All Change At The Town House

There was a ‘changing of the guard’ at the Town House yesterday (18 May 2022) following agreement between the Scottish Liberal Democrat and SNP councillors to form a partnership for five years to run Aberdeen City Council. This happened at the first meeting of the new Council following recent elections which saw both group gain one seat each, resulting in a majority within the chamber.

The city council has required coalitions since 2003 following the introduction of the Single Transferrable Vote system whereby you rank council candidates in order of preference. From the 1950s to 2003, the city was run by a succession of Labour majorities. However, in 2003, the Liberal Democrats ended Labour dominance. From 2003 to 2007, the Council was run by a coalition of 20 Liberal Democrats and 3 Conservatives. From 2007 to 2012, there was a Liberal Democrat / SNP coalition. From 2012 to 2022, a Labour / Conservative / Independent coalition was in charge of the city council.

Over the past two weeks the different groups have had discussions with each other to identify whether or not a deal could be struck to run the city. The 11 Labour councillors confirmed that they would not enter into a formal coalition with any other political group but they were willing to work with other groups as long as those groups were prepared to support and action the Labour manifesto. This effectively made it impossible for either Labour (with 11 councillors) or the Conservatives (with 8 councillors) to reach the required minimum of 23 councillors needed to run the city. Talks continued between the SNP and Liberal Democrat groups to establish whether or not they could agree a way forward.

Liberal Democrat member for Kingswells, Sheddocksley & Summerhill, Steve Delaney said, “Our starting point was always going to be our manifesto. We were elected on what we said we would deliver and, unless we could bring forward the bulk of what was in our manifesto we would been letting down those who had put their trust in us. In the end we came up with a policy statement which does exactly that”.

Steve, continued, “In addition to manifesto commitments I agreed to a partnership with the SNP to deliver stability for the city over the next five years. There were no other alternatives available for running the city council. At the Council meeting yesterday the Conservatives and Labour confirmed they would not revive their decade long coalition.

“It’s worth stating emphatically that I do not support Scottish independence. My three Liberal Democrat colleagues on the council share that view. The Scottish Liberal Democrats oppose independence and an independence referendum. Absolutely none of this has changed, nor will it”.

“This is a local solution for local circumstances. We have concluded an agreement with SNP councillors which focuses on investing in our crumbling infrastructure and taking forward improvements to services which are within the remit of the council. Although our policy statement is lengthy and not everything can be progressed from day one, our top priorities will be education, housing, infrastructure and the environment. Given that our position on the future of the United Kingdom is diametrically opposed to that of the SNP, both groups have agreed to disagree on this issue and to work together on maintaining and improving our local services in Aberdeen”.

Some key Liberal Democrat priorities for the city which will be taken forward include

  • abolishing the Brown Bin charge;
  • more curriculum choices in schools;
  • improving music education;
  • a new £1million road safety fund;
  • Resurfacing at least 40km of roads and 40km of pavements each year so that by 2032 at least 80% of our roads and pavements are in good condition.
  • investment in green transport – walking and cycling
  • campaigning to reverse underfunding of our city
  • addressing the climate change emergency and moving the city towards a sustainable net zero position.

Steve concluded, “After ten years of the Labour, Conservative and Independent coalition, Aberdeen voted for change. We could have stood on the sidelines and made plenty of noise or we could step up, take responsibility and deliver on the promises we made to those who put their trust in us.

“We didn’t like the terms administration – which nobody understands – or coalition, so instead we are describing ourselves as a partnership. The SNP are indeed the larger of the two groups but the deal agreed with them takes us forward as partners in the running of the city.

“Our leader Ian Yuill becomes co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, Martin Greig becomes Convenor of the Education Committee, our new member Desmond Bouse is Vice-Convenor of Planning. I am Vice-Convenor of the Licensing Committee and Depute Provost”.

Kingswells Park & Ride Update

Lighting Fixed

The lighting at the Park & Ride is now timed to come on earlier and go off later (to coincide with the time the first bus arrives in the morning and the last one departs at night). This follows on from the whole site being in darkness when shift workers were coming off/going on shift. Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “A number of people raised concerns about personal safety and the risk of having an accident as a result of the whole site being in darkness. Thankfully this had just been down to an error in the timer settings which has since been adjusted”.

Waiting Room To Re-Open

The waiting room at the Park & Ride was closed in March 2020 when the first lockdown commenced. It has not been re-opened since then. With the colder/wetter weather now upon us there have been concerns raised with Steve by Kingswells Community Council and a number of members of the public. 

Steve said, “The issue stems from there previously having been no formal arrangement for the facility to be opened and closed. This was being done pre-pandemic by Stagecoach drivers as a courtesy but that arrangement has since lapsed”.

“I have been in regular contact with council officers regarding this matter and I’m pleased to say that they are working on putting in place arrangements to re-open the waiting room. No firm date has been given but I am assured this will happen as soon as possible.”

“I will update everyone here and through my Facebook and Twitter pages as soon as I get confirmation of the re-opening date and the times of day the facility will be available and in use”.

