Aberdeenshire Third Sector Week 2021 is here!

By bellmannews / November 15, 2021
Logo of KDP

From KDP –

Aberdeenshire Third Sector Strategy Group is delighted to bring you the second Aberdeenshire Third Sector Week, highlighting the value and diversity of our local Third Sector.

2021 has brought a new set of challenges. “Lockdown” and other COVID19 restrictions may have been eased, but life for many of our communities has not returned to what it was before March 2020.  The response to our call for content this year has reflected these challenges. The mix of those TSOs working hard to get back on track and those who are still not yet ready to start that process of recovery and rebuilding. The result being a smaller uptake in the opportunity to share their stories. However, we feel it is still important to mark ATSW2021, in recognition of the work we know is being currently undertaken and to continue to promote the value of the Third Sector and the vital part these groups and organisations will play in the road to recovery.

This programme aims to capture the essence of the great work undertaken by the Third Sector across Aberdeenshire but by no means is this collection the complete picture!

Meet the Funder
This year we are delighted to offer you the chance to meet with two Funding Organisations during Third Sector Week. On Tuesday 16th November Suki Mills from the National Lottery Community Funding will host a short online session with Q&A and Thursday 18th November, Lindsay Wells from SEPA will talk about funding opportunities through the Community Landfill Funds.
Both these events will start at 2pm and last for 30 minutes.
To receive a link to both or either of these sessions please contact Jacky Niven at jackynivenkdp@gmail.com

Living Wage Week 2021
This week is also the annual celebration of the real Living Wage movement.  Beginning with the new rate, the celebrations continue throughout the week with events, accreditation announcements, testimony from employers and employees and lots more.
How can you get involved? Get some ideas from their handy Living Wage Week Guide or follow the links below to download your digital pack, join an event, enter the Living Wage Window competition.
Contact Living Wage Scotland if you would like the 2000+ image for Scotland below.

Go digital – download content for social media
Book a place at one of their events
Enter the Living Wage Window competition

Charlie House is a local charity established to help make life better for babies, children and young people who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, and to support their parents, brothers and sisters, and all those who love them. During these unprecedented times, Charlie House has seen an 84% increase in requests for support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charlie House have been working exceptionally hard to Adapt and Thrive in the past year. Part of this is a new social enterprise in the Bon Accord Centre – a sustainable shop working with local producers, which will raise vital funds for their work.
Their story can be found here.

Reminder – Health & Social Care -Why involve the Third Sector?
A look back at one of the films we promoted last year. Still relevant and still progress to be made.
How can the Third Sector help address some of the challenges faced when delivering H&SC services?

All this week’s films and presentations will be available on:

Carlton House and Area Budget on Agenda

By Jane Cruickshank / November 15, 2021
imposing frontage of Carlton house

THE proposed conversion of Stonehaven’s Carlton House from office to 16 flats and further awards from the Area Committee budget are among the items on the agenda for Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee when it meets tomorrow.

Councillors deferred their decision on the proposals for Carlton House at their meeting on October 12 to allow for a site visit – due to concerns regarding overlooking, proximity to the local primary school, visibility splays at the entrance/exit of the site and the siting of the refuse bins.

Lions looking for share

For the year 2021/22 the area committee is allocated an £80,000 budget, allowing it to issue grants to local groups/societies etc. Several awards have already been made giving a current balance of £41,554.99.

Stonehaven and District Lions Club are hoping for £5,076.00 towards the purchase a trailer costing£6,768.00.

The Lions have 22 volunteers running a number of events and fund raising activities, whose proceeds are all spent on charitable causes. The Lions use a trailer throughout the year to transport equipment to and from community events. These events not only allow the Lions to fundraise but also many other organisations. Their trailer is now 13 years old and needs replaced. Match funding is met through their reserves; however, these are very limited as no fundraising has been able to take place during the pandemic.

Other groups applying to the area committee are Bervie Skatepark – £8,000.00 – and Maryculter Driving for the Disabled Group – £2,000.00. If all applications are successful, a balance of £26,478.99 will remain for local initiatives.

Meeting can be joined online

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meet tomorrow, Tuesday November 16 at 10am. Full details of the Carlton House application, the area committee budget and all items on the agenda are online along with links to join the meeting.

Meetings are recorded and made available on Youtube in due course.

