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Kingswells Old News

Updated: 27 April 2004

Welcome to the latest news about people, places and all that's happening in Kingswells.
If you have a news story email it to: info@kingswells.com
Please note this is a very long web page, so remember to use your scroll bars.

PUBLIC TO GIVE VIEWS ON LOCAL PLAN: The map that will shape Aberdeen's development over the next two decades is finally to be put to the general public.

A year and three days after Aberdeen's previous local plan was abandoned, councillors agreed yesterday to get residents' views about the council's plans for 14,500 new homes and several industrial developments.

Although some groups likely to be affected have already been involved in a series of workshops, it is only now that preparations can be made for the formal period of public consultation.

Lib Dem councillor Ian Yuill chaired a series of meetings in recent months designed to give interested groups outside the council an early say in the plan.

He said: "People move out of our city every week because there is not enough appropriate accommodation. It is stating the obvious, but Aberdeen desperately needs a local plan."

Even at this late stage, however, there was still inter-party disagreement over how the proposals should be put to the public.

Labour wanted to put out only an original draft to the public, but Mr Yuill said this would mean the hard work done in the workshops would be wasted, as ideas proposed in those sessions would not be presented.

Labour leader Len Ironside, however, said his party's idea was fairer, because otherwise the administration would be free to pick and choose from the ideas mooted at the workshops.

The Lib Dem-Tory administration, supported by the SNP group, defeated Labour 27-14 in a vote on the matter.

The draft proposals agreed yesterday included two late changes. An allocation of 80 homes at Contlaw Road, in Milltimber, has been removed. Plans for 200 homes at Pinewood-Hazledene - between Hazlehead Park and Countesswells Road - in the period from 2005 to 2010 have also been removed, meaning the area is now only earmarked for 150 homes, by 2005. Both areas will now be marked out as green belt.

Meanwhile, a controversial late proposal to move 400 homes from Gillahill, in Kingswells, to an undetermined site in Bankhead, now looks less likely to succeed after planning officials backed the initial proposal.

It was stressed, however, that there is still scope for changes as the council now prepares to consider the public's response. Aberdeen's planning process was thrown into turmoil last year when its previous local plan was abandoned, following a public outcry over late changes to housing allocations.

Ever since, Aberdeen has been relying on a 1991 plan. Consequently, there were concerns that rogue housing developments could spring up.

Developers' appeals against rejected applications were thought far more likely tosucceed if the city did not have a new local plan - a process known as planning by appeal.

But although officials considered it was important to have the new plan in place as soon as possible they also highlighted the importance of public consultation. It was felt that public trust had been lost in the fiasco surrounding the last plan.

The new local plan still has a number of statutory stages to negotiate before it can be adopted. The first of these can now been reached, meaning there will be a six-week period in which members of the public can lodge formal objections.

HENRY HEPBURN_www.thisisnothscotland.co.uk

Council thanks public for positive response to kerbside recycling and issues reminder of important recycling 'Dos and Don'ts'

KINGSWELLS HAS THE HIGHEST 'PRESENTATION RATES' (putting out the boxes) with 57%.
Organisers are delighted with the positive response from residents to Aberdeen's new kerbside recycling scheme - serving 20,000 homes in the north of the city - with a total of 28.98 tonnes of recyclates collected in the first week alone.
Linda Jordinson, the Council's Waste Marketing Officer says: 'The public has done a great job so far in responding to the kerbside recycling collections. There are a large number of households that are making the effort to put our their black box and Waste Aware white bag for collection and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank them for their enthusiastic participation in the scheme.
'Our new community Waste Workers have been monitoring the progress so far and on the whole they are very happy with the way residents are presenting their recyclates for collection. Early figures indicate that we have a very good presentation rate, which is very encouraging considering it is only the first week of a two week cycle with the level of presentation in some areas being in excess of 55%.'
On collection days householders are asked to remove the lid of the black box, place the white bag on top of the box and place them on the edge of their property by 7.30am. Residents who require extra white bags can request them on (01224) 523310. Community Waste workers, available on the same number, can help anyone who has difficulties getting their bag or box out for collection. A leaflet, delivered to each home, details which day of the week the collections are for a particular area and explains which items can be recycled.
Linda says: 'We would just like to remind everyone once again, what can and cannot go into the box or bag. We would like to see it becoming second nature to sort your waste in this way.'
You can recycle the following materials in your Kerbside BLACK BOX:

  • Food and drink cans
  • Glass bottles & jars
  • Plastic bottles

You can recycle the following materials in your Waste Aware WHITE BAG:

  • Paper (all types)
  • Clean cardboard

Please help us to get it sorted:

  • Rinse cans,
  • Remove lids and rinse glass bottles & jars
  • Rinse, remove lids and flatten plastic bottles to save space
  • Flatten cardboard to save space.
  • Remove plastic windows from envelopes.
  • All your recyclates (materials that can be recycled) should fit into your Kerbside BLACK BOX and Waste Aware WHITE BAG. If you have excess Recyclates, please take them to your local Recycling Centre or Point.

Please note that we are only able to recycle glass bottles and jars and not other types of glass such as Pyrex dishes, window pane glass or drinking glasses. These cannot be recycled. We can only accept plastic bottles and not other types of plastic packaging such as yoghurt pots as they are often made from a different type of plastic to plastic bottles which makes them difficult to recycle.

As of next week if we are unable to take any of the items left for kerbside collection we will leave the householder a small reminder card that will give them some information on why we are unable to collect the items left. Someone may be unhappy when they come home to find that some items were not recycled and we would like to remain positive and thank the householders for their efforts and explain why the items left could not be collected for recycling.

Here is the information that was provided on the leaflet.

Material Type Sorry, we cannot recycle these materials because…

Glass Broken mixed glass This cannot be separated into the different colours.

Drinking glasses These types of glass are resistant to heat and breakage and are difficult to process.


Light bulbs These contain a combination of both glass and metals.

Window pane glass

Spectacles The lenses in spectacles cannot be recycled with glass bottles and jars. Try to take them to your optician who can send them to be reused.

Other Plastics Margarine tubs The are made from different types of plastic. We can only accept plastic bottles.

Plastic bags

Plastic food trays


Yoghurt pots

Other Wastes Aerosol cans These contain gasses which can be dangerous when squashed.

Crisp packets These are made up of a combination of paper, foil and plastic which is difficult to separate.

Wallpaper This type of paper has glues on the back.



RESIDENTS ALL GEARED UP TO GET RECYCLING: Collection boxes for recyclable rubbish were being rolled out to Aberdeen.

The first of the 20,000 kerbside containers for north Aberdeen were being delivered by bin crews.

Phase one of the four-year, city-wide delivery programme covers Bridge of Don, Bucksburn, Stoneywood, Dyce, Kingswells, Newhills, Seaton, Pittodrie and part of Old Aberdeen.

Households are receiving a black box for cans, glass and plastic bottles, and a white bag for paper and cardboard.

Fortnightly collections are set to start on February 9.

Cans, bottles and plastic containers should be rinsed.

Bottle and jar tops should be removed, plastic containers flattened, and windows removed from envelopes.

One box and one bag are being issued to homes unless the household comprises five or more residents.

On collection days householders will be asked to remove black box lid, place the paper container on top of the box, and place both on the kerbside by 7.30am.

Aberdeen is trying to cut the amount of waste going to landfill sites by 40%, and to divert 25% of rubbish to recycling and composting by the end of next year.

MOTORISTS FACE ANOTHER TWO WEEKS OF DELAYS: Motorists' frustration on a busy back road between Cults and Kingswells looks likely to continue for another two weeks.