Late Night Disturbances

Unfortunately there have been more reports of late night disturbances being caused by ‘boy racers’ at the Park & Ride to such an extent that people’s sleep is being disturbed. Steve said, “Police Scotland and Aberdeen City Council have both been made aware of this. Their advice is for residents who are experiencing these disturbances to report them when they are ongoing to Police Scotland on 101.

Steve said, ‘Although the police may not attend immediately or at all (if they are tied on on other call outs), the more calls they receive, preferably from a number of different people, the better this helps builds up their intelligence around these activities. Police Scotland prioritise their limited resources around an intelligence led model so the more intelligence they get, the more likely they are to target resources at an issue. Although these activities have been ongoing for some time, very few people have been reporting them to the police. I can’t stress how important it is to report these incidents as they happen, even if it does involve a lengthy wait to get through, otherwise nothing will change”.

The Journey Back To Normality Begins Here…

Aberdeen and most of Scotland is moving from covid restriction Level 3 to Level 2. Some of the main changes are as follows:-

  • 6 people from up to 3 households can meet indoors
  • Cafes, pubs and restaurants with indoor facilities can open
  • 6 people from up to 3 households can meet in an indoor cafe, pub or restaurant
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open
  • 8 people from 8 households can meet outdoors
  • Tourist accommodation and visitor attractions can open
  • You can travel anywhere in the UK with the exception of Level 3 or Level 4 areas
  • Overseas travel is permitted to a limited number of countries (referred to as the blue list) without the need to quarantine on your return but be aware that the status of countries can change at short notice as we’ve seen in the past.

Commenting on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions from 17th May, Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said,

I’m sure everyone will welcome the latest moves to ease some of the more severe covid restrictions from Monday. We all want to get back to something resembling normality as soon as it’s safe to do so. For me, like so many other people, the ability to reconnect with family and friends remains the top priority.

However, my own view, for what it’s worth, remains that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we have to! It’s all about being sensible when mixing with vulnerable people. It does no harm to wear a face covering in confined spaces during an indoor visit and to remove it when suitably distanced. Same goes for passing gatherings of people outdoors.

Everyone needs to make their own judgements as to what’s needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and the level of additional measures you may or may not choose to put in place is likely to depend on the vulnerability and vaccination status of yourself and others.

My main concern with the easing to Level 2 is the opening up of international air travel. I fully understand the difficulties the ban on international flights has caused to those who have family living overseas. I too have family and friends overseas.

However, the opening up of international air travel before we have offered the vaccine to everyone will undoubtedly result in new variants getting into (and out of) the UK and there’s always a risk that our vaccinations may not protect against one of these future variants.

Our vaccination programme is going well, but the sooner we are able to offer the vaccine to everyone, including children (following the normal stringent safety checks) the better. And any overstock of vaccines need to be used to offer protection to people in other countries which may not ordinarily be given access to them. As well as being the right thing to do from a humanitarian point of view, we won’t all be 100% safe until the whole world’s safe.

However, despite my very typically cautionary note, as you look towards Monday, enjoy the return of some of your normal freedoms of life and enjoy the company of family and friends but stay safe and keep your loved ones safe too. We’re maybe not quite out of the woods yet, but there’s certainly good cause for a lot more more optimism looking at the weeks and the months ahead.

An extensive list of what is and is not permitted under newly revised Level 2 restrictions can be downloaded as a PDF here. A briefer summary can be viewed online here.

Further Covid Easing

A number of relaxations to covid restrictions come into force for Monday 26 April. This represents the most significant changes since December but please remember many restrictions remain, including the need to maintain social distancing and the wearing of masks. Visiting someone in their own home remains banned at this time except for support visits.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “It’s good to see things starting to return to normal after such a horrible year. The re-opening of shops and other services is very welcome as is the ability to travel within the UK”.

“My advice remains as it has been throughout, within the scope of what is now permitted do what you and your family are comfortable doing and feel safe in doing. That will be different for everyone and that’s OK”.

From 26 April we move from Tier 4 to Tier 3 restrictions. The main changes are as follows:-

  • Non-essential shops and hospitality can begin to open 
  • Non-emergency indoor works such as painting, decorating and repair work can now be undertaken
  • Informal childcare can be resumed
  • Mobile hairdressers and other close contact services can re-open.
  • Numbers attending weddings or funerals has been increased to 50
  • Cafés, pubs and restaurants can resume full outdoor service, subject to local licensing, and serve food indoors without alcohol until 8pm
  • Travel is permitted throughout the UK  

Further information can be found here. If in doubt you can download a helpful guide here or call the coronavirus helpline on 0808 196 3384.

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Community Planning Aberdeen has launched an online simulator to enable citizens to express what is important and of value to them and for their community.  The survey is open to any resident of Aberdeen City.

What is important to you?

Community Planning Aberdeen is the name for your local partnership of public, private and third sector organisations and communities all working together to improve people’s lives across Aberdeen City.

We would like residents of Aberdeen to participate in this short exercise to discover what things you value and what is important to you.

Imagine you are responsible for improving the lives of the people of Aberdeen. You only have 500 points to give to various improvement projects. You must allocate all of these points. How would you allocate these points? How you do this will help guide the work of Community Planning Aberdeen and the priorities within the City’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan.  You can, also, give comments and submit ideas. 

