Angus & Mearns Liberal DemocratsWorking Year Round for Angus, Mearns & Stonehaven

Sep/14

1

Bill boards vandalised

By David May

While out campaigning for Better Together I received a telephone call from a constituent as large No Thanks billboards have been vandalised. Unfortunately there were no witnesses to the vandalism or referral would have been made to the local police.

In my view it is a great pity that even the local campaign has come to this and the sooner this behaviour stops the better, as surely we can agree to disagree and conduct ourselves in a more civilised manner.

I call on all local politicians to back my call to condemn vandalism like this as neither side should get involved in this way. What an appalling example for the rest of the population.

From: David May

Sep/14

1

Attacks by No Supporters Unacceptable

By Sanjay Samani

Last week I wrote about how the verbal and physical abuse of No Campaigners by Yes supporters had brought a new low. However it looks as if No campaigners are determined the game of stupid one upmanship that has marked the independence debate.

When it was £500 better off, £500 worse, then £600 better, £800 worse, £1,500 better, we can put it down to the fact that there are simply too many variable to reliably answer key economic questions reliably, so politics took over and that’s just to be expected, however disappointing.

However the abuse online demonstrated best by the behaviour of the CyberNats has until now been the ugly underbelly of this campaign.

As we get closer and closer the critical vote – and my postal vote will go into the letter box today – the abuse has spilled into the streets and the meeting halls and the public debate.

Many No supporters are telling us that they feel intimidated and are scared to show their support. Many Scottish companies believe that their businesses will suffer if they declare their position in favour of keeping a stronger Scotland within the UK. We have seen that abuse first hand at the treatment of Willie Rennie, JK Rowling, Gordon Brown and Jim Murphy. None of which is acceptable.

However there are two reports over the weekend of disgusting, stupid behaviour by No Campaigners and supporters, that I utterly condemn. This is the most important debate of our lives and the most important vote. Inevitably emotions will run high. But there is no excuse by intimidating or violent behaviour from supporters of either the Yes or No campaign.

The first is of a man tailgate Alex Salmond’s car and the other is of a No campaigner kicking a woman in Glasgow. Both are completely unacceptable.

The leaders of both the Yes and No campaigns need to come out together and make a stark call to all their supporters to calm the debate down and head into the final fortnight with a positive debate.

We all need to take a tip from these guys who are campaigning in a fun, positive way:

From: Sanjay Samani

Aug/14

29

Referendum Campaign hits new low point

By Sanjay Samani

I was deeply disappointed to read today that Jim Murphy MP has decided to suspend his tour of Scottish Towns to take the Better Together message across Scotland.

Reading in The Courier that over the last few days Jim Murphy has received abuse from Yes campaigners in Glasgow, Dundee, Montrose and elsewhere, culminating in the egg throwing in Kirkcaldy has been very troubling.

Supporters of a stronger Scotland within the UK have been attacked viciously online by the CyberNats for a long, long time. The treatment of JK Rowling in particular has been disgusting. With the online abuse, we can at least keep it at arms length and step away from it.

However that nastiness is now being targeted at campaigners in public, with Jim Murphy, Gordon Brown and Willie Rennie all being abused by Yes supporters.

The Yes campaign has repeatedly moaned about bullying when supporters of the UK have simply expressed their opinions. They should have a hard long look a themselves to understand what bullying really is.

We have seen campaigners forced off the street and not allowed to have their say. We have been branded as traitors and second class Scots, which Angus Cllr Bill Duff still refuses to apologise for. We now hear that 100′s of companies are too scared to voice their opinion in case of recriminations from the SNP government.

The people of Scotland deserved a civilised debate that allowed everyone to have their say without intimidation, but many voters are now too scared to admit they are voting No.

Supporters of the Yes campaign have brought the whole debate to a new low this week. It is time they respected that others have a different view and have a right to express themselves without a barrage of abuse being thrown at them.

With less than 3 weeks left, I worry that the abuse will get a lot worse before the referendum is over.

From: Sanjay Samani

Aug/14

25

The new Adam Centre

By David May

Alison McInnes, Scottish Lib Dem NE of Scotland MSP, visited the present Montrose Day Care Centre with local Montrose councillor David May. Mrs McInnes commented ” It is clear that the staff at the centre do an amazing job in the present site and this enables the users of the centre to remain at home for as long as possible. The plans for the new building are very impressive as there will be a state of the art building which will even better meet the needs of the elderly in the local area. ” Cllr David May added ” I have been involved with our Day Care Centre for several years and I would back the comments about the great job done by the staff. The new build, which will be called the Adam Centre, in recognition of the superb donation, will be based in the former ambulance station and we will be launching fund raising very soon to meet the shortfall in order to equip the new build with all that is needed.”

From: David May

Aug/14

21

Call for action on the flyover at Laurencekirk

By David May

I have noticed that the SNP minister Keith Brown has been making more and more transport promises in projects such as the A9, the Borders Railway and a rail connection at Leven. I call on Mr. Brown to commit resources to the much needed flyover at Laurencekirk as the traffic using the A90 is busier than it has ever been, and equally more and more lorries and drivers are crossing the junction. The evidence for this is very clear as oil related and other jobs from Montrose increases and the route they use to Aberdeen is the crossing at Laurencekirk.

From: David May

Aug/14

14

Sign Posts

By David May

photo 2

I had a meeting with the local roads officer at the Montrose golf links as the posts needed renewal. This is also necessary as we have considerable numbers of visitors coming to the course and also to the beach and I am pleased to see that this was done with a few days..

From: David May

Aug/14

13

Scam warning for Angus residents

By David May

Angus Council is warning residents of a phone scam in which people are being tricked into thinking they are making a call back to their bank when in fact they are still speaking to the fraudsters.