Roadworks began earlier this week on the road, from its junction with the A944 Kingswells roundabout to Countesswells Road.

It had been thought that the £50,000 resurfacing project could be completed ahead of its three-week schedule if the weather was good.

But a council spokesman said yesterday that it was still two weeks from being finished.

The closure has hit commuters, many of them coming from and going to Inverurie or Aberdeen Airport.

Each morning and evening hundreds of cars take advantage of the shortcut.

Drivers have complained that journeys into the city are taking up to twice as long, while taxi drivers are avoiding the area.

One driver from Sheddocksley, who uses the road each day, said: "It's not a rat run - it's the main route for a lot of people getting to and from work, so I don't see why this is being done in the middle of winter when everyone is at work."

He said roundabouts had been gridlocked and traffic was trailing back for miles.

LOCALS REMAIN OPPOSED TO PLAN FOR 200 NEW HOUSES AT KINGSWELLS: Aberdeen councillors are being recommended to block Stewart Milne Homes' plans to build 200 houses at Kingswells when a public inquiry is held later this year. The Westhill developer first lodged an application to build the £20million scheme at Gillahill in September 2000.

The proposals for the site near the Concraig Park development faced 40 protesters, concerned that the development could swamp the area's already-stretched facilities. Local feeling remains unchanged.

Councillors are being asked by planners to continue to resist the developer's appeal, which they did in 2000, to build on what is now a green belt site.

A decision will be made when the city development services committee meets on January 22 and that will form the basis of the council's case at an inquiry, to be held in March or April.

Bob Reid, the council's head of physical development, says in his report:

"At this point of time the application is contrary to the approved Structure Plan and adopted local plan policies . . . and is premature in terms of the emerging Local Plan.

"A development of the scale proposed, located on a prominent site and also resulting in a significant loss of trees, would have an adverse impact on the landscape of the city."

The site is to the east of the existing built-up area, with tree belts to the north, east and west, and Gillahill Farm steading to the south.

Objections include loss of privacy and daylight to adjacent properties on Wellside Road and Wellside Circle.

There are also fears it will lead to the merger of Kingswells and Bucksburn, which residents say should remain separate.

Kingswells Community Council chairman Alex Carnie said it was not the right location for 200 homes, and members and residents had been "fighting tooth and nail" against the plans.

"I really welcome the planners' support and I would encourage the council to support what they are saying on this occasion. And I would hope, ultimately, that the Scottish Executive reporter would see the same commonsense and reject the plans.

"We have looked at this long and hard and, when you see the amount of houses which are in Kingswells which Mr Milne has built, it is excessive. There are far too many houses in the area and the location of this is not one of the best when you see the accessibility to it.

"There has been non-stop building and to get another belt of houses is not really the way ahead. Enough is enough.

"I sincerely hope that for once commonsense will prevail. We won't be lying down and rolling over, that's for sure."

There is also concern more housing will create pressures at Kingswells Primary, and the development, to be linked by a single access road from Kingswells Crescent, will increase traffic congestion.

Stewart Milne's appeal followed after the council's "non- determination" of the original application. This appeal was resisted by the council on the grounds that it was contrary to the Structure and Local Plans.

An inquiry was then scheduled for August 2001, but was delayed until a new Local Plan was completed for the city. A date for the inquiry has still to be confirmed.
(Posted 19.1.2004)

CONCERN OVER YOUTH CRIME IN KINGSWELLS: Residents in Kingswells are being urged to report youth crime in the area, following a number of recent incidents involving youngsters.

At a meeting of Kingswells Community Council last night, concern was raised about an increase in anti-social behaviour, which has included young people felling trees and setting them on fire, and throwing fireworks and eggs.

During the meeting, a local resident called in and asked one of the police officers present to deal with around six youngsters who were causing a disturbance near her house and upsetting her young children.

Following this, it was decided that residents should be made aware of such youth crime in Kingswells and encouraged to call the police if they spotted any criminal or anti-social behaviour. Police representatives at the meeting added that if anyone recognised the individuals causing trouble, they should give officers their names, to help them deal with the incidents.

The group also heard from community council member John Gerrie that two youth workers would be dispatched in Kingswells at the beginning of next year, to speak to young people and help tackle the problem.

(Posted 8.12.2003) By LOUISE HOSIE http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk/

WE'VE HAD OUR FILL AFTER BINS MIX-UP: A Council blunder left scores of Aberdeen householders with bins overflowing with rubbish.

Refuse workers fouled up their routine collections in Kingswells because of a council break-down in communication.

Council chiefs said the mix-up was caused by two refuse crews who each thought the other was emptying bins in the Concraig area.

Kingswells resident Eric Rose, of Concraig Gardens, feared his rubbish would spill in to his garden after bin men failed to turn up on Thursday.

The fish filleter's rubbish was bulging out the top of his wheelie bin. Dad-of-two Eric, 48, who lives with sales assistant wife Catherine, said: "We have run out of room for rubbish. If they don't come and collect it soon we're going to have to start piling it in the back yard. I just hoped the birds didn't get a hold of the rubbish sticking out of thebin."

Colin McKay, 41, and partner Debbie Allison, 33, of Concraig Park, were also unable to shut their wheelie bin.

Mr McKay said: "They usually take the rubbish away on a Thursday, although another time before they didn't take it until Friday morning. "You don't want rubbish piling up in your house."

A city council spokesman said the problem was caused by a mix-up between two binmen crews who each thought the other was covering the Concraig area.

The spokesman said: "A regular employee-management meeting was held on Thursday morning which meant the binmen were late starting their rounds. "The Kingswells area is a big round and a second lorry was allocated to it to clear the backlog.

"Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding between the two crews over who was covering part of the Concraig area and some bins were not collected."

The mix-up came within a week of the council announcing a major shake-up of its refuse service after binmen threatened to strike.

(Posted 08 December 2003 ) By KAREN GRANT http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk/

PIGEON-BREEDER FROM KINGSWELLS HAS LOST 13 EXPENSIVE BIRDS TO BIRDS OF PREY: The famous peregrine falcons at Rubislaw Quarry may be among the jewels in Aberdeen's conservation crown.

But an Aberdeen bird-fancier has branded them killers who are out of control.

Retired teacher Ian Phillips, who lives near the quarry, has seen 12 of the doves he breeds slaughtered by the falcons in as many months. "They're a protected species, I know. But who's going to protect my birds from them?"

And long-time pigeon-breeder Ian McKay from Kingswells has lost 13 expensive birds - amounting to thousands of pounds - over the last year to falcons and sparrow hawks. "They're encouraging peregrines to nest on top of Marischal College. But these birds should never be near a city. "It's conservation gone mad."

Mr Phillips, 80, who taught English at Summerhill and Kincorth academies, found the carcass of another of his pure white birds close to his dovecot the other day. "It's clear the falcons have been protected so well, there's now a lot more of them.

"And that means a lot of all types of birds are being killed. Something's got to be done." Mr McKay, who has bred pigeons for more than 30 years, said the rising population of hawks and falcons all over the country was out of control.

"The hawks don't kill their prey before they eat it so it's a horrific thing to see these birds being eaten alive.

"Others they don't hit, but lunge at with their claws, leaving the birds with huge gashes. "I've seen some terrible injuries on my birds.

"They've tried fixing things to the pigeons to keep the hawks away. But if they don't get the pigeons they go on to smaller birds," said Mr McKay, who owns cleaning company Hydro-Myst.

According to Scottish Natural Heritage, peregrine falcons have been protected since 1981.

Along with the North-east Raptor Study Group, SNH organises an annual Operation Falcon to protect local breeding birds.

One pair has been breeding in Rubislaw Quarry for 10 years, before moving to Marischal College.

