vaccination clinic in Stonehaven moving from the Town Hall to the Leisure Centre it will be necessary to relocate the Covid-19 mobile testing unit, currently at the Leisure Centre.

The unit will start operating from the new car park at the Aberdeenshire Council offices at Viewmount on Arduthie Road from Thursday (21 January). Part of the main car park can be used as a holding area should there be a sudden surge of arrivals.

To recap, the unit will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays until the end of February, with extended hours from 10am to 6pm.

Appointments must be booked in advance online via the government website – https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Grants for local groups

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee today awarded a number of grants to local groups including Portlethen Town Association. These were the final awards for the 2020/21 financial year.

The town association was awarded £2000 towards the cost of purchasing a lock-up for the storage of equipment for the gala, the festive lights, and for the paths group.

Councillors also awarded £1840.80 to the council’s Waste Service for the purchase of litter pickers which can be used by schools and other community organisations. This was prompted by an enquiry from Portlethen Academy who wish to use 35 litter pickers.

Other grants were as follows:

Stonehaven Business Association – £3000 – for a 2.5 metre tall lighthouse in Market Square, as part of a lighthouse trail across the North East this summer.

Stonehaven Tennis Club – £8000 – for upgrading three courts to a synthetic clay surface.

Stonehaven Thistle Cricket Club – £2130 – to purchase mobile covers.

Mearns FM – £1730 – for additional software and a computer.

Mearns Coastal Heritage – £1351 – for ditching and drainage on a path between Cove Hill and Lime Kilns, and for planting at Tangleha Bay path.

Stonehaven community council – £5000 – for a defibrillator outside Mackie Academy and upgrade other defibrillator boxes in the town.

Stonehaven Recreation Grounds – £8000 – towards the cost of a £22,500 maintenance upgrade programme, including guttering, roof repairs, replacement mower, drainage work, and security lighting.

Any unclaimed funding left at the financial year will be divided among food larders in Kincardine and Mearns.

Second wind turbine arrives

I see the lonely wind turbine on the horizon now has a pal.

The second large wind turbine has arrived for the Kincardine offshore wind farm after being towed by tug Manta from Rotterdam.

Just after I saw the newcomer three planes flew high overhead, en route from North America to Mumbai or the Persian Gulf.

Spotlight on the rural area

North Kincardine Rural Community Council had two guest speakers tonight on its Zoom meeting: PC Marc Camus and Lairhillock School head teacher Andy Murray.

PC Camus reviewed incidents and crimes in Kincardine and Mearns over the last month. He appealed for residents to get in touch with the police as soon as they become aware of incidents. He gave an example of calls to the police some eight hours after the incident apparently began. By the time officers could attend, nothing untoward was happening.

Andy Murray has now been in post for 11 months at the primary school. Currently the school only has a few children in school with the majority undertaking remote learning during lockdown.

The school has a healthy roll with 137 pupils and 31 in the nursery. This upward trend is expected to continue which should result in seven classes rather than six.

The meeting also heard that a food bank drop-off is being set up at the school.

There was also a discussion on making community council websites as user friendly as possible; bin collections; gritting; reporting potholes; speed limits on the South Deeside Road at the Maryculter Bridge; planning applications including proposals at Banchory Devenick; community empowerment and participatory budgeting.

The next meeting is on Monday 15 February.

New planning application

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

APP/2020/2618
Site address: West Blackbutts, Muchalls, AB39 3RT.
Applicant: Mr Leslie Mills c/o Keith Allardyce, Allardyce Design , 15 Golden Square, Aberdeen, AB10 1WF.
Full planning permission for the demolition of an existing dwellinghouse and the erection of three dwellinghouses and detached garages.
Public comment expiry date: 18 February.

Village road to close

Owing to JKR Contractors Ltd undertaking new road construction work, it will be necessary in the interests of public safety to close part of Cairnhill Drive in Newtonhill for 21 days, commencing Monday 25 January.

The closure is from the junction with Cairnhill Terrace until Cairnhill Way, as shown on the map.