Open until Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Get Started >>

If you have any queries or would like to give us feedback, please use the comments boxes in the link or email us at

We Must Address Our Mental Health Crisis

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Since the first lockdown in March, people living alone who are elderly and disabled, have suffered the greatest harm to their mental health and wellbeing as a result of covid restrictions designed to protect them. Each time there’s a surge in covid cases they are effectively locked up in their own homes, recently described by Boris Johnson as being under ‘house arrest’.

Nobody doubts the risks posed by covid to elderly residents and people with underlying health conditions if good clear guidance is ignored but, to date, there has been no attempt to address the harm these restrictions are causing to those who live alone.

People who live alone have been experiencing loneliness and isolation like never before as a result of being cut off from their families. Some people have not had direct contact with anyone other than carers for months.

Others who are self caring but housebound may have seen nobody at all, other than for food and medicine drop offs, made worse by the fact that they are unable to meet people outdoors and, with winter approaching, even more elderly people who normally meet with others outdoors will now find themselves ‘confined to barracks’.

Current guidance permits indoor visits for the purposes of providing care or support a vulnerable person. Such visits should of course be conducted in accordance with guidelines regarding social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene. However, the guidance is unclear as to whether or not tending to someone’s mental health and wellbeing comes under ‘providing care and support’, with the presumption being that it does not.

Aberdeen councillor Steve Delaney is taking a motion to next Monday’s council meeting seeking to address the issue by asking the council to write to the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing asking for clarification that visits to address mental health needs comes under the definition of providing care and support or, if not, to bring forward appropriate changes to guidance which would allow this.

Councillor Delaney said, “Everyone’s primary aim is to keep people safe but the current restrictions make no allowance for elderly or disabled people who live alone. Visits would almost certainly need to be limited in respect of numbers and it would be expected that the same guidelines applying to paid carers would apply. I’m most certainly not suggesting a complete lifting of restrictions in respect of people living alone. That would put lives at risk”.

“Both Governments have based support arrangements around ’social bubbles’ which work well for couples who do not live together and for informal childcare arrangements. Where they fail older people and vulnerable adults is that by forming a bubble with one elderly or vulnerable adult, you exclude doing so with others in your family and many families have more than one elderly or disabled relative. The other issue with bubbles is that we are told there’s no need for social distancing or face coverings and hugs are allowed. Where an individual in a bubble is vulnerable such an approach would be potentially dangerous”.

“Next Monday I’m asking all parties to put their political differences to one side and come together to support elderly and disabled people who live alone and to do it in a safe way. Indeed the same should apply equally to a younger person who is living alone and struggling with their mental health”.

“We all speak about treating mental health on an equal footing with physical health so lets do something about it”.

“I fully appreciate the guidance requires clarification and/or changes at national level, but that does not preclude Aberdeen’s elected councillors showing leadership by uniting in a common cause and reaching out to our national representatives to make this happen”.

“Accordingly and in the spirit of goodwill, I have written to all five political group leaders in advance of the meeting asking for their support. I’m sure many people across Aberdeen, and indeed across Scotland as a whole, will be looking to them to support this proposal and end the isolation being suffered by those are often unable to speak out for themselves”.

Local Lockdown In Aberdeen

The Scottish Government imposed a local lockdown in Aberdeen which took effect on 5th August 2020. The decision was taken following a significant rise in covid-19 cases over the previous weekend. Infections have been traced to around 30 premises in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The lockdown affects the entire area administered by Aberdeen City council.

Amongst the re-imposed restrictions we can no longer visit friends or family indoors. This is undoubtedly the hardest one to bear, especially where elderly relatives are infirm or housebound and therefore unable to go outdoors to socialise.

As a result of this local increase in covid cases the following measures are now in place. These will next be reviewed on 12th August then weekly thereafter.

  • Residents of the city should not travel more than five miles for leisure or recreational purposes.
  • If you live outwith Aberdeen you should only travel in to attend work or to attend an educational establishment.
  • Indoor and outdoor hospitality has been closed down. Take away facilities can remain open.
  • Hotel restaurants can remain open – but to provide food for residents only
  • Residents of the city should not go into other peoples’ homes unless they are part of their extended household.

Further guidance on the local Aberdeen restrictions are available at Coronavirus restrictions in Aberdeen.

Covid-19 Spike In Aberdeen

Many residents have expressed their anger at scenes such as those seen outside Soul (above). Queueing with no social distancing outside a number of other city centre licensed premises was also observed.

Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said, “We have all sacrificed so much during the lockdown in order to take us to a position where it has become possible for shops and other businesses to re-open safely and, more importantly, for us to be able to visit family and friends once more”.

“Covid-19 has not gone away, it is not yet beaten, it remains an invisible killer and I can’t emphasise that strongly enough. Anyone who is experiencing covid-like symptoms needs to self isolate and contact NHS 111 to be tested. Ignoring the symptoms and going out and about is totally irresponsible and puts other people’s lives at risk”.

“I look forward to the day when we can all enjoy getting out and about and socialising with friends and family without the current restrictions. Sadly, last weekend’s disregard for social distancing may well have pushed that goal further away”.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Ian Yuill said

What happened outside Soul – and I am told some other venues – over the weekend must not be allowed to happen ever again. Crowds like this put everyone single one of us at risk”.

