Fettercairn meeting planned

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Mearns Conservative Councillor George Carr has requested a public meeting for Fettercairn following the traumatic floods which badly affected the village before Christmas.

Cllr Carr said: “Despite the devastation which struck Stonehaven over two weekends, firstly with the sea storm and then the flooding, other areas in Kincardine and Mearns were also affected.

“Following the 2009 flooding in Fettercairn, a public meeting was held to discuss possible options to alleviate the water flows in times of high rainfall. Local opinion was sought, and representatives of SEPA were present along with Scottish Water and Council flood engineers. A scheme was designed and completed with the active co-operation of local land owners, but unfortunately was still unable to cope with the very heavy rainfall which occurred in December. However, we now need to get feedback on what went wrong, what went well and to look at further measures which may be necessary and deployed in the future.

“I am aware that Aberdeenshire Council acts as the main facilitator for such schemes but SEPA and others agencies are also involved in giving consent and licensing what can and cannot take place. It is vital though that local opinion is heard because experience from by-gone years is often vital in signalling what needs to be done. This can often be at odds with SEPA officials but it essential that they are present to listen to residents.”

“Local resilience is also the current buzzword whereby residents can organise themselves locally to mitigate the worst effects of a local event like flooding. I am aware that local farmers and others deserve an award for their efforts on the night and they made a real difference. These lessons need to be learned and built into a local plan of action which is co-ordinated locally when outside agencies may be slow to respond. Hopefully this will flow from a public meeting”.

“I am delighted that Kincardine and Mearns area manager Willie Munro has agreed to facilitate a meeting in Fettercairn to look at all aspects of flooding in the next few weeks when stakeholders can be invited to participate.”

Meanwhile, those affected by flooding in the Fettercairn area are invited to the flood meeting in Stonehaven on Tuesday January 29.