Council Asked to Find Solution for Rugby Club’s New Home

By Jane Cruickshank / November 10, 2021
Rugby Club sign

STONEHAVEN’S community councillors voted last night to oppose Mackie Academy FP Rugby Club’s bid for an asset transfer of Forest Park – then vented their frustration at Aberdeenshire Council saying it lacked strategic planning and asked them to come up with a solution to the club’s plight.

There was a large online gathering joining those present in person for the meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council, held in the former courthouse.

Peter Webster spoke on behalf of the Save our Park Campaign. He described the efforts made to inform those living in the area of the proposed asset transfer – posting flyers, using social media, hosting a public meeting in the Scout hut and contacting Aberdeenshire Council and our MSPs.

He said he spoke also on behalf of the 1165 people who had signed their petition – many from the five housing estates nearest the park.

”Covid, lock down and indeed this Asset Transfer application have been a rude awakening of what an asset the park is to our local community,”he said. ”We need safe, easily accessible spaces for our community.”

”Rather than ripping up this park, more should actually be made of it. More trees, more seating areas, more activities for our younger, now the 3rd generation of park users.

”This is a valuable open space.”

Saying 150 trees would be lost, Mr Webster included the environmental impact in his detailed account of the objectors’ concerns.

He said: ”The rugby club needs to find a new site. Our council and councillors have powers available to them to change or reallocate land use or put pressure on our local landowners and developers.”

Fruitless quest by Rugby Club

Alan Venters spoke on behalf of the rugby club which, with 1200 members including 375 youngsters, is the second largest in Scotland.

Mr Venters described the FPs’ quest over several years to secure land from various developers, including Cala who once hoped to build at Braehead. The club also tried to buy land close to Fetteresso Cementery, but were outbid by Aberdeenshire Council who wanted it for a cemetery expansion.

”We have used the land at Forest Park since the mid 1980s,” he said. ”We think it is a safe option for children to reach.”

Describing the process behind an asset transfer, Mr Venters said the club would have 20 days to respond to comments made during the consultation before the land would be independently valued.

And, if the transfer were to go ahead, he said the club will invest £600,000 improving the poorly drained ground at Forest Park and creating the necessary changing rooms, clubhouse, fitness suite, storage and parking – all of which he said would be made available to community groups and members of the community.

Devilishly irritating predicament

It was quite clear our community councillors were unhappy to face a situation where, whatever the outcome, a sector of the community would lose out. Alistair Lawrie described the predicament as ‘devilishly irritating’.

Jim Stephen said: ”It boils down to what is the council doing to help?”

”You can see the frustration from everyone,” he added.

Mr Stephen then questioned the role of the latest local development plan, LDP, which is scheduled for adoption in 2022.

Cllr Sarah Dickinson said: ”When it came up at the full council, I asked that it included a statement about the rugby club. That statement recognises the need for premises.

”What there isn’t, is a recognised piece of land.”

Cllr Dennis Robertson said the four ward Councillors could take all points raised to the area manager – but the community councillors were not satisfied.

Mike Duncan said he had raised concerns during the early about the amenity imbalance in Stonehaven during the early consultations for the LDP.

”There is a lack of vision or strategy for the town. Why is the LDP not taking account of the growing community and its amenities? Where is the strategy?”

And with Paddy Coffield proposing the community council object to the asset transfer, Mike Duncan added a second motion that, ”the Council should come back with an improved solution.”

October Police Report

By bellmannews / November 10, 2021
The North East poloice crest

From Police Scotland –

Community Council Report

This report covers the Kincardine and Mearns area for the period 1 to 31 October 2021.

The report aims to highlight emerging issues in your area, and provide crime prevention advice and guidance.  Our focus is to reduce crime and disorder, help create safer communities and respond effectively to local concerns.

Community Policing Priorities

Antisocial behaviour, Violence and Disorder:

There has been a slight decrease in the number of Anti-social Behaviour calls within Kincardine and Mearns for the month of October, with 48 incidents reported.  23 of these calls relate to youth specific calls of which 7 related to Portlethen. 25 relate to other Anti-Social Behaviour incidents including noise and neighbour issues.

There were 6 Assault crime reports raised within October, which is an increase against the previous month. All 6 reported are detected and have been reported as appropriate to the Procurator Fiscal and YJMU.