“Venues need to manage their premises, marquees and queues responsibly. Individuals visiting pubs and bars must also take responsibility for their actions and stick to the rules, observe social distancing and help keep themselves and others safe.

The current spike in Coronavirus cases in Aberdeen shows just how infectious and dangerous this virus is. It also makes very clear just how vital it is that every single one of us and every single business sticks to the lockdown rules. We cannot afford to let our guard down. The last thing anybody wants is for more people to become infected, the infection spike to get worse and for even more people to lose their lives to Coronavirus.

Steve concluded, “We have managed to keep the spread of covid-19 at a low level in Aberdeen during the lockdown but I fear we may risk everything unless we learn lessons from this outbreak and act upon those lessons”.

Many people will understandably concerned if they have been visiting pubs, cafes, restaurants and other food and drink establishments last weekend. More information on what to do if you are experiencing symptoms can be found here.

“Spaces For People” Marquees Causing Concerns

Several residents and business people have raised concerned about the size of marquees erected outside businesses on Union Street and Belmont Street.

The reason for temporarily closing roads and widening pavements is to create additional space for pedestrians during the pandemic. 

People have said they are very unhappy that some very large marquees have been put up on Union Street and Belmont Street which reduce the space available for pedestrians.

The marquee outside “The Grill” on Union Street not only fills the bus lane, it also blocks some of the pavement with the result there is less space available for pedestrians than normal.

People have also complained that the marquee outside “Books and Beans” on Belmont Street is far too big and means people walking past it are finding it difficult to stay two metres apart.

Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Delaney said, “Creating additional space to allow for customers to social distance is absolutely fine, just as long as these additional spaces do not impact on the ability of pedestrians to social distance safely”.

“There’s no point in bringing in measures to restrict traffic and create safe spaces for pedestrians only for businesses to occupy those spaces to the exclusion of the general public”.

Check The Security Of Your Shed

Following a number of break-ins to sheds in the area, police are reminding residents to take some simple precautions to protect their property.

Make sure it is not easy for people to get into your rear garden. A hedge or fence two metres high is a good barrier. Fit a strong, lockable, high rear gate to stop a thief getting to the back of your home. Thieves don’t like gravel, it’s noisy to walk on. Don’t make it easy for a thief by allowing them to walk into your garden unchallenged.

Place your shed in your garden so you can clearly see the door and window of your shed from inside your home.

Like your home, it is important to keep your shed secure. Invest in a good lock or padlock and consider fitting reinforced hinges. Keep valuable garden equipment locked away and ensure it is marked with your postcode. It is worth considering fitting a battery-powered shed alarm,

Make sure the doors and panels of the shed are strong enough not to be kicked in or forced by bodily pressure. Fitting steel backing plates makes it more difficult to kick in or force doors and panels.

Deter “window shopping” by placing a screen, net curtain or even a bin bag over the inside of your shed’s windows. Fitting Perspex or laminated glass will offer good protection.

Make sure you lock ladders inside your shed or garage to stop a thief using them to reach an upstairs window.

Use a ground or wall anchor to secure your bike or other valuables in the shed. Lock valuables together to prevent them being easily removed.  Visibly and permanently marking your property helps identify it as yours and makes it less desirable for a thief.

Keep Bicycles Safe & Secure

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

We have all noticed an increase in the number of cyclists on our roads over the last few weeks. Whether you have just purchased your first bike or are a seasoned cyclist it is worth investing in a good quality bicycle specific lock to keep your bike safe and secure. 

Bike thieves will routinely carry bolt croppers or even battery powered angle grinders and light weight, poor quality locks offer little resistance. As a rough guide consider spending around 10% of the value of your bike on a lock.

Always buy the best quality lock you can afford and look out for those that have been endorsed as “Sold Secure” or “Secured by Design”.

It’s not enough to just lock your bicycle whenever it is left unattended for a longer period. Modern bikes are light and can be carried away quickly. Whether a bicycle stand, lamp post or metal fence: a bike must be locked to something and whatever you choose, it must be at least as secure as the lock itself. Ideally, use two different types of lock – a thief will need more tools to steal it.

The best place for your bike at night is a locked room, e.g. a cellar or garage, and it should always be secured with a bicycle lock; ideally combined with a ground anchor. If bicycles cannot be locked to something, for example in the hall or garage, simply lock several bikes together.

Photograph your bike and record all of your bike’s details and distinguishing features and keep in a safe place. The serial number can be found on the bottom bracket. Consider using a bike registration scheme to mark your bicycle. Not only is this a deterrent to thieves but should you be unlucky enough to have your bicycle stolen it increases the chances of getting your bicycle back.

Further advice and guidance on keeping your bike secure can be found here.

Help Stop The Vandalism At Kingswells Playing Field

The local playing field beside Kingswells School was in need of repair as a result of a sizeable dip having developed over time. Local children and their families raised some money to have the area professionally restored by landscape gardeners. The work was undertaken two or three weeks ago at a time when the field was not in use, so as to give the new grass the opportunity to get established.