An older Angus resident was conned out of £100 and only the swift action of a social worker prevented the loss of a more significant amount.

The con appears to be targeted at older vulnerable residents like Mary (names have been changed).

Mary was called at home by Jake who said he was from her bank. He told her a large amount had been withdrawn from her account and the bank was concerned about the account’s security. Jake asked Mary to hang up and call him back immediately on the helpline number of the back of her bank card, so she could verify he was from the bank.

When Mary called back she was immediately connected to Jake. Satisfied that Jake was from her bank Mary gave him the account and card details he asked for. But Jake was not from the bank. He had cleverly conned Mary into giving him the bank details he needed to help himself to her money.

The scam works because Jake did not hang up from his original call. Mary thought she had called another number but in fact Jake was still on the line.

Commenting on the recent scam Mark Hodgkinson, Angus Council’s adult protection officer said: “We have had two reports of this scam in Angus. One resident lost around £100 but we know from cases in other areas that much bigger amounts have been stolen.

“The message to everyone is to be very vigilant to anyone contacting them out of the blue and claiming they are from a bank. Be very cautious about sharing bank details with anyone over the phone unless you are absolutely certain the caller is who they say they are.”

Angus Council was the first authority in Scotland to adopt a formal policy on financial harm. Introduced in June last year the policy sets out how the council, in partnership with other agencies such as the post office, police, voluntary sector and local businesses, is targeting scammers and protecting residents.

Mark said it was important that people reported scams: “People can be reluctant to report these kinds of scams as they feel a little foolish about being conned but I urge everyone to report a scam or a suspected scam to the police or the trading standards service. Any of us can be taken in by a determined fraudster – all it takes is a moment’s lack of concentration or distraction.”

Fraudster’s activities are not confined to phone scams. It has been estimated that £6.2 million is conned out of Angus residents by mail scams alone each year.

Mark urged relatives of particularly vulnerable residents to be extra vigilant, saying: “We know that scammers target more vulnerable people. Relatives should contact the council if they have any concerns. We have a legal duty to make inquiries into more vulnerable people who might be at risk of harm but we can only act in cases we know about.

“There are a number of ways in which we may be able to help. For example particularly vulnerable adults suffering from nuisance phone calls can be equipped with call blocking equipment; some devices can block nearly all scam or nuisance phone calls.”

Angus’ pioneering trial of call blocking technology to protect those being targeted by financial fraudsters and cold-callers has received national recognition. The partnership project gave beleaguered residents control of their phones again and earned Angus, East Dumbarton and East Renfrewshire councils an MJ Award commendation for ‘excellence in community engagement’.

If you know about someone who is at risk or who may have been a scam victim contact Police Scotland on 101 or Angus Council’s trading standards team on 01241 435600.

For information about financial harm and financial scams call 08452 777 778 and follow the Scam Free Angus team on twitter @scamfreeangus for up to date scam alerts.

From: David May

Aug/14

10

Parking problems in Montrose

By David May

The most regular complaint I get is about bad parking in Montrose, which is significantly worse since Police Scotland dispensed with the traffic wardens they employed. People have complained that more and more drivers are parking on double yellow lines, often making it difficult to see ongoing traffic. I have heard people say this is likely to lead to accidents and makes driving much more difficult. Another complaint is that drivers are increasingly parking for long periods of the day which makes it very difficult to get a parking place.

I have contacted Police Scotland about their decision to get rid of traffic wardens, and have encouraged those who complain about the parking problems to do the same, and in addition to contact the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill who is responsible for policing. I have also spoken to Cllr Paul Valentine who chairs our Angus Police andFire and Rescue subcommittee about this issue and I suggest people who have complained about bad parking in our town to do the same as the problem lies with the decision by Police Scotland.Committee Report Template July 2013

From: David May

Jul/14

31

Tayock Burn Bridge Strengthening Works

By David May

I have heard from one of the senior council officers that major repairs of the bridge will begin on 18 August and will take about 12 weeks to complete. I have also been informed that despite this much needed strengthening of the bridge, that pedestrian and vehicular access on the bridge will be maintained at all times. However, it is acknowledged that the works will mean some local inconvenience and disruption but this is necessary in order for these necessary works to be done, but the council officer has assured me that every effort will be made to limit this.

From: David May

Jul/14

28

Speed of traffic at North Craigo

By David May

The speed of the traffic going through North Craigo ( A937) is very considerable and well above the speed limit, and as a result I have had complaints from the Craigo Village Hall Committee as well as from individual residents. Having been on a site visit and talked to a local resident about the issue I then contacted the senior traffic officer at the council, and asked that consideration is given to reducing the speed limit sign from 40 mph to 30 mph both on the entrance to the area where there is housing on the A937, as well as at the end of the housing on the Strathcathro/ Brechin Road at North Craigo. I also suggested that the signs are moved further away from the area where there is the housing and have also suggested that the road marking needs repainted as it is quite faded. It is clear when the police are there the vehicles do slow down but it is not possible for the police to be on duty on a regular basis so if what I have suggested can be done this could at least lessen what is a significant problem on what is an increasingly busy road.

From: David May

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Published and promoted by Sanjay Samani on behalf of David May, Alison Andrews, Kevin Barthorpe, Lorraine Barthorpe, Avril Simpson, Elizabeth Petrie, Jennifer Graham and Janet Cowan, all at Viewpark, Meethill Road, Alyth, PH11 8DE.

Published and promoted by Michael Reid on behalf of Peter Bellarby and David Fleming, all at 4 Robert Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2DN.

Published and promoted by Tom Fleming on behalf of William Howatson, both at Ramsay Place, Fettercairn, Laurencekirk, AB30 1XX.

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