New legislation regarding Age of Criminal Responsibility from 8 to 12 years will be implemented in the early part of 2022. 

There were no serious assaults reported within October.

Acquisitive Crime:

There have been 4 Thefts throughout the Kincardine and Mearns area during October. All 4 remain undetected and are still being investigated.

There were 2 Commercial Housebreakings during October. One was in Gourdon where commercial batteries were stolen, and the other was David Street Co-Op, Stonehaven where a sum of money was stolen along with other items. These are still under investigation by the Proactive CID Unit.

Road Safety & road crime:

Drink/Drug Driving

In October there were no drivers found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  

Dangerous Driving

There was 1 reported incident of dangerous driving for the month of October.

Careless Driving

There have been 3 reported incident of careless driving for the month of October, all of which are detected and reported to COPFS.

Speeding Offences

The Kincardine and Mearns CPT, continue to prioritise safe driving, and have undertaken numerous Road Safety checks using the Unipar laser device in areas where concern has been highlighted over speeding. Several new locations have been provided as areas of concern, which will be visited in future operations.

Community Engagement & Reassurance:

Lone Officer – A new process allows an officer’s personal radio to be placed on loud speaker and for an officer or member of staff in the Police Area Control Room to confirm that the officer is who they say they are, that they are on duty and the reason why the officer is speaking to the member of the public

Darker Nights  – Road Safety for Cyclists

Cycling – Buy the right size of cycle – maintain your cycle so that brakes, tyres, chain, steering and reflectors are in good condition – during the day wear fluorescent ‘day glo’ colours, at night wear reflective clothing – front and rear lights are a legal requirement – when sourcing a helmet, ensure it meets the CE mark standards.

Contact Us:

Inspector Allen Shaw

Kincardine and Mearns Community Policing Team

Winner of the October Mearns Camera Club 50th Anniversary Photo Competition

St James's Door by Jenny McLaren

Congratulations to Jenny McLaren who is winner of the October “DOORS” photographic competition with her atmospheric entry “St James’s Door“. It just goes to show that the best camera is the one you have with you as Jenny made this image with her iPhone 11! Jenny wins a year’s membership to the Mearns Camera Club in this, their 50th Anniversary year.

The November competition is an OPEN category so any subject is valid! You need to be in it to win it! So get entering!

All are welcome to enter. There are two age groups: under 18 and 18+. Please be sure to check the rules below before entering.

Enter by emailing your image to photocompetition@thebellman.co.uk

So you can be preparing for future months, the competition subjects will be:

  • December – subject “Movement”
  • January – subject Open (any subject)
  • February – subject “The Woods”
  • March – subject Open (any subject)

Mearns Camera Club 50th Anniversary Photo Competition rules

  1. The competition is open to anyone living within the area defined by the rivers Dee (to the north) and North Esk (to the south) and the B974 road (to the west). Any professional photographer, members of the Mearns Camera Club and any one associated with The Bellman are not eligible. There will be a junior section for for those aged under 18 and a senior section for those 18+
  2. The competition runs for 7 months, starting 1st September 2021 and ending 31st March 2022. There will be 4 Open competitions where any image can be submitted and 3 Named competitions where specific images should be submitted.
  3. Each month a person can enter up to 3 digital images of their own creation. No prints will be accepted. Each image must have the individuals name and contact details attached. The images must be jpeg and no larger than 2MB. The images submitted will be judged by the Mearns Camera Club and the results published in the Bellman the following month. A selection of the submitted images will also be in The Bellman. It will be assumed that the photographer will have sought and received any permissions required to allow their photo to be used in the competition.
  4. The images submitted will have been taken in the current year(s) (2021/22) and taken within the area defined in rule 1 – ‘the area defined by the rivers Dee (to the north) and North Esk (to the south) and the B974 road (to the west)’.
  5. The Mearns Camera Club and The Bellman reserve the right to use any image for their promotional purposes. Credit will be given to the author. Copyright remains with the photographer.
  6. Each month a prize of a years subscription to the Mearns Camera Club will be awarded to the persons selected as the winner in each group. No other prize option will be available.
  7. Entries for each month can be submitted that month but not earlier. Entries should be sent to photocompetition@thebellman.co.uk

Stonehaven Golf Club – The Smoker

This weekend saw Stonehaven Golf Club’s annual prize giving ceremony, aka ‘The Smoker’. Seventy or so good men and true were in attendance and a fine night was had by all to round off another splendid year at the club.