Unfortunately the repaired area was purposely damaged within a day or two and this was repeated until it got to the point where the repair has been totally destroyed. Further acts of vandalism have resulted in damage to other parts of the field.

This does not appear to be random acts of vandalism but instead, a deliberate attempt to damage the playing field and to limit its usefulness. It is likely chemicals may have been used on the field, so please keep pets and children away from the area in the meantime.

These incidents are currently the subject of an ongoing investigation by Aberdeen City Council and Police Scotland.

A single point of contact has been set up so that residents can get through to the person who is co-ordinating the investigation. They can be contacted directly by email or by phoning 07843850974.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “If you have witnessed any unusual behaviour in the area over the past two or three weeks, no matter how insignificant you may consider it to be, please get in touch”.

“They are also actively gathering evidence relating to other similar incidents which have taken place in Kingswells over the past 10 years or more and are asking for anyone who can assist with their enquiries to come forward, including those who have previously given statements”.

“Because there is an ongoing investigation, I would ask residents not to make assumptions and not to name any possible suspects. Please do not share your thoughts on this mater online or anywhere else as this may prejudice the inquiry”.

“Your help is needed now, so if you have any information, even from a few years ago, I urge you to come forward. Please make use of the supplied contact details and help put a stop to these actions once and for all”.

Crime Prevention Advice During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Police Scotland have created this document to provide advice to Business and Home owners during these unprecedented times. 

Advice and information is changing daily as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from trusted sources. 

Please consider signing up for the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Alert system to receive regular updates from the Police and partner agencies on what is happening in your area –

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) 

NCSC have launched the new Cyber Aware campaign promoting behaviours to mitigate cyber threat. The cross-governmental ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign, offers actionable advice for people to protect passwords, accounts and devices. You can find out more about what NCSC have launched recently here.  This includes new guidance for individuals and organisations using online video conferencing.

Closed Premises/Venues that have been temporarily closed:

  • Test your alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational 
  • Identify any vulnerable areas. Rectify these. 
  • Ensure service doors are closed and locked when not in use  
  • Make sure you have list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency. 
  • Consider moving high value items into secured stockrooms and out of view
  • Ensure keys to the premises or other venues are not left inside and are instead with dedicated key holders.
  • Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises/surrounding area.
  • Ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as packaging – consider the risk of fire-raising 
  • Review your CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is positioned to cover as much of the stores public and private areas. You may wish to consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage with any intruder 
  • Ensure that no cash is retained on the premises overnight (consider placing a note on your premises stating that no cash or valuables are kept overnight) or store monies in a security accredited safe bolted to the floor 

Physical Protective Measures  

  • Secure by Design products – use security rated products where possible.  
  • Ensure all doors leading from public to staff arteries-loading areas etc are kept secure and monitored. – Laminated glass or security film that can be applied to existing glass to make it more resistant to a physical assault. Shutters and grilles, subject to planning regulations, may also be a consideration 
  • An insurance rated safe should be bolted to the floor. Anti-tamper sensors can be fitted to set off an alarm if attacked 
  • Consider use of anti-theft alarms on most desirable household item
  • Fogging devices that activate as a result of an intruder activation may also be beneficial-you can’t steal what you can’t see

Targeting of works vans

  • Best practice is to remove all valuables from any unoccupied work vehicle
  • Vans are often targeted by thieves for the tools stored inside. If you have to leave tools in a van overnight, it’s a good idea to mark them clearly with your name / company name and address using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray. 
  • Alternatively, you can use a variety of other property marking systems. Items that are clearly marked are less desirable and more difficult to sell on
  • Consider using a lockable cabinet within your van to store tools – a number of security rated products are available.
  • Small cameras are also designed to record inside vehicles. 
  • You can also take photographs of items of value, make a note of the serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site.

Securing Diesel in vehicles:

Ensure your vehicle is locked when unattended, consider installing anti-siphon devices.

OFTEC or the “Oil Firing Technical Association for the petroleum industry” offers advice and guidance for those who use and store oil at their premises.

There are certain rules and regulations that may apply to you and OFTEC will help clarify these for you. They can be reached at: or by calling 0845 6585 080.

Building Sites

A building site with tools, materials, plants and other machinery lying about can be very inviting to a thief. The site can also be used as a route to break into adjacent premises. Here are a few simple tips to help keep your site more secure:

  • Set up CCTV
  • Fences or hoardings are effective and should be used whenever possible.
  • Good security lighting
  • Cash should not be kept on site when possible
  • Machinery should be left in a well-lit part of the site with the keys removed.
  • Fit wheel clamps and/or locking posts or consider an alarm.
  • Park larger vehicles in front of access doors to prevent easy access.
  • Security locks and ground fixings are great for extra security
  • Keep a record of engine numbers chassis number, vehicle ID numbers etc.
  • Mark all of your tools with a unique identification number, photograph them and 
    keep a record of it. 
  • Store your tools in a secure area or take off site.
  • Display a contact board outside the site at all times giving names and telephone numbers of staff who can easily be contacted to respond to any concerns of the police
  • Take down scaffolds structure down.
  • Stop unauthorised people from climbing up any structure by using sheet material, overhangs or other methods
  • If necessary use scaffolding alarms.