"We are aware of general problems in the relationship between pigeons and doves and their birds of prey," said Heritage spokeswoman Heather Kinnin.
By MOREEN SIMPSON http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD COW-IN-MILK TAKES SENIOR DAIRY HONOURS FOR KINGSWELLS PRODUCERS: Father and son Pat and Peter Kemp, of Cairdhillock, Kingswells, took the senior dairy championship at the Classic on Tuesday (2.12.2003) night.

Their leader was the 11-year-old cow-in-milk Hanlya Stieb Mindy, by Wrico Stieb and out of Hanlya Warrior Mindy. She is a noted prizewinner in the past.

Dean and Andrew Anderson, Plewlands Farm, Duffus, took the reserve with the five-year-old cow-in-milk, Mayne Dollar Christabel, by Mayne Dollar and out of a Mayne Marstar Christabel.

The Andersons also took the junior championship with Mayne Leduc Princess, a heifer-in-milk by Lystel Leduc and Newmeadow Storm Princess, that has in 97 days given 4,169kg at 3.85 butterfat and 3.32 protein. She sold for the sale's top price of 1,500gn to the Seatter Farm Partnership, of St Ola,Orkney.

At 1,200gn, the Andersons bought Countesswells Neon Cherry, a two-year-old heifer daughter of Genus Neon, from F and W Fleming, Mains of Countesswells, Bieldside.

Kevin Buchan, Cairdhillock, Kingswells, took the junior reserve with the maiden heifer, Kingscaird Gibson Jean, by Silky Gibson.

There were several other Orkney buyers to the fore at the dairy sale. J S Baillie and Co, of Sebay, took home at 1,100gn Countesswells Tradewind

Lilian, a two-year-old heifer, by Jeffrey-Way Tradewind and out of Countesswells Astre Lilian 3, from F and W Fleming.

Taylor, of Flaws, Orkney, paid the same price for Whattonvale Gladlass 34, another two-year-old heifer, by Eastland Figaro, from Jean Baird, of Mains of Culsh, New Deer.

Fyvie's Bill Knox, of Mid Haddo, completed the bidding at 1,100gn buying Deveronside Star Alicia, another two-year-old heifer, by Deveronside Rudolph Star, from S G Mair and Sons, Kinnermit.
Posted 03 December 2003

KINGSWELLS MAN BRANDISHED STONE AT HIS NEIGHBOUR, COURT IS TOLD: A Kingswells man threatened to attack his neighbour with a stone in front of a baby girl, a court heard on 27.11.2003.

James Brown, 35, brandished the rock at his neighbour and told him he would make a "right mess" of his face during the dispute. The fracas unfolded in Kingswells in August as the young daughter of Brown's neighbour sat in a nearby car.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, Brown, of 3 Concraig Gardens, admitted brandishing the stone and causing a breach of the peace.

Fiscal depute Fiona Murray told the court the incident was one of a number during a long-running dispute between the two men and their families.

Following a disagreement earlier that day, August 23, she told the court Brown, who had been drinking, had approached his neighbour in his driveway.

She said: "The accused clenched his fist, put his face in front of his neighbour, and said 'I am going to kill you'."

The court heard that the man asked Brown not to "make a scene" in front of the baby girl who was inside the car that was sitting on the driveway. But Brown ignored his requests. The fiscal said the accused repeatedly shouted and swore and threatened to

kill his neighbour before picking up a rock from the wall and brandishing it.

Using language littered with expletives, she said, he told his neighbour he would make "a right mess of your face".

In mitigation, defence agent Les Green admitted his client had found himself in a "bad scenario" and the dispute had escalated from "tit for tat" disagreements. He said Brown's neighbours had since moved away from the area. The hearing was adjourned until December 24 for background reports.
(Posted 28 November 2003)

An Aberdeen take-away boss who had sex with a young girl avoided jail yesterday (Wednesday October 29): Drunken Wai Cheung Kwok was caught in the act when the girl's little brother wandered into the room. But yesterday a judge told Kwok, 33 - also known as Sam - that he needed help to stop him getting into similar trouble again.

Kwok's teenage victim sobbed as he walked from court, under order to attend a local group set up to assist sex offenders.

Kwok, of 2 Wellside Walk, Kingswells, has been accused of repeated raping the girl when she was about 12 or 13.

But at the High Court in Edinburgh his guilty plea to having unlawful sex once, between October 2000, and December 2001, was accepted.

He said that at the time he had been drinking heavily and blamed the strain of working hard in his business.

Lord Menzies said his behaviour towards the youngster had been quite unacceptable.

"Let me make it quite clear that in the eyes of the law the fact that this offence was committed while you were under the influence of alcohol is no excuse," the judge added.

Lord Menzies said he took into account that Kwok was a first offender, no violence had been used, there was no evidence of lasting effect on his victim, and he had spared her the ordeal of giving evidence at the trial.

He said he could impose only a short prison sentence for the charge Kwok now faced, and probation would be more useful in preventing re-offending.

Kwok also has to do 240 hours of unpaid community work and take part in a sex offenders' project as conditions of his three-year probation order.

"You are being given a chance to address your offending behaviour. But if you do not take that chance you will be in very serious trouble," warned Lord Menzies.

Defence advocate Neil Murray, QC, said Kwok was ashamed of what he had done.

He said: "It was an isolated incident committed by an individual of previous good character."

At an earlier hearing the court was told how Kwok was supposed to be looking after the youngsters while their mum was out of the house.

The brother, who was about eight or nine, was watching TV when he heard noises coming from a bedroom. He went through and saw Kwok naked except for his tee shirt.

The court heard Kwok came to Scotland from Hong Kong several years ago and worked hard to build up his business. As a result of the allegation his marriage had broken up and he had to transfer his business interests to other family members.

DESPERATE FAMILY TAKE DIRECT APPROACH : A Family are so desperate to find themselves a new house in the sought-after Aberdeen suburb of Kingswells that they have taken the highly unusual step of leafleting 140 homeowners in the area, expressing an interest in their properties.

Chris Simpson and Lorraine Duncan currently live with their three children in a three-bedroom house at Hazlehead, but want a larger property so their children, aged 10, seven and 10 months, can have a room each.

And Kingswells is a particularly appealing option for them because it is deemed to be a nice area, it is close to town, and served by schools with good reputations.

The couple have already sold their home and have to be out by Halloween, so they are fighting against the clock to find a new house.

They have submitted offers for some Kingswells properties, but have been caught up in bidding wars - they offered £23,000 over the asking price for the last house they tried for.

"We are just trying to get a property but it's an absolute nightmare," Mr Simpson said.

"It's a bidding war just now. The last four-bedroom property we looked at, seven or eight other people looked at too.

"Kingswells is just where we want to stay. Any other properties in Aberdeen of that kind are £250,000 or more, but you seem to get them in Kingswells for about £160,000.

"We just put a leaflet into all the houses we fancy and keep our fingers crossed."

Since putting out the leaflets, the couple have been contacted and looked at some houses, he said. They hope that someone who may have been considering selling up will be moved to do so when they see the leaflet, and that a "handshake deal" and straightforward sale can be done to avoid any competitive bidding. Mr Simpson and Ms Duncan hope to get a property for between £155,000 and £165,000.

"There's no more new houses getting built out there. There are some in Kintore and Balmedie but we don't want to move out as far as that," he said.

"There's not a lot to choose from (in Kingswells) but people are just paying well over the odds because they're so desperate."

A spokesman for the Aberdeen Solicitor's Property Centre said: "This is definitely not a practice I have come across before but that's not to say they won't have some success with it."

