Letters to the Editor

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Trump on Salmond


Madam - Alex Salmond has an “overinflated ego” says Donald Trump. That surely has to be the best ever example of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ I’ve heard!!

Yours etc.,

Judi Martin




Madam - I am writing with regards to the recent flooding in Carlisle and the situation we find ourselves here in Stonehaven. PARIS 195 World leaders agree to combat Global Warming. CUMBRIA Flood defences thought adequate in 2010 overtopped in 2015. STONEHAVEN 11 objections threatening to delay the start of our flood defences.

After the floods in Carlisle in 2005 the local authority authorised flood defences capable of withstanding a 1 in 100 year threat of flood. The project cost £38 million for 30 flood gates and 6.2 miles of defences, in addition another £13 million was spent on replacing 2.49 miles of Victorian drains and pumping stations. These defences which were completed in 2010 and proved successful during the floods of 2012 and 2013 saving an estimated £180million in damages. NOw in December 2015 Carlisle has again suffered severe flooding, the previous defences overtopped in several areas, the cost of the damage estimated at £312 million.

Taking the situation in Carlisle into consideration and given the fact that without any delays construction in Stonehaven will not start until 2017. I would ask all the people who have lodged objections with the local authority to reconsider, in particular those who objected to the wall heights or for cosmetic reasons. The Stonehaven scheme has been designed to withstand a 1 in 200 year flood with additional scope for climate change. We require this level of protections as it has been estimated that by the year 2080 we will have a third more rainfall.

The situation in Carlisle shows that what was considered adequate in 2005 failed in 2015 caused in part by the extreme weather we have been experiencing, resulting in Carlisle having to begin the whole process of reviewing their flood defences, planning and construction. Given that 195 World Leaders have reached agreement I hope the same can be achieved here as objections that cannot be resolved locally could result in years of delay, we cannot afford this.

Yours etc,.

Graham Irvine



Emergency treatment at SSPCA

Madam - I was disappointed recently to learn of the low level of care provided by the SSPCA centre at Drumoak. My colleague and I were closing the shop at Crathes Castle last Saturday when two ladies brought in a buzzard that had apparently fallen into the pond and now seemed to be hyperthermic.

It was only just 4.30 but we were told the SSPCA was closed to admissions at 4 pm, and they would have to send an officer out to assess the bird.

Neither could they say when that would be. Our Head Ranger was away that weekend, but fortunately the Head Gardener was able to look after the bird until help arrived - all the way from Huntly.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending as the bird soon recovered and began to attack our Head Gardener - clearly he was not grateful for being rescued.

However, I can’t understand why the SSPCA centre closes to admissions at 4 pm.

Surely there must be staff who are on duty overnight to look after the animals in the centre - so if someone is able to rescue a sick or injured wild animal, and it just happens to be after 4 pm, why can’t they take it to the centre for emergency treatment?

Apart from cutting short the suffering of an animal, surely it would be more cost effective than officers having to drive all the way from Huntly?

Yours etc,

Dr Mary Brown

26 Dalvenie Road


Defining moment

Raise our collective profile

Madam, - 2015 has been the year for social enterprise in Scotland. The launch of the first ever census of social enterprises has demonstrated a thriving and growing business community. Social Enterprise in Scotland: Census 2015 has been a defining moment.

It gives us renewed confidence, a clearer direction, a better indication of where to direct business support and makes our messages clearer when talking to the public, media and politicians.

The headline results show us that there are over 5,000 social enterprises in Scotland, employing over 112,000 people.

60% have a woman as their most senior employee, with 68% of social enterprises paying at least the authentic Living Wage (from the Living Wage Foundation).

2015 has been the year for moving forward with a vision and strategy for social enterprise for the next 10 years.

Key support organisations working in social enterprise have come together in partnership to develop a brand new vision, working with the Census results, to focus minds and take us to the next stages.

As we look forward to 2016 we have a unique opportunity to raise our collective profile and influence the policies of the next Scottish Government. The Holyrood election will be an ideal opportunity for our social enterprises to make their voices heard.

As we look back over the achievements of the past year it’s worth remembering that social enterprise is about creating a new type of economy and society that benefits us all. Social enterprises are not just about helping certain excluded groups in society, social enterprise is good for everyone.

Yours etc,

Fraser Kelly,

Chief Executive

Social Enterprise Scotland

Food safety

Don’t be a turkey this Christmas when it comes to food safety

Madam - NHS 24 is reminding people to be vigilant about food safety this Christmas.

The call comes as part of NHSScotland’s Be #Healthwise This Winter campaign which aims to help people protect their friends and family from illness over the festive and winter period.

Professor George Crooks is NHS 24’s Medical Director: “No one likes to feel unwell, especially at Christmas, so we encourage people to not only be prepared for any minor ailments but also to make sure that people know how to avoid easily preventable health issues.

“For example, that could be as simple keeping raw and cooked meats apart to the more simple problem of over indulgence leading to stomach pains or hangovers. Cooking food properly is just one part of the equation, making sure a frozen turkey or other meat is defrosted safely is just as vital. Defrost too quickly and you can give bacteria a great breeding ground. Make sure you use a separate chopping board when preparing raw meat and wash it thoroughly afterwards. Likewise, we shouldn’t wash poultry as it can do more harm than good, splashing bacteria around your kitchen. But you should wash your hands – especially after handling raw food

“For those concerned about drinking over the holidays, the best way to treat a hangover is to avoid getting one! Alcohol causes the body to dehydrate and can have an impact on overall energy levels.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this winter can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk along with a handy A-Z of illnesses.

You can also like our page on Facebook (search NHS 24) and also follow us on Twitter at @NHS24.

Yours etc,

Martin Allen,

NHS 24 Communications