Around your home

  • Make sure you lock your home – this includes when you go to bed.
  • Always set alarms and use security devices whenever possible.
  • Also ensure you lock outbuildings, garages & sheds 
  • Remove keys from the internal locks of doors and, along with any other keys, store them out of sight.
  • Make sure you utilise window locks and remove the keys from the locks and the area around the window.
  • Ensure there is sufficient lighting around your home by using low level dusk to dawn lighting and also PIR (movement detection) lighting.  
  • Make sure your home looks occupied by using timer switches especially as the dark evenings approach.
  • Close blinds when appropriate to ensure there is no line of sight into your home.
  • Never leave anything of value in your garden.
  • Do not leave items (spades, ladders, etc.) insecure that could be used top effect unauthorised entry into your home, vehicle or outbuilding.
  • Lock all vehicles and keep the keys out of general view in your locked house. 
  • Never leave anything in sight in your car and remove all valuable items completely
  • Park your car in a well-lit location and if possible have it the subject of movement detection lighting. 
  • Make sure you lock your garage, shed or outbuilding.
  • All items in the garage shed or outbuilding which are of value or easily moved should be secured to the fabric of the building or other similar items.
  • Any windows in the garage shed or outbuilding should be covered by a blind or a curtain and if light is not a major necessity they should be boarded up.
  • Where up and over garage doors are used consider installing bolts and padlocks at the bottom of each side of the door.  Padlocks can also be put through the runner rails at the top of the doors.

The Safer Communities, Safer Scotland booklet aims to bring together key security and safety advice in a handy and very usable A5 booklet.

It is the product of a wider Building Safer Communities partnership and contains a wide range of contributions from organisations such as Police Scotland, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, amongst others. It is free to download at

Further information can be found here:                                              

Help For Communities

A new website and phoneline launched today, providing people all across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The new Assistance Hub goes live this morning, pulling together links to the latest advice from a range of partners including all three local authorities, Police, Health, Red Cross, volunteers and community information. It is a site for anyone in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray, with information for residents and businesses alike.   

The website address is or call 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week). The number will complement other helplines, including Aberdeen City Council’s Crisis Support Line, which was launched last week and can be reached directly on 0800 0304 713.

The website is full of links with up-to-date information. The main objective is as a focal point for information and assistance for anyone affected by coronavirus anywhere in Grampian. It is also a way for residents to offer their support which they can safely deliver in their communities. Staff are on the phone to provide callers with up to date information, or to link them up with the right person who can quickly answer questions.  Another important feature is that the site can be used to request help on behalf of someone else, allowing friends and neighbours to signpost to someone in need. 

Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill said, “There’s so many useful new websites popping up offering advice about the coronavirus, public services, the lockdown and much more, that people are getting confused about where to go to locate specific information”.

“The amount of work which has gone into Aberdeen City Council’s coronavirus page is commendable as it the Business Gateway, NHS Grampian’s dedicated resource and a number of others but now we need to join the dots so people can find what they need quickly and easily without having to check a dozen sites with the risk that they encounter misinformation amongst the wealth of fact based resources”.

“My advice is simple, make the Advice Hub your homepage and you can’t go wrong. It links directly to all the other pages but offers much more besides, in a user friendly interface. Thanks to all the public sector partners in our area for this invaluable resource”.

GREC are running a hate crime awareness campaign from 14 October to 17 November, to help people understand what hate crime is, how to report it, what support is available and how to access it.

The main element of the campaign is a poster – see below. Can you please share this far and wide?

They also want to get the message into as many locations as possible. If you’d like to help with this, please stop by the GREC office at 41 Union Street to pick up some posters – there are A3, A4 and postcard size versions available. They are open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm. If you want a large batch (20+ posters) they can deliver to locations in Aberdeen.

And if you see the poster when you’re out and about, please take a photo and share on social media! On Twitter they are @GREC2015, and on Facebook it’s GrampianREC.

Other activities taking place throughout the month will be information and awareness sessions with community groups, a survey to gain a better understanding of the true extent of hate crime and prejudice in Aberdeen, a training session for organisations to become hate crime reporting centres, and the launch of GREC’s Anne Frank Awards 2017-2018. If you want to get involved with any of these, please get in touch with GREC directly.

Sign Up For Neighbourhood Alerts

Police Scotland’s North East Division covers rural and urban areas in Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.

Within the Division the community policing teams are supported by dedicated Crime Reduction Officers who assist them in their work to promote crime reduction and progress prevention opportunities which we see as key to reducing crime and antisocial behaviour in your area.

Whilst crime reduction advice is regularly provided to individuals who raise a specific query, an exciting new innovation called Neighbourhood Alert now affords Police Scotland the opportunity to send e-mail messages relating to local crime trends and containing crime prevention advice quickly and effectively to a wide audience, but which can be targeted to particular streets or communities if required.

Any individual can sign-up to receive these e-mail messages, either for themselves or their community group, and the sign-up process allows the recipient to specify the type of information that they are interested in and from what source. Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, who coordinate this resource, work with a range of partners in the public sector to provide information not only on crime but also on matters of community safety and resilience.