Anyone interested in the couple's offer can call Mr Simpson on 07763 771173, Ms Duncan on 07732 280534, or call them at home on 01224 321823 (Posted 22.9.2003) By ANGELA TAYLOR www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

KINGSWELLS NOW HAS A MINI-RECYCLING CENTRE: Aberdeen's £24million 20-year recycling plan got the green light yesterday - and three new recycling sites will open as early as next week.

Six existing sites have also been refurbished, and a £150,000 dedicated truck has been bought, which is specially designed to empty recycling containers without taking them off site.

Ian Yuill, convener of the council's environment and infrastructure committee, said: "This is good news for the city, but it's only the start of our 20-year waste implementation plan.

"We aim to further increase the number of mini-recycling centres across Aberdeen to 15 new sites in the current financial year, as part of a range of challenging targets that will transform waste management in Aberdeen."

Each recycling site will be able to recycle cardboard, cans, plastic and three colours of glass.

The new recycling sites are at Kingswells park-and-ride, Bridge of Don park-and-ride and Safeway at Cornhill Shopping Centre.

The refurbished sites are at Safeway (West North Street), Tesco (Laurel Drive) Asda (Garthdee Road and Riverview Drive), Sainsbury's (Garthdee Road) and Somerfield (Wellington Road).

Yesterday's environment and infrastructure meeting also backed other aspects of the 20-year plan. The city council plans to buy 20,000 kerbside boxes, 12,000 green waste wheeled bins, and new collection vehicles, compost bins and recycling containers.

Fortnightly recycling kerbside collections to 20,000 households in Aberdeen should begin within the next few months, while fortnightly collections of biodegradable waste will become available to 60,000 households over the next five years.

The council also wants to stop the annual growth in waste generated by the city.

It aims to do this by 2020, through the promotion of home-composting, by stopping the flow of junk mail and by reusing items. (Posted 11.9.2003) By HENRY HEPBURN www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

ABERDEEN JOINS BID TO STOP CAR LITTER LOUTS: Aberdeen motorists are being urged to clean up their act as the City Council signs up to a national campaign to stamp out car litter.

Mindless motorists in Scotland are costing taxpayers millions of pounds a year - by throwing rubbish out of their car windows. A disgusting 130,000 bits of litter are dropped on our roads in Scotland every weekend, leaving a clean up bill of £6million annually.

On Monday, August 18, Councillor Ian Yuill, Convener of the Environment and Infrastructure Committee, will be joined by NorthSound Radio's Marketing Manager Iain McKenna and Spotless the Leopard to do a spot check to ensure drivers are keeping the Kingswells Park and Ride car park clean and tidy

The visit marks Aberdeen City Council's support for the Keep Scotland Tidy campaign aimed at shaming filthy drivers into changing their annoying habits. The drive is being supported by NorthSound Radio, who will be carrying adverts over the next three weeks, aimed at persuading drivers to dispose of rubbish responsibly.

Councillor Yuill said: "We are delighted to throw the Council's support behind this worthwhile campaign in an effort to stamp out this terrible habit. There is nothing worse than seeing people throw rubbish from their car, causing a real eyesore, when it would take next to no effort to hold on to it till they reach a bin or take it home.

"We are working hard to make Aberdeen and better and cleaner place to live and we want to ensure car litter louts get the message loud and clear that this type of behaviour is just not acceptable."

Posters will be on display in Aberdeen petrol stations, at the Park and Ride sites as well as motorway service stations across Scotland.

There will also be a series of local radio ads throughout Scotland highlighting the campaign. Councils have been provided with display posters and commercial and haulage companies encouraged to promote the anti-litter message on their vehicles.

John Summers, National Director of Keep Scotland Tidy said: "Safe in the cocoon of their car, the litter lout thinks no one is watching them and that it's okay to dump their rubbish on the road.

"They think that their bit of rubbish won't make a difference - but it does and through this campaign we hope to highlight how this habit of theirs is spoiling our beautiful country for those who live here and the millions of tourists that visit Scotland each year.

"The amount of litter on our roads and verges is a national disgrace. It makes our cities, towns and countryside look shabby and unattractive and is expensive to tidy up. It truly is time to raise a stop sign to car litter. Right now."

For more information, contact Ian Hay, Project Officer, Clean and Green, Aberdeen City Council on 01224 522767 or Lara Eastham, Keep Scotland Tidy on 01942 612634/612617.

Cllr Yuill, NorthSound Radio's Marketing Manager Iain McKenna, and Spotless the Leopard will attend the photocall.

NOTES: Keep Scotland Beautiful is an independent national charity working for the improvement of local environments and runs the Keep Scotland Tidy brand, the Seaside Awards and People & Places programme.

Car litter fact file

· It is the responsibility of the Local Authorities to keep roads free of litter. They aim to remove litter on a time scale based on how busy the road is and promise to shift dangerous or hazardous rubbish immediately.

· According to a survey commissioned by Autoglass, the favourite food items eaten on the go are chocolate, crisps and burgers.

· A Keep Britain Tidy survey of motorway services stations discovered that roads going in to stop off points were mostly free of litter, where as those going out were strewn with rubbish &endash; in particular fast food, sweet wrappers and drinks cans.

· A third of motorists reckon that the best way to deter people from dropping litter was to get them to spend a day cleaning up with a road sweeper! Other popular answers were higher fines (27%) and community service (13%). Eight per cent of respondents wanted litter louts to be publicly humiliated and made to wear a sign saying, "I drop litter."

· The worst group of litter bugs are drivers aged between 16-24. Around a third of this group said car litter didn't bother them at all. (Posted 17.8.2003)

PLANNING CONSULTANT TO GET HIS HEAD IN THE CLOUDS: Aberdeen planning consultant Alistair Stark is to mark his 60th birthday by trekking in Peru, raising £7,500 in the process. He gave consultancy advice to the Kingswells Infrastructure First Group, who opposed the relocation of Pittodrie to Bellfield Farm.

His challenge is to trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. It includes walking for seven days in climates varying from jungle heat to the high altitude of the Andes.

Alistair's adventure for the Scottish Society for Autism takes on extra meaning because his elder daughter Fiona, who works at J Sainsbury's store at Garthdee, Aberdeen, suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.

"I only need to raise £2,500", said Alistair, "but because of Fiona, I want do three times better. That's £7,500."

Alistair, an experienced glider pilot, took up hillwalking only five years ago. "I was on holiday in France with my wife when I suffered a seizure, and that stopped me gliding for a year. I've since walked at 10,000 feet in the Alps, but never at 14,000 feet. Normally, I'd want to be on oxygen at that height."

The Scottish Society for Autism helps thousands of autistic people from all over Scotland. Autism is a lifelong condition that isolates the child or adult from the world around it. The society is currently building a £3 million residential School and Education Centre in Alloa. In a bid to raise much needed funds for the cause, they have launched "Bravehearts to Peru", an appeal to find Scots willing to take a Saltire flag to Peru and carry it throughout the trek.

Perhaps, with a little gentle encouragement, some Kingswells people might like to support my sponsored trek in Peru in aid of the Scottish scoiety for Autism. Derek Martin has kindly agreed to hold a few sponsor forms in his home at 31 Kingswood Crescent, and is quite happy for anyone to pick one up from there.


ABERDEEN FOOTBALL CLUB WITH DRAW BELLFIELD FARM PLANNING APPLICATION: Aberdeen City Council was notified today (Friday 4th July) that Aberdeen Football Club has withdrawn its planning application for the centre of sporting excellence and new football stadium at Bellfield Farm, near Kingswells.

The recently adopted policy and action plan of the City Council states: "As part of the Local Plan process, we support the retention of the Bellfield Farm site as Green Belt."

