Community Council keen to see more police bike patrols

THE question of police bicycle patrols in Portlethen came up at this month’s meeting of the community council in the town, when members agreed that they would like to see more initiatives of this sort.

Speaking at the meeting, a member of the public - and former community councillor - said that two bikes had been bought by the community council for Portlethen police 15 years ago, but they had ceased to be used. North Kincardine Councillor Paul Melling said: “It was quite a big deal at the time, as the bikes were bought by the community council in conjunction with the police. They told us at the time that they were very useful, as it made it easier for police officers to patrol the paths in Portlethen”.

But a police representative told the meeting that, despite officers taking the necessary cycling proficiency training, they had been told that the bikes are “no longer fit for purpose”. She added that they are now trying to raise money for Smith and Weston police bikes in the Portlethen area.

Newly appointed chairman Ron Sharp said that they would like to see the matter resolved once and for all. He said: “We are constantly being told that the officers need to sit a proficiency test, or that the bikes are not fit for purpose. When are they going to be out and about, that’s what we want to know.”

Community councillor Dorothy Main announced that she would no longer be organising Christmas lights for the town, and the community council are now looking for someone to take over the role. Mrs Main said: “I have been doing this for three years and I feel that it is time for me to step back and let someone else inject some fresh ideas into it, or at least just keep it going.

“We achieved a lot, and it has been a lot of hard work, but it is up and running now and just needs someone to keep on top of it.”

Mr Sharp said that they would like to see a focal point in the town this year where a Christmas tree can be put on display, and added that they were hopeful that they could stage a public event of some kind when the town’s lights get turned on.

Several community councillors expressed their frustration at the lack of bus services to Hillside, with most southbound buses bypassing the area and going down the dual carriageway and entering Portlethen under the flyover.

North Kincardine Councillor Carl Nelson agreed that it was strange that the buses would bypass potential fares in the Hillside area, and said the routes were “a nonsense”. But he added: “It is very hard to please everybody with bus routes, there is no doubt about that”. The community council agreed to invite a Stagecoach representative to a further meeting to discuss future routes, and the consultation process leading up to their finalisation.