Exciting Finish on the Cards for Mearns Bowling League

a bowl sitting next to a jack

From Ian Howie

Week 8 2021 results – Newtonhill takes the two points in the important top o’ the table clash by defeating Bervie 26 to 6.

This sets up another top o’ the table clash next week with Drumlithie v Newtonhill. St.Cyrus are still in the hunt but with Bervie having a bye next week, their game in hand with Johnshaven (who recorded their first win) is not enough to finish top.

So it goes down to the last game, exciting finish to this reduced league season.

Stonehaven Golf Club

Another week and another welcome stretch of fine weather at Stonehaven Golf Club, we’ve certainly been blessed by a super summer so far. Several events took place this week in both the Men’s and Ladies’ sections including an Open competition which showcased the course magnificently to visitors far and near. 

The Gents section contested the RNLI Medal at the weekend in relatively benign conditions, the scores proving largely impressive. Kiefer Brown’s early morning gross score of 62 was remarkable in many respects; it was four under par, it contained two eagles (9th & 16th)…and yet it still didn’t win! One solitary bogey carded on the 2nd ended up costing him victory given Ken Green shot the same nett score, winning on count back and pleasing the galleries with a birdie-par finish. In third place came Dave Allan, just a further stroke behind. There’s a gag in there somewhere about a narrow deficit not being a laughing matter but I’m not clever enough to work it out and I’m confident he’s heard it all before. In all 120 golfers competed in this DF Leslie Qualifier with 22 breaking their handicaps and 21 handing in the dreaded ‘no-return’, I suppose you’d call that a narrow victory by quality over haplessness, a sizeable helping of mediocrity sandwiched in between.

The midweek Stableford was won by Alex Russon, amassing a huge tally of 43 points and laying down a marker for the scratch club championship now just eleven months away. Modesty prevents him from going into further detail but the words ‘birdie’ and ‘barrage’ come to mind.

The Ladies 3 Ball Open was won by the Stonehaven trio Doreen Seery, Jane Kennedy and Janet Owen. Thirteen threeballs took part including a very healthy proportion of visitors, local knowledge (and fine scoring) winning through for the Stoney team as competitors basked in beautiful, warm conditions. Co-winner Doreen Seery appears to be enjoying her recent return to golf after a spell away from the game, she’s been collecting silverware like stamps of late.

Next week we’ll be featuring the results from the Junior Championships. The Junior Section contains some very good players indeed and they’re a credit to the club. The place will miss their perpetual presence over the summer as they drift back to school, it’s a tonic having them around but evenings and weekends will doubtless continue to find them honing their games and showing us how golf should be played.


RNLI Medal

1.       Ken Green (9) 61

2.       Kiefer Brown (1) 61

3.       Dave Allan (18) 62

Midweek Stableford

1.       Alex Russon 43

2.       Gregor Knowles 40

3.       Adam Smith 40

Ladies 3 Ball Better Ball Open

1.       D Seery, J Kennedy, J Owen 51

2.       J Bradford, E Mitchell, J Thurlow 54

3.       M Campbell, P Parker, M Samuel 54

Ladies Medal

Div 1

1.       Fiona Armstrong (18) 68

2.       Wilma Lawrence (11) 68

3.       Jan Bradford (18) 69

Div 2

1.       Kathleen Groundwater (25) 66

2.       Yvonne Scott (21) 67

3.       Janet Owen (26) 70

Ladies Throw Out Competition

Div 1 Fiona Armstrong (24) 47

Div 2 Jacqui Blackburn (18) 43

Ladies Putter’s Quaich

1. Wilma Lawrence 30 putts

Twists and Turns on Ury Road

By bellmannews / August 1, 2021
The Polbare tree belt from the coast road

Apologies for a very tardy report on an item on the agenda at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee of June 29 – I was on holiday so not paying full attention! But since The Bellman had given full coverage of this application, I felt an update was required.

COUNCILLORS have stymied the progress of a Ury Estate road by refusing a consultation process needed before the new road may become part of the public road network.

A redetermination order is needed for the East Lodge link road to be sign-posted and connected to the Netherley Road. This order can only be granted following a consultation process.

This may seem like a final winning gesture by the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee who refused planning permission for the link road when it came before them in March 2020 – citing concerns about the junction design and impact on residents within the housing estate. They were also unhappy about the loss of ancient woodland within the Polbare tree belt.

But the developer already has all permissions necessary for a road dating back to 2014 (and amended in a later application in 2015) – though one no-one believes is the best design as this version would have a greater impact on the landscape. It should also be noted this layout sees the East Lodge gate blocked off, necessitating a detour along the Netherley road to access the estate.

A new road is needed to complete the link to the Slug Road and connect to the Netherley Road

Appeal won as 2020 link road was improvement to older design

When they appealed the councillors’ 2020 refusal, Kirkwood Homes stated their second proposal, ”provides a more direct, logical and better designed access solution to serve the development, which also comes with less of a landscape impact than the currently consented link road connection to the Netherley Road.”

The Reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers agreed.

In his decision letter, Trevor A Croft, makes many references to the road layout first approved in 2014.