The football club had been given a deadline of July 7 of deciding whether to withdraw the planning application or go to a public inquiry. (Posted 5.7.2003)

RESIDENTS SAY CHILDREN FACE DANGER IF ROAD IS REOPENED: Residents of an Aberdeen community have backed a report that suggests children's safety could be affected if a city through road is reopened to cars. People in Kingswells are concerned that increased traffic might lead to accidents on the western leg of the Lang Stracht.

The half-mile section of road between Fairley Road and Whitemyres Stable, was closed to cars in 1999, at an estimated cost of £1.5million, to accommodate the £7million Kingswells park-and-ride scheme.

A motion by Tory councillor John Porter last month suggested it should be reopened to cars, but not to HGVs or other large vehicles, as a means of easing traffic congestion.

However, a report to be considered by Aberdeen City Council's environment and infrastructure committee on Thursday, backs concerns that increased traffic would pose a danger to pupils at Kingswells Primary School, which is based on two sites.

Local councillor Peter Stephen said: "We have a split-site school, with children going up and down the road. "The last thing we want is more traffic because what happens is that Kingswells becomes a rat-run. In the current circumstances, with a split-site school, the report would take the route that I am happy with. It is not to say that if circumstances change wholly in the future, the matter might be looked at again."

Kingswells Community Council chairman Alan Stott said: "The kids are there, there would be a lot of traffic and it's really not a good idea."This would seem to be the uniform view here as conveyed to us, especially of people who have pupils at the school." He added: "The road has deteriorated so much, and badly needs maintenance. The cost would be horrendous."

Fellow Kingswells resident Derek Martin conceded that some commuters might want the stretch of road reopened, but said safety came first. "I have no doubt that some people might have a different view of the matter, but safety must override other considerations," he said.The report also points to a number of other reasons for maintaining limited access.

It suggests that reopening to cars would create "the potential for significant cost to address road safety and sustainable transport issues", although it states that it would be difficult to predict an exact figure. It also says the park-and-ride scheme would suffer and cyclists would be discouraged from using the route.

Mr Porter could not be reached for comment last night but at the time of his proposal in April, he said: "You can tell from the amount of cars using the (park-and-ride) car park that it has not been a success. "I can understand the reasons for wanting it, but if it's not working, why should the Kingswells people be disadvantaged?" The Tory-group leader admitted he was not sure about the feasibility of the proposal, but insisted that council officers should explore it. By HENRY HEPBURN

(Posted 31 May 2003) http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

RED TAPE KEEPS NEW SPORTING COMPLEX CLOSED: A New sports centre completed more than a year ago remains unused because of legal red tape. Aberdeen City Council officials said paperwork was to blame for the delayed opening of the Kingswells complex.

The frustration has led to some fed-up youngsters holding illegal kick-abouts on the five-a-side pitches.

Officials said the centre should be in operation by this summer.

Stewart Milne built the centre for the city council in a planning gain deal.

But although the council has the keys, the centre has not been officially adopted.

Brian Woodcock, the council's north area corporate director, said: "The city council needs to legally adopt the facility, so there's been an exchange of correspondence between various solicitors.

"After that we need a legal agreement with the management committee of the community centre so they can start operating it.

"It's just that there have been a number of things happening with the council and it's just had to find its place in the queue."

Trevor Mackie, chairman of the Kingswells Community Centre management committee, said he was unaware the centre was still unadopted.

Local resident Janette Gray, who runs the suburb's after-school club, said: "They need to get the legalities sorted out. With the summer holidays coming up it should be in full use."

David Hodgson, 31, of Clover Park, said: "The centre is very much needed.

"There are always kids hanging around with nothing to do."

The complex has an all-weather five-a-side pitch, full-size football pitch, a meeting room, an office, changing rooms and showers.(Posted 28.5.2003) http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

KINGSWELLS PARENT ANXIOUS FOR FUTURE OF SON: TEARS are set to flow on Monday when former staff, patients and carers mark the closure of Woodlands Hospital in Cults.

When it closes, residents - aged between 25 and 70 - will be moved into specially built homes so they can be cared for in the community.

Woodlands Hospital provides a range of acute and continuing care for adults with severe learning difficulties.

Josie Burnett's son, Robert, has been a resident at Woodland's Hospital, in Craigton Road, for 28 years, since he was eight.

Mrs Burnett, from Kingswells, said: "This is where he grew up and has been very happy. He has thrived at Woodlands and it is a place full of memories. "I am anxious for his future, as any parent would be." Robert, now 37 and 6ft 2in, will be one of the last residents to leave Woodlands.

The controversial decision to close the hospital was made in 1998 and foughtby many parents - including Mrs Burnett. As chairman of Friends of Woodlands she found herself at the centre of the bid to keep it open. "I was horrified at the time of the decision and was taken aback by the idea. "But you learn to live with what is going to happen.

"This is an emotional time for a lot of people - me included." Robert, like the other 55 residents still at Woodlands, will be put in Care in the Community programmes run by the councils and voluntary organisations.

The aim is to give residents - who have lived in institutions for the bulk of their lives - a better quality of life.

The NHS will move off the site by the end of summer but patients will be cared for by other services until they are ready to move early next year.

Mrs Burnett said: "I take heart when I see some of the other residents who have moved and they seem very happy."

The Woodlands site contains five wards and a day centre. It is peaceful and, nestled above Cults, is prime real estate. But Mrs Burnett said the jewel in the crown is the staff. "They are wonderful - everyone says the site is beautiful but it is nothing compared to the staff."

Fiona Parley, nurse manager, has worked at Woodlands Hospital for 20 years. She is one of 120 staff of health workers, caterers, porters and administration staff still working there.

Mrs Parley said: "I have always been proud to work here.

"I think there is a family feel about the hospital and everyone knows each other really well.

"I don't see it as treating patients but as looking after people." Susan Macpherson, support and planning manager at Woodlands, said that whenresidents were moved into care, including 24-hour care, staff they knew weremoved with them.

Former and current staff, patients and carers from Woodlands Hospital areinvited to a gathering tomorrow from 2pm until 9pm to mark its closure. NHS Grampian will set up a marquee where refreshments, live music, a barbeque and an evening ceilidh will be held. Organisers have catered for 500 people.

Anyone who would like to take part should call the hospital on (01224) 551511.
By Jane Gillard (Posted 22.5.2003) http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

NEW ROAD MEASURES TO MAKE KINGSWELLS COMMUNITY SAFER HAVE BEEN PUT ON HOLD: Work to install eight new traffic islands on busy Kingswood Avenue, in Kingswells, was due to be completed on Tuesday 13th May. But a double whammy of delays means the traffic-calming measures will not beput in until next month at the earliest. The islands aim to help protect children from Kingswells Primary, who cross the road to go to and from school.

A city council spokesman said re-wiring an underground BT service box and a lack of workers to carry out the work was to blame for the delay.

He added: "However, all the electrical ducts have now been put in and work is due to start at the beginning of June, when workers are due to be free from previous scheduling commitments." The islands aim is to slow down traffic

As well as pupils crossing the road to go to school, the area is busy with residents using the community centre, shopping centre and local nursery.

The plans include three pedestrian refuge islands and five smaller traffic islands.

New road markings will also be painted on the road to narrow the carriageway.

Community leaders and locals have welcomed the new measures. But Newhills councillor Peter Stephen said he was disappointed the works had not been completed on time.

He said: "I believe work was first due to start at the end of April, but now June looks likely.

"It is a very busy stretch of road, with a lot of children crossing.

"I haven't been given a concrete date for work to start, but I'd like to see it done as soon as possible."

The latest traffic calming comes 18 months after two zebra crossings were installed on nearby Kingswood Drive.