These messages are intended to inform the public and to keep them abreast of information which will assist them in keeping themselves, their families and their properties safe. For this reason, we will only send out messages if we feel it is important that the public receive the information and are then able to use it effectively in their daily lives.

Please take the opportunity to sign-up for Neighbourhood Alert e-mail messages and encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do the same. Whilst the number of subscribers is constantly growing, the more people who sign-up to receive these alerts, which we always try to send timeously, the more effective these messages will become as they allow communities to become better informed and make better decisions.

There is no requirement to join or set up a Neighbourhood Watch, simply follow the link below to the registration instructions. By signing up you control your personal information, contact details and also decide what information providers who want to receive Alerts from.

Recognition For A Lovely Lady

pearlAberdeen’s favourite lollipop lady has been presented with her British Empire Medal by Lord Lieutenant George Adam on behalf of HM the Queen at a special reception in the Town House.

Pearl Rendall’s award was originally announced in the Queen’s 90th Birthday honours list in June for services to education. She has been crossing kids at Lewis Road on their way to Kingsford School for over 36 years.

Pearl knows all the kids by name and teaches them how to cross safely from and early age. The kids all love Pearl as she does them, but she stands no nonsense either and they soon realise the importance of staying safe.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’ve known Pearl for a number of years. For Pearl it’s not just a job, she puts her heart and soul into it. As well as cheering up the parents with her warm words and cheery smile, she also looks out for the older folk in our community too”.

“This is what the honours system should be about, recognising the contribution of ordinary folk to their local communities. Well done Pearl, nobody deserves this more than you”.

Communities, Housing & Infrastructure Meeting 1st November 2016

Town HouseThis committee has overall responsibility for Trading Standards, Bon Accord Care, Aberdeen Crematorium, Aberdeen Heat & Power, council housing, community centres, waste collections, environmental services, roads, pavements, street lighting and a whole lot more.

They also receive reports from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Police Scotland and question senior officers. Their next meeting takes place on Tuesday 1st November at 14.00 at the Town House and is open to the public.

Notable items for discussion are a request for taxis to be permitted to use bus gates, a Police Scotland report on serious and organised crime, proposed changes to housing allocation policy, various road traffic orders (new and in progress), AWPR side road speed limits and this year’s winter maintenance programme.

This meeting is open to the public and the full agenda can be found here.

Broad Street Safety Concerns Highlighted

Artist-impression-of-Marischal-SDetailed plans for a rejuvenated Broad Street were today approved unanimously by Aberdeen City Council. The plans offer an attractive streetscape designed to be more pedestrian friendly, with innovative lighting, a water feature and an area of greenery.

Whilst backing the plans, Liberal Democrat leader, Ian Yuill, expressed concerns over the decision to remove traffic lights from the junction of Upper Kirkgate, Gallowgate and Broad Street. However, it was agreed that the appropriate infrastructure to support traffic lights would be present, should this later be considered necessary.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “With a bus a minute running through Broad Street, my concerns about pedestrian safety remain. I can only hope that these fears are never realised”.

“With regard to the design itself, it’s surprising appealing and will add much value to the area, even if we are faced by the monstrosity of Marischal Square across the road!”

Missed Opportunity for Broad Street

Artist-impression-of-Marischal-SAberdeen City Council has taken the decision to remove cars from Broad Street, whilst maintaining it as a through route for buses.

A Liberal Democrat amendment to fully pedestrianise the area was defeated by Labour, SNP, Conservative and Independent councillors. Instead they favoured “part-pedestrianisation”, with buses sharing the space with pedestrians.

Liberal Democrats went to lengths to point out that there is no such thing as “part-pedestrianisation”, it’s either pedestrianised or it’s not!

Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said he would prefer to see the buses off Broad Street to make best use of the open space.

He also raised safety concerns about the use of shared surfaces, referring to the time when buses were permitted in the area of George Street in front of what’s now John Lewis. He spoke of pedestrians being lured into a false sense of security, only for a bus to come belting round the corner.

With regard to the public consultation exercise, Steve said, “I was concerned to see the consultation merely asked people’s views on the pros and cons of the three options. It did not even ask people to express a preferences. I would have liked to have known what the public thought before taking this decision, but sadly that was a missed opportunity. If nothing else I felt it was disrespectful to those who attended the events”.

Pearl Wins National Award

IMG_0540Aberdeen’s favourite lollipop lady has done it again. Following on from winning Aberdeen City Council’s “People’s Champion” in 2013, Pearl has now won a top national award.

Pearl Rendall is known to many as Kingsford School’s lollipop lady. She’s been keeping our children, and their parents before them, safe for well over 30 years and yesterday she won the “School Crossing Patroller Of The Year” award for Scotland.

Local councillor Steve Delaney said, “Finally we see an ordinary hard working person being given the recognition she deserves for her hard work and community spirit. Personally I feel there’s far too little heed given to the dedication shown by ordinary folk who make a real difference in their communities”.

“I’ve known Pearl for a number of years and she crosses my son (above) every day on his way to school. She teaches road safety, awareness of danger, respect for others and so much more. She even cheers up my grumpy face on a Monday morning! This is someone who takes a genuine interest in the kids and their parents, not to mention the grandparents and other local folk too”.

“Well done Pearl, nobody deserves this more than you do”.