In effect, many of the objections to the second proposals, were discounted because of this earlier road scheme, which would have an equal or more detrimental effect than the design he was considering.

He also noted there is compensatory planting of 1,120 trees and 345 shrubs included in the newer proposals – there is none in the existing permission which would fell 82 treees in the Polbare belt and see extensive cutting into the hillside.

So what now?

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: ”The report before the recent area committee was seeking approval to begin consultation around the creation of the roads order that would be required to allow the route that was approved on appeal to be constructed instead.

”The committee decided not to support the recommendation to begin that process following a vote (5-3), on the grounds that the alternative route would be departing from roads standards, it would have poor visibility splays, and that it would lead to the narrowing of the road for agricultural vehicles.”

So is this the shape of Ury going forward?

Or, does the developer have another possibility?

In the report for the committee of March 24, 2020 it was noted the decision had previouslybeen deferred both for a site visit, and to seek additional information in relation to the process and route of appeal of a Traffic Regulation Order.

This advice concluded: ”In the event of the Council not granting an Order, there is no statutory route of appeal, however there would be the option of Judicial Review to review the decision and actions of the Council. ”

This agenda item commences at 22 mins.

Changes to be introduced to household recycling centre limit system

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Aberdeenshire Council will be introducing changes to the current household recycling centre limit scheme on August 1st, 2021.

The pandemic-related limit on visits by car, which is currently 8 visits per 4 weeks, will also be removed. Cars and mobility adapted vehicles (i.e., any vehicle that has been adapted to suit the needs of individuals with disabilities) will now have unlimited access to the sites, but will still be required to book a slot. 

The booking system will remain in place for all residents who wish to use the sites, regardless of vehicle type.

The current scheme, which was implemented in April this year, places restrictions on commercial-type vehicles entering recycling centres. This approach was introduced in an effort to divert business waste from the sites, allowing more space for domestic recyclable materials and thereby improving services for householders. 

After conducting a review of the system, the Council is listening to public feedback and implementing the following changes at recycling centres:

  • The number of visits permitted for domestic-style pick-ups will become unlimited, unless they are using a trailer. A domestic-style pick-up and trailer combination will now be permitted 24 visits per year in line with the existing trailer allowances.
  • The size of admissible trailers will increase from 8 feet (2.5 metres) to 10 feet (3 metres).
  • Car-derived van and trailer combinations will now be permitted at all centres.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “We have listened carefully to the comments made by our communities and have amended the current approach in response to their feedback.

“Whilst we continue to pursue our objective of increasing recycling rates, diverting business waste from recycling centres has not changed and certain controls continue to be required to achieve this. However, we will continue to listen to the feedback from householders and keep this system under review.”

Businesses continue to be asked to use the council’s waste transfer stations at Ellon, Macduff and Crow’s Nest, Banchory.  These sites have the appropriate facilities to allow business customers to pay by weight for their recycling and non-recyclable waste using chip and pin technology.

While most businesses follow the correct protocols and dispose of their waste and recycling lawfully, it would appear that some businesses have continued to bring their waste to recycling centres to avoid processing and disposal fees.

Prior to the introduction of the limit system, as much as 20% of the waste taken to recycling centres was believed to be business waste – costing Aberdeenshire taxpayers up to £500,000 a year for disposal. The limit scheme was implemented to tackle this abuse of household services.

Information on the new limit system, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available on www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrelimits

To book a slot at a household recycling centre visit https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/recycling/book-recycling-centre-visit/.   

Information on the trade waste collection service provided by the council to businesses across Aberdeenshire is available at http://bit.ly/TradeRec.

Strong Views on Invercarron Vaccine Centre ‘Done Deal’

OUR Community Council’s largest online gathering yet saw the recently announced decision to repurpose the Invercarron Resource Centre for the Elderly into a vaccination clinic come under fire.

In 2017, as part of the commitment to reduce GP workload, the Scottish Government and Scottish General Practitioners Committee agreed vaccinations would move away from GP delivery to NHS Board delivery through dedicated teams.

This means, by March 2022, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, AHSCP, must co-ordinate the delivery of all vaccinations except travel.

Business services manager Kathy Davidson told last night’s emergency meeting of Stonehaven and District Council a vaccination clinic was needed to service the town and the surrounding area.

She said: ”We are looking at having 22,000 people coming through for vaccinations. The Invercarron Resource Centre offers space for this, for flow through, booths and a post vaccination area.”

While owned by Aberdeenshire Council, the Invercarron is operated by AHSCP, who pay all its bills. Their staff who were based there have already been moved to the recently refurbished Viewmount offices.

Ms Davidson added: ”This venue provides the best use of public funds, and we have already budgeted for its use.

”There is the risk we don’t have a vaccination centre in Stonehaven at all, in which case the closest place to go to would be Banchory.”

Lack of Parking

One member of the public attending the meeting said she had been a volunteer at our Covid-19 vaccination clinic, where they could see up to 500 people each day.

”It seems to me like an ill-considered suggestion,” she said.

”The lack of parking is going to be a big problem. I also think the entrance to the centre itself does not allow easy access around the centre, which it must have for social distancing.”