Never let the commitment of SGC’s members be called into question. With Covid putting paid to the 2020 event, this year’s attendees selflessly took it upon themselves to compensate for last year’s lost bar sales by doubling their intake. The till rang long and loud as steady queues formed to run Brenda, Teresa and the bar crew ragged. Such stoic dedication to the cause is to be congratulated even if it does nothing for the respective owner’s livers.

Chief of prize giving ceremonies for the night, Steve Guzik, lead by example, his limitless consumption setting the trend as he remained vertical for just long enough to dole out thirty five trophies. It’s difficult to assess the pecking order regards these trophies but the most significant would certainly be the club championship salver, received with great humility by Kevin Riddell. Kevin’s speech was as classy as it was poignant, the whole clubhouse raising a glass, at his behest, in memory of friend and fellow club member, Craig McKay.

Kevin shared a table with, amongst others, Craig Irvine, winner of several trophies himself. By the finish their table was buckling under the weight with fellow inhabitants looking on enviously, their jealousy palpable. You can slap someone on the back so many times before you decide enough’s enough and you just want to chin them.

Comedian and impressionist Paul Reid brought the house down with a splendid performance. He’d traveled up from Carnoustie to deliver a highly entertaining stream of jokes and sporting impressions. It’s questionable whether the Junior section should consider booking him mind, his material largely the colour of a Scotland football shirt. He was both hilarious and educational, teaching certain members of his audience the folly of rising to use the lavatory during a comedian’s routine. A schoolboy error indeed.

No Smoker succeeds without a fine meal and Ziggy’s team were not found wanting, laying on a splendid feast. The club is fortunate to have a high class restaurant in its midst and nights like this prove that point.

A list of trophy members is provided below which the respective winners can cut out and frame for their grandchildren, or whatever the digital equivalent is these days. (Probably a viral download on Tiktok or some such, an impish grandchild breakdancing while holding a mock trophy and wearing a Harry Roulston mask).

We look forward to seeing each of the winners next year as they defend their titles and share another memorable Stonehaven Golf Club season with us.

Club Champion – Kevin Riddell
Handicap Trophy – Callum Steel
Innes Medal Final – Bob McAlpine
Captain’s Cup – Steve Guzik
Willie Donald Champions Trophy- Raymond Shearer
Malcolm Sargeant Medal – Steve Birss
Marie Curie Shield – Charlie Gordon
Cowie Cup – Neil Macarthur
JM Adamson Greensomes – Neil MacArthur/Mike Griffin
Masson Cup – Stuart Campbell
Stonehaven Open – Craig Irvine
Gully Cup – Craig Irvine
Denhead Cup – Alex Russon
McNab Trophy – Colin Black
Barlow Cup – William McEwan
Centenary Trophy – Calum Delaney
Kirkwood Scramble- Stuart Dempster,Barry Mcgillivray,Michael Wood,Scott Burness
Winter League Doubles (Scratch) – Kevin Riddell, Ross McAllan
Winter League Doubles (Nett) – David Bell, Ramsay Bell
Winter League Singles – Matthew Cockerell
Winter League Matchplay – Neil MacArthur
Wednesday Medal Final – Tom Gilchrist
Scratch Eclectic – Stuart Wright/Craig Irvine
Shieldarroch Trophy – Craig Irvine
Glenshieldaig Trophy – Neil Irvine/Joe Meanen
Charlie Nicol Trophy – Craig Irvine
Willie Watt Matchplay – Graham Sangster
RBS Matchplay – Damien Shine, Ewan Michael
DF Leslie Matchplay – Stuart Dempster
JM Low Matchplay – Harry Roulston
CB&I Foursomes Matchplay – Russell John Duncan, Sam Geddes
Midsummer Hack – Lee Watson
Hogmanay Hack – David Henderson

Covid Testing Kits For Those Without Symptoms

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Mobile community testing continues to be offered across Aberdeenshire for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Testing without symptoms is entirely voluntarily, but by visiting a Mobile Community Testing Centre and taking a lateral flow test, residents will be able to better protect their family, colleagues and the wider community by ensuring they are not spreading the virus to others without knowing it.

On Wednesday a unit will be in the Market Square from 10am to 3pm where you can collect packs of personal test kits.

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