Pedestrian access is to be maintained.

Last call for Meikle Carewe grants

A reminder to local groups that the Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Community Fund is open for applications until 31 January.

Applications can only be accepted from not-for-profit groups and organisations, based in the following community council areas:
• Crathes, Drumoak and Durris
• Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore
• North Kincardine Rural
• Portlethen and District
• Stonehaven and District.

Click on this link for guidance notes: https://mcusercontent.com/73c59c6b78fb422fcc5a19bb6/files/80b37189-7ac6-45e8-b894-e72dbe7c99c1/Meikle_Carewe_Guidelines_2020.pdf?utm_source=KDP+Bulletin&utm_campaign=8065e2cf7e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_01_09_19_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_764b19c244-8065e2cf7e-106356995

Email Kincardineshire Development Partnership for an application form: www.kdp.scot. KDP administers the funding process.

Vandalised waste bin to be removed

A damaged bin is being removed from Newtonhill Park after part of it was ripped from the fixing post, possibly by vandals.

The council’s Waste Service tell me that as it was one of the old-style red dog waste bins it will not be replaced. They are no longer stocked.

There are two bins only a few yards away, one at the bus stop, the other by the play area.

The post will have to remain for a while as it is concreted into the ground.

Covid-19 test station to stay

The Covid-19 mobile testing unit will continue to operate from Stonehaven, Banchory and now Inverurie throughout January and February.

The unit will be operating on a regular pattern as follows:
Monday – Banchory
Tuesday – Stonehaven
Wednesday – Banchory
Thursday – Stonehaven
Friday – Inverurie
Saturday – Inverurie
Sunday – Stonehaven

The unit will continue to operate for the time being from the Stonehaven Leisure Centre car park from 10 am to 4 pm each day, but this is subject to change as demand dictates.

Appointments must be booked in advance online via the government website – https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

The site is being operated by the Scottish Ambulance Service or Reserves and not by Aberdeenshire Council.

Latest scams warnings

Aberdeenshire Council has issued its latest Trading Standards bulletin on doorstep crime and scams.

▪ Scammers continue to take advantage of people during the Covid 19 pandemic and are now resorting to issuing fake text messages to mobile phone users stating that they are eligible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine.

A link is included, which once clicked on, takes the recipient to a genuine looking NHS website where they are asked to input banking and personal information. The information is subsequently used to access the recipients bank accounts and steal money from them.

The NHS will not ask you for payment or bank details if you are identified as someone eligible for vaccination. If you receive a text message like this, please ignore, block and delete it. https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/covid-scam-warning-north-easttrading-standards-teams-issue-alert-over-fake-nhs-covid-19-vaccine-texts/

▪ We have received reports of residents who have invested six figure sums of money with companies/ individuals believed to be operating investment scams.

Residents should be wary investing money with any individual or company that contacts them out of the blue by email, text or phone.

The Financial Conduct Authority operates a register at https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ where checks can be made regarding whether a company is regulated. If it is not registered, it may be a scammer you are engaging with.

▪ It is now 2021 and the transition period leading up to the UK’s exit from the European Union has now concluded, but what does that mean for consumers and consumer goods? Does Brexit change consumer rights?

Even though a lot of consumer rights are based on EU laws, most have been incorporated into UK law, so even though we have left the EU, your rights as a consumer remain the same, unless the UK decides to change them in the future but at the moment goods such as toys, PPE and electrical goods are subject to the same strict safety standards as before.

During 2021, the ‘CE’ mark which is currently affixed to these goods to show they are compliant will be replaced by a new ‘UKCA’ mark for Great Britain and a ‘UKNI’ mark for Northern Ireland goods.

Contact

For urgent Trading Standards matters, contact Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards at 01467 537222. For non-urgent enquiries, please contact Consumer Advice Scotland at https://www.consumeradvice.scot/ or on 0808 164 6000.

Contact Police Scotland on 999 if you need urgent assistance or 101 for non-urgent matters.