By Ross Clark http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk (Posted 15.5.2003).

BEAT THE QUEUES FOR DISCOUNTED GREEN PRODUCTS AT GREEN CITY FUN DAY: The public are being urged to beat the queues for discounted green products at next month's Green City Fun Day and Sale by reserving their purchases in advance on a hotline number.

With over 4,000 people attending the event - on Saturday 7 June from10am to 4pm - demand is sure to be high for the wide range of waste and energy saving goods on sale at reduced prices.

Among the most popular waste and energy saving goods available on the day will be: compost bins, water butts, compostable garden mulch film, biodegradable bags and low energy light bulbs. Anyone wishing to pre-order these products, using a credit or debit card, can do so by calling 01884 841 515.

Belinda Miller, one of the event's organisers said: 'The Green Fun Day and

Sale will give people a chance to find out more about green issues and demonstrate how a few small changes in lifestyle can have a positive impact on the environment. There will be informative displays and stands to show people what's happening in the Aberdeen area to protect and enhance the environment and we'll have games and competitions for children.'

The Green City Fun Day and Sale is being organised by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen City Environmental Forum.

A photo competition, to illustrate the best and worst of the environment, is also being held in advance of the Fun Day. (Posted 13 May 2003)

TRANSPORT A HOT TOPIC FOR CITY'S NEW LEADERS: Once the wrangling ends over which parties, if any, will join the Liberal Democrats in coalition, the government of Aberdeen will begin again in earnest within weeks. One of the most controversial issues is how to progress the city's transport infrastructure and reduce congestion.

Delivery of the long-awaited £120million city bypass is certain to be one of the hot topics after the scheme received Scottish Executive backing earlier this year.

The Western Peripheral Route (WPR) is expected to be completed within five years and will involve the council working with other local authorities and transport organisation Nestrans.

Other pressing issues are likely to be the reopening of a road which was initially barred to motorists to accommodate the £7million Kingswells park-and-ride scheme.

It cost £1.5million to close the half-mile western leg of the city's Lang

Stracht between Whitemyres Stables and Fairley Road four years ago. The stretch is now only open to buses and emergency vehicles. But Tory councillor John Porter wants 24-hour bus lanes opened to motorists outside peak hours.

Further political debate is also expected on plans for a new £5million bridge over the River Don. Council engineers have been instructed to provide more detailed plans on the feasibility and costs of three potential routes identified for a possible new bridge.

However, there are fears that such a scheme could jeopardise the WPR.

Other issues for debate involve the city's local plan, which has led to uncertainty among North-east housing developers.

The blueprint of the city's growth was subject to a series of late changes pushed through by the Labour administration. It was abandoned earlier this year amid angry public protests. A new draft plan is now expected to be brought forward.

By Linda SUMMERHAYES 06 May 2003 http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

WOODLAND WORK CONTINUES: An Aberdeen farmer has converted more than 100 acres of his land into a community woodland area after losing heart with farming life. Craig Cameron, of Greenfern Farm in Bucksburn, has spent the last five years converting a large portion of his 220-acre farm into a safe haven for local wildlife.

Mr Cameron, 41, has farmed the area for the last 14 years but is more than happy to give up his land. The site, which has minimal parking to encourage people from nearby Kingswells and Sheddocksley to walk to the area, has lots of deer, badgers and hundreds of birds as well as a wetlands feature.

The Forestry Commission funded the planting of thousands of trees as well as a 250m path and footbridge. Local school children have helped plant the young trees.

Mr Cameron said the work will be completed next week with a view to opening before the end of May. He said: "It's taken a long time and a lot of work to get this far. I'm very happy as it ensures the farm will be around for the next 30 years at least and gives something back to the community."

By Mark DREVER _ 02 May 2003 http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

LANG STRACHT LINK COULD BE REOPENED TO SUIT COMMUTERS: A main artery road to the west of Aberdeen, closed at a cost of £1.5million, could be fully re-opened to commuter traffic in a move to ease congestion.

The western leg of the city's Lang Stracht has been closed to cars for the past four years to accommodate the £7million Kingswells park and ride scheme.

Council leaders are now to consider the possibility of re-opening the road to general traffic in order to ease congestion for motorists.

The plan met with a mixed reception from village residents last night, with some welcoming briefer journeys to and from Aberdeen, but others raising safety fears for pedestrians.

The idea is being proposed by Tory councillor John Porter who instigated current moves to have 24-hour bus lanes abolished and opened up to motorists outside peak hours. Mr Porter said:

"The people of Kingswells themselves feel a bit cut off and it would be a great lift to them.

"Also you can tell from the amount of cars using the (park and ride) car park that it has not been a success.

"I can understand the reasons for wanting it, but if it's not working why should the Kingswells people be disadvantaged?"

"Until we get a system in place of lateral connections and motorists are given the options they want, this will never work."

Council bosses closed the western leg of the Lang Stracht, which was a major commuter route between Aberdeen and Kingswells, in 1999.

The move cost an estimated £1.5million and was part of plans to launch the park-and- ride scheme in the area.

The half-mile stretch of Lang Stracht between Whitemyres Stables and Fairley Road is now only open to buses and emergency vehicles.

The proposal by Mr Porter will come before a meeting of the city' environment and infrastructure committee later this year.

Mr Porter's scheme would see the road left for the exclusive use of cars - not HGVs or other large vehicles.

He added: "I don't know if it's feasible, but I want the officers to at least explore this fully to see what the options are."

However, some residents fear that cars filing through the re-opened road could create a hazard at a nearby school.

Councillor for the area Peter Stephen explained that the split school system leaves nursery and primary 1-2 pupils in the "old" school in Fairley Road and older pupils in the new school behind the local community centre. He said: "You have to cross Fairley Road to travel between the two schools. The old school doesn't have a hall, so they have to go up to the new school for things like rehearsals."

Mr Stephen added that it may be worth examining 18 months down the line when an extension to the new school is due to be completed and all the pupils will be housed together under one roof - away from the traffic flow. He added: "At the moment this is a non-starter."

Alan Stott, chairman of the Kingswells Community Council also voiced concerns over the plan last night. He said: "You could have a lot of schoolchildren in that area. I would have severe reservations about that. I'm not sure if it is a good idea.

"I don't know what the answer is with these traffic problems, but the traffic lights seem to regulate traffic fairly well at the moment." But commuters from Kingswells to Aberdeen said re-opening the road could shorten journey times. "It would be common sense to reopen the road.

"A lot of people clearly can't use park and ride for one reason or another and shouldn't be penalised for having to use their cars. Re-opening the road would help them," said one resident. Another said: "It's infuriating watching half empty park-and- ride buses use the road when motorists can't. It should be opened again."
By SCOTT MACNAB 22 April 2003

BIG CAT SEEN ON PROWL IN CITY'S KINGSWELLS: A Kingswells woman got the shock of her life when she saw a big cat while walking her dog yesterday. Aleen Shinnie and her husband Andy had taken their golden retriever to wasteland near Wellside Wynd, a popular spot for taking pets, which is situated alongside the Bucks Burn.

The self-employed caterer came across the animal at about 11.30am.

Her husband did not see it, but she was adamant about what she saw.

Describing it as like a dark tabby cat in colour with dark stripes and a long tail, the 35-year-old said: "I am totally in awe. I have seen some deer around there but I have never in my life seen anything like this before.

"I am not sure whether it saw us. It would have been about 30 to 40 yards away from us at the most.

"I kind of panicked when I tried to get my dog on the lead.

"I am concerned because kids come home from school along that way and there are a lot of people that walk their dogs there."