Meanwhile Val Cadd, who has volunteered at the Invercarron, said the five parking spaces would diminish to three when used as disabled parking bays.

Jim Stephen echoed the concerns with parking and said a review of the centre should have been done and taken into consideration.

”I think everybody here needs to have an understanding of the venue,” he said. ” You haven’t even done a study on the parking.”

Mr Stephen later expressed his anger at the loss of an amenity for the town.

”Stonehaven has a history of having its assets taken away, like the Mackie Pool,” he said.

Loss of centre built for our elderly residents

Interim partnership manager Janine Howie gave a report on activities at the Invercarron before Covid including a day care service two days each week, Alzheimers care for one day and a mental health carers support group – along with the use by community groups such as the Mearns Coastal Healthy Living Group who ran a lunch club.

Ms Howie said people now wanted their service in different, individual ways – and only three people wanted to use their services. She had been in the process of requesting a review of the centre.

Ian Hunter said: ”The Invercarron opened in the 90s when there was a really enthusiastic group of older people in the town with amazing vitality, who wanted to run the building themselves.

”If that vitality has been lost then it is down to the way it is being run. If that group were here, there is no way you could take away that building.”

Kay Wood said her main concern was with people’s welfare and with social isolation and loneliness.

She said: ”This is getting totally ignored in all this. What supprt are they going to give to help all these groups get over Covid? The Health and Social Care Partnership does not seem to care about social isolation.”

Done Deal?

Steve McQueen said he too had concerns for those missing out.

He added: ”it seems to me that is is a done deal and we are wasting our time trying.”

Councillors Agnew, Dickinson and Robertson were all present at the meeting. Cllr Robertson summed up their mutual concerns about the lack of parking and the lack of a public review.

He said: ”Like my fellow councillors there is a degree of concern that the impact assessment does not appear to have been done in a way that is transparent to the community.”

And Mr Robertson, who sits on the Integration Joint Board overseeing AHSCP, asked that the use of the Invercarron might be a temporary move and not a fait accomplis. He asked that councillors be involved going forward.

AHSCP has a legal duty to involve people and communities in the planning of

services as set out in legislation. In recognition of this statutory duty,

engagement was identified as a strategic priority in AHSCP’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025.


David Lawman, who chaired the meeting, said: ”My view is, other than the people whose job it is to create a vaccination centre, no-one is jumping up and down to say this is the best solution.

”I think the feeling is it is a done deal. As a community we are not being considered.”

A letter of protest to be sent

It was decided a letter should be sent to Aberdeenshire Council to make sure ‘this breakdown in the process does not happen again’.

Ian Hunter said: ”We are not talked to and not consulted with.”

Have You Seen This Poster?

dolphin leaping with fish in sea and people on yellow beach

IF you have been in and around the town centre recently, you should have spotted a colourful poster of a Stonehaven beach scene in lots of windows, with the slogan ‘We are Stonehaven’.

The poster was the work of Mackie pupil Cailean Mcallister after the school was approached and asked to help design a poster to accompany Stonehaven’s entry in this year’s Beautiful Scotland competition.

The pupils were asked to encompass the sense of Stonehaven and the notion that it was a whole town entry.

Horizon Project convenor John Cruickshank said: ”Since so many groups have supported our entry and since it is the town that is entering, we didn’t want the poster to just be about the flowers that everyone associates with Horizon.

”This particular poster had a certain appeal and we felt it was lovely and colourful. An added bonus is that it really ticks the boxes of this year’s Beautiful Scotland themes of ‘Climate and Nature Friendly’. So well done Cailean, we hope you are enjoying seeing it about the town.”

With judging day for Stonehaven’s fast approaching squads of volunteers have been weeding, washing and sweeping all around the route – two judges will visit Stonehaven next Wednesday, August 4.

Community Council Meeting to Discuss Resource Centre

FOR those Stonehaven residents who are concerned at the loss of the Invercarron Resource Centre as a venue tomorrow (Tuesday) our community council will be making another attempt to hold a meeting – last week’s flagged meeting failed to go ahead due to technical problems.

Please see a renewed link below. As a reminder or for those who did not see last week’s article about the Centre, here it is once more!

Stonehaven and District Community Council are convening during their summer break to discuss proposals to turn the Invercarron Resource Centre into a permanent vaccine clinic.

At their last meeting, our community representatives said they would fight any permanent closure of the centre, where the doors have been locked since the onset of the pandemic. Councillor Agnew shared an update where they heard permission for a review ito the centre’s future was being sought by Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

Then at the beginning of this month, groups who regularly used the Invercarron Resource Centre were sent a letter informing them it is to permanently become Stonehaven’s vaccine clinic.

SDCC chairman Bill Watson said: ”While welcoming the idea of vaccination centre within the town, the community council is concerned that this may not be the best location for it.”

Link to join meeting

SDCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: SDCC – Meeting re: Invercarron Resource Centre

Time: Jul 27, 2021 06:45 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 874 4994 9480

Passcode: 238445

If you are having difficulty joining with the link, you should be able to join by phone:

+44 203 481 5240 then enter meeting id

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