Mark Fraser, of the Scottish Big Cat Society, revealed it was not that unusual for such animals to venture into populated areas.

He said: "These cats are seen more and more coming into towns and on the outskirts of cities.

"They come closer for food and if their territories are expanding because of breeding - that could suggest there are more of them."

But Mr Fraser, who has been investigating sightings for 15 years, does not feel people should be concerned.

He said the creatures were only likely to lash out if cornered and suggested people just leave them alone.

He believes the dog walker may have seen a type of African wild cat.

Police confirmed they were aware of the incident.

A spokeswoman said a description of the animal had been taken and the SSPCA would be notified.

The sighting came as the Scottish Big Cat Society appealed for witnesses of big cats to come forward to try prove the animals exist.

The organisation has built up a dossier on their movements and possible territories and says it has scientific facilities to analyse evidence which could be attributed to big cats.

It is looking for information on past sightings, pictures, video footage, and paw marks and would also like to hear from people keen to become involved in its work. Witness confidentiality will be respected.

Scotland is said to be one of the "hot spots" for big cat encounters.

More than 1,000 sightings of the creatures were reported in the UK last year with more than 200 of them north of the border.

Mr Fraser can be contacted at mark@scottishbigcats.org or on 01292 310533.

There have been 47 reports of big cats in Scotland this year. Aberdeenshire is one of the most likely places to encounter one.

By GEOFFREY BEW, 24 March 2003 http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

STOP RABBITING! Generous children at Kingswells Primary School are to donate more than £5,000 to a cancer charity.

The youngsters took part in the Hold Your Tongue Challenge 2003, a nationwide event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Relief.

The money raised by Kingswells pupils will go specifically towards the new palliative care unit which will replace Roxburghe House.

Linda Cattanach, the charity's fundraising manager for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, will visit the school on Monday to accept the cash.

Pupils took the "stop rabbiting" theme quite literally, and made rabbit ears which they wore during the 10-minute sponsored silence at the beginning of February.

Each child was asked to raise sponsorship from family and friends for every minute they managed to remain silent.

Assistant Headteacher Shonaid Macdonald said: "We set out to raise as much money as possible for the replacement Roxburghe House. We are absolutely delighted to have raised such a tremendous amount, the current total is almost £5,055 and more money is still coming in."

KINGSWELLS SISTERS AND FRIENDS have a really great night and raised £560.


The indoor car boot sale and jumble sale we have organised as our next event will be held on 22nd March at Airyhall Community Centre 11am - 3pm. We are looking for jumble donations (no electrical) and tombola prizes.

Far left - Monique Flecher (my sister who is doing the Wall of China Challenge with me) back left - Linda Blacklaw, front left - Patricia Mutch, middle - Helen Crighton, Jason Kelly (our bodyguard for the evening who was wearing a kilt and made a lot of money himself !) and last is me Michelle Herd.
Sisters to try China hike for charity: SISTERS Monique Flecher and Michelle Herd need to raise £6,000 for cancer research.

If they do, the pair will be jetting off to the Far East to walk 50 kilometres along the Great Wall of China.

The pair have to raise £3,000 each to be one of about 30 people walking the wall for Cancer Research UK in May next year.

On Friday, the pair will be dressed as schoolgirls and asking drinkers to dig deep for the charity.

Monique, 32, said they would be hitting Aberdeen's pubs and clubs as part of their fund-raising.

On Saturday, March 22, the pair will be holding a jumble sale at Airyhall Community Centre from 11am until 3pm.

"We are still looking for jumble and tombola prizes," Monique said. "This is our first event but we are hoping to raise more than £3,000 each." Michelle, 38, from Kingswells, said: "Cancer is affecting more and more people and so it is a worthy cause."

A small amount of the money raised will be used to cover the expenses of the Chinese trip. To make a donation of jumble, call Monique on 01224 316189 or Michelle on 01224 740352. http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk (Posted 28.2.2003)

CITY COUNCIL TO GIVE AWAY FREE CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS TO OVER 50s: In a move aimed at promoting greater home safety awareness, Aberdeen City Council is to give away free carbon monoxide detectors to the over 50s from next Monday (3 March 2003).

Any local residents, over the age of 50, can pick up their free detectors, while stocks last, from The Point, Customer Service Centre in Broad Street, Aberdeen. They can either fit the detector themselves or ask the Council's Homecheck Service to fit it for them. Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas which can be given off by gas, oil, coal or wood appliances if they are not working properly.

Councillor David Clyne, the city's 'Champion for Older People', said: "I'm delighted the Council is to distribute these detectors as a way of raising awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the home.

"I hope that older people will take full advantage of this initiative and collect a free detector while stocks last. At the same time, and perhaps more importantly, I hope this initiative will serve as a useful reminder to all householders in the city of the importance of home safety.

"Householders should ensure their homes are properly ventilated, chimneys and flues are swept and kept clear, and they should get a safety check on their appliances carried out annually by a CORGI registered engineer."

The Homecheck service &endash; available on 01224 584060 - is free to all householders in Aberdeen whether in council or private housing. Glass safety, smoke detector and microwave oven safety checks are also available and the Homecheck team even provides a minor repairs and installation service.

The cost of the free carbon monoxide alarms &endash; which would normally retail at over £30 each &endash; will be paid with through funds from the £3.581 million windfall the council received from the Scottish Executive. (Posted 28.2.2003)

KINGSWELLS GIRL SINGS: Best pals sing for children's cancer ward in tune: Katie Murray and Megan McIntosh raised cash for the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital by singing to their neighbours.

A PAIR of friends doubled up as charity songbirds for the day to raise money for young cancer victims. Little Katie Murray and pal Megan McIntosh collected a bucket of cash when they sang to their neighbours.

Katie, who is diabetic, decided to raise the money after a recent stay at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.

The 10-year-old, who has two injections of insulin a day, was in hospital with a viral infection. And it was there that she met some of the young cancer patients in Ward 4. The youngster was so touched by their plight she decided to raise money for the ward.

She roped in the help of best friend Megan, of Countesswells Road, and the pair managed to collect £54 during their afternoon singing session. Proud dad Danny Murray, of Migvie Gardens, Kingswells, said: "Due to Katie's diabetes she has had to spend some time in hospital after picking up a viral infection.

"She was taken into Ward 4, which is the children's cancer ward."

The girls made a banner and hit the streets and doorsteps of Katie's Kingswells neighbours.

"We were thinking about doing a car wash but we couldn't reach the top of the cars," said Katie.

"We asked people to donate £1 and then we sang Beautiful, by Christina Aguilera.

Megan added: "The song is about beauty, but people who have cancer lose their hair and are not considered beautiful.

"We thought it would make people think." Katie and Megan donated the money to the ward yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, offshore workers on Talisman Energy's Buchan Alpha Platform donated £200 to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital's neo-natal unit.

The cash was raised by staff holding a raffle on Christmas day. The neo-natal unit was one of the recipients of the cash raised.
By Jane Gillard. Wednesday 19 February 2003 http://www.thisinorthscotland.co.uk

KINGSWELLS RESIDENTS PROTEST AT PARK 'GLARE': Council chiefs are to re-examine the possibility of partially dimming the evening glare produced from an Aberdeen park-and-ride site. Residents living nearby the Kingswells park-and-ride complex have regularly complained about the lighting at the scheme, which is left on through the night.

Roads bosses on Aberdeen City Council say the measure is required for security reasons, but have agreed to look again at the issue of the lighting.

The matter came to a head yesterday as councillors discussed a report which stated the future annual cost of maintaining each park-and-ride site in the city could top £100,000.

Local councillor Peter Stephen told a meeting of the council's resources management yesterday that he had received a string of complaints about the lights from residents

It was agreed that officials would look at turning down the "intensity" of the lights. (Posted: 5.2.2003) http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

FIRST MINISTER - ABERDEEN RING ROAD INITIATIVE: Plans for 'a new western peripheral route in´Aberdeen have the support of the Executive, business leaders in the city were told today (27.1.2003).

At a Chamber of Commerce business breakfast, First Minister Jack McConnell said that, in partnership with the North East Scotland Transport Partnership (NESTRANS), the Executive would now support plans for a dual carriageway to the west of the city to alleviate city centre congestion.

The First Minister said the government would fund the strategic element of the project, with NESTRANS expected to contribute the remaining portion.

Mr McConnell said: "Efficient transport links are essential to help businesses flourish throughout the North-east, moving goods and workers around the region easily.

"Aberdeen's transport problems have been well documented. I am sure this new road will be a tremendous benefit to the city, help it will to remove through traffic from the centre and take heavy traffic off rural and urban routes.

"The Western Peripheral Route is just part of the integrated transport solution for Aberdeen. Combined with measures such as improved public transport and park-and-ride in the councils' wider plans, the new road will make travelling in and around Aberdeen quicker and easier as well as reducing congestion and pollution in the city centre.

"We need to see better roads and transport systems across Scotland. Here in the North-east and elsewhere this road will be widely welcomed."

The First Minister was speaking at an Aberdeen and District Chamber of Commerce business breakfast in the Marcliffe at Pitfodels.

Funding for the road - including the proportions to be provided by the councils and the Scottish Executive - is still to be finalised.

The partnership approach, with the Executive funding the strategic elements and the local authorities the local elements, is precedented in the M74 Northern Completion scheme.

The Executive will also be keen to explore the possibility of a public private partnership (PPP) approach, taking into account value for money considerations.

NESTRANS is a public/private partnership - made up of the Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Enterprise Grampian and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce - which is working to develop an integrated transport strategy for the North East over a 16-year period. (Posted 28.1.2003) Scottish Executive

KINGWELLS SCOUTS MAY HAVE TO DISBAND!! Extraordinary Meeting Wednesday 22nd January, Kingswells Community Centre

The Kingswells Scout Group are to hold an Extraordinary Meeting at the Kingswells Community Centre on Wednesday 22nd January 2003. The only item on the agenda at this meeting will be the disbandment of the Group. The Committee of the Scout Group have reluctantly had to call this EGM as the Group has been unable to recruit sufficient adult leaders to allow the group to continue.

The current status of adult leadership in the group is as follows:

Beaver Section - No Leader despite several attempts to recruit

Cubs Section - One leader who's job entails significant travel [which means the

Cub Section programme is at best disjointed]

Scout Section - One leader who will be moving on to leading an Explorer Scout

section at Area Level.

The above means that if new adult leaders cannot be recruited the Group will have only a disjointed Cub Programme available going forward, which is an unsustainable situation and hence the reluctant decision of the Committee to propose disbandment.

Before making the final decision on disbandment the committee want to discuss the adult leadership situation with the parents of both current members of the group and also prospective members - so if your sons and daughters are either current members or prospective members please make every effort to attend this EGM so your views can be taken into account in making the final decision on the future of the group.

Contact Details

Mike Oxley (Acting Group Scout Leader)

Tel No: 833457(Office) 743368(Home)

RETHINK OVER DONS STADIUM PROPOSAL : Aberdeen fc have put the brakes on their dream move to a purpose-built £30million home on the outskirts of the city.

Dons chiefs say they want a public inquiry into their proposed new stadium delayed for six months so they can "weigh up the situation carefully''.

A meeting scheduled for next week, ahead of the inquiry into the controversial development at Bellfield Farm near Kings-wells, has now been scrapped.

However, Dons chief executive Keith Wyness said yesterday: "We are certainly not withdrawing our planning application or shelving plans for Bellfield."

Protesters against the stadium say the delay will not blunt their opposition.

It emerged yesterday that the Reporters Office at the Scottish Executive had been contacted with a request that the inquiry process be "sisted" for six months. This means the planning application will be left in limbo for that period, after which the club can decide if they still wish to pursue the move to Kingswells or stay at Pittodrie.

A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: "The council and Aberdeen FC asked for this to be sisted for six months to allow both to consider their position."

The club's Kingswells plans suffered a major setback last month when Scotland lost out in the race to stage the Euro 2008 football championships.

Scottish ministers had given special dispensation for Euro 2008 venues to be built on green belt land, and the Dons' planning application for Bellfield Farm proceeded on this basis.

The club said that, after the failure of the bid, they would "take stock" over the best way ahead for the stadium bid.

Mr Wyness said: "Without the time constraints of Euro 2008, we are under less pressure and can afford to review the plans and the external factors which may influence them.

"We firmly believe that Bellfield is still the best option. However, in six months the political environment may have changed and the plans for the Western Peripheral Route may have moved forward and, although not critical to the club's plans, its status plays an important role in them."

Mr Wyness also pointed to the imminent creation of the Events Scotland organisation to help Scotland bid for major sporting events. "A world-class complex of the type we are planning would be a tremendous boost for Scotland and ensure that the North-east is represented in Event Scotland's strategy."

Derek Martin, chairman of the Kingswells Infrastructure First Group, said: "I note what Mr Wyness has said and have no doubt that Aberdeen FC will wish to proceed in due course and, when they are ready, KIFG will be ready.

"Our planning agent has been fully briefed and our expert witnesses have been fully briefed. We have to sit back and await their pleasure, but matters remain as they are. This is simply a delay in coming to court."

The city council backed the development in August of last year, but the application was called in by the Scottish Executive for a public inquiry. (Posted 9.1.2003)

By SCOTT MACNAB http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

PRE-INQUIRY MEETING: WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 2003 PROPOSED DEVELOPMENTS AT BELLFIELD FARM, KINGSWELLS: The purpose of the pre inquiry meeting to be held on 15th January is to give the "main" parties the opportunity to provide an outline statement of case and an intimation the witnesses they are likely to call. This in turn enables the reporter to estimate how long the inquiry itself will last and whether any special circumstances need to be addressed. Aberdeen Football Club have indicated that, led by a QC, they intend to call expert wtiness on a wide variety of subjects including noise, lighting, planning, transport and "economic benefits". I understand that their chief executive will also be appearing as a witness. There will be no examination of witnesses at the meeting on 15th January, it is likely to be a fairly undramatic day.
Naturally, KIFG will be professionally represented through the offices of Mr J AA Agnew.

The agenda is listed below.






The agenda for the meeting will include:

1. Introductions;

2. The background to the public inquiry

3. The purpose of the pre-inquiry meeting;

4. The Reporter's preliminary assessment of the issues likely to be before

the inquiry:

5. Identification of the parties who wish to give oral evidence;

6. The contribution from those who have made representations and from


7. The scope of the evidence which parties, intend to lead;

8. The opportunity for parties with similar concerns to group together;

9. The scope for agreed statements

10. The order of appearances. cross-examination. etc:

11. Procedure at the inquiry:

12. The likely length of the inquiry;

13. Timetable for compliance with the Inquiries Procedure Rules and the date on which the inquiry will start;

14. Timetable for the parties unable to attend the whole inquiry

15. Application of the Rules to parties;

16. Document exchanges;

17. Identification of a suitable location for the deposit of documents:

18. Venue and daily programme;

19. Supplementary information required by the Reporter;

20. Questions on practical and procedural matters.

If you can provide assistance or information with any of the above please contact me at: info@kingswells.com A credit will be given to anyone submitting articles and photos used on web site. Claire Burt Web mistress



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