Policing Plan Lacks Scrutiny

PoliceScotland3-460x250Aberdeen City Council has approved the Aberdeen City Local Policing Plan 2014-2017. Following the centralisation of policing by the SNP Government in 2013, each local authority division is required to draw up a local policing plan setting out the priorities for that area over a four year period.

Liberal Democrat Community Safety spokesman Martin Greig said, “”The public need to know the direction that the force is moving in, not just this year but over the next few years. We cannot do our job of monitoring the police service without being able to question the
statistics robustly. In the next three years, the policing budget will be cut by £137 million. The ultimate aim is to save £1.1 billion. The Aberdeen Police Divison is the best in Scotland with an excellent tradition in looking after community needs. Aberdeen Police are a model that others try to copy. Groundbreaking operations such as Maple, Oak, Begonia and Trinity and Zenith are exceptional and splendid examples of good practice in fighting crime and protecting victims. I want the police team to have a fair share of public resources. Councillors should not be complacent about the cuts.”

“For the first time, the Scottish Parliamemt Audit Committee divided on the subject of policing because of the absence of reliable financial information on the cuts. MSPs were also worried about the lack of a method for monitoring the impact of the cuts in police performance. The SNP in the committee were opposed on the other side by Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives. In Aberdeen we should work together to stand up for our local police service. The risks from centralisation remain unknown and we should do all we can to support our local police.”

Local councillor Steve Delaney also spoke of concerns surrounding the centralising agenda which he said was eroding local control and the reducing the prominence of local priorities, referring to the “Strathclydification” of services across Scotland.

He said, “The Strathclyde model of policing is no more relevant to the North East than the Highland model would be to Glasgow or Edinburgh. It’s a case of horses for courses. These so called local plans are not what they say on the tin, it’s one size fits all and that approach fails to address the differing local priorities we face throughout Scotland. A prime example of this was the withdrawal of road safety education which had been pioneered by the former Grampian Police, something I’m convinced has saved lives in the past”

Steve added, “I expressed particular concerns about the increased use of stop and search, especially where it involves young children, believing this tactic should only be used in cases where there is reasonable suspicion. I also referred to the increasing use of mounted police on our streets. Heavy handed tactics can indeed play a valid role in keeping us safe, but I do not believe them to be justified in routine circumstances, where most law abiding people would consider them to be both frightening and intimidatory”.

The Aberdeen Local Policing Plan 2014-2017 was passed by Labour, SNP, Conservative and Independent councillors with no account taken of the concerns highlighted by the Liberal Democrats.

Report Coming Back on A944 Bus Stops And Crossings

Bus Stop small Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney spoke at committee on 13th March 2013 on his motion for bus stops, lay-bys and pedestrian crossings on the A944 at the Five Mile Garage and Kingswells Church.

He said, “Committee members were very supportive of the reasoning behind this motion, both from a public transport and public safety point of view and I’d like to thank them for this. The parents of Ben Land who sadly lost his life crossing the A944 last summer have also expressed their support for this initiative and I am very grateful for this too.”

“It’s vital that we address the accessibility for all to public transport whilst retaining our primary focus on public safety on what is clearly a busy section of road”

The next stage in the process is a report back to committee on 3rd June 2014, which should come with a full report and a recommendation.

Delaney Calls For Bus Lay-bys & Crossings On A944

Bus Stop smallKingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney has been contacted by a number of residents regarding Stagecoach’s decision to cease picking up or dropping off passengers on the A944.

Residents are up in arms about a decision taken by Stagecoach to cease stopping to pick up or drop off passengers on the A944 between Hazlehead and Westhill other than at the Prime Four Business Park. This recently resulted in a couple in their eighties having to walk a couple of miles to get home after the bus driver refused to let them off the bus near their home.

Another incident involved a lady from Westhill who has serious health problems dropping her car off at the Five Mile Garage only to find she had no bus service to get back home and needless to say, was unable to walk the distance from the garage back home.

An issue also exists in respect of the bus stop opposite Kingswells Church which was removed on safety grounds as a result of the widening of the A944. This has meant passengers could catch the X17 into town but can’t easily get home as the next bus stop is past the roundabout at the Prime Four Business Park.

Whilst appreciating their concerns for the safety of passengers boarding and lighting from their buses, it is totally unacceptable to leave local people without access to bus services.
Steve said, “The only place Stagecoach are willing to stop between Hazlehead and Westhill is Prime Four in both directions and Kingswells Church eastwards.”

There used to be stops at the Five Mile Garage and on both sides of the road beside Kingswells Church. Steve is campaigning for bus stops with lay-bys and pedestrian crossings to be put in place at both locations to ensure safety and access to public transport.

He said, “The bus stop at the Church was removed on safety grounds following the widening of the A944 to accommodate Prime Four traffic. The developer should have been obligated to install a pedestrian crossing at this location to mitigate the effect of the road widening on local residents. Instead they funded crossings elsewhere which are of no practical use to anybody.”

Steve has lodged a Notice of Motion to the 13th March meeting of the Environment, Strategic Planning & Infrastructure Committee calling for bus stops with lay-bys and pedestrian crossings in the vicinity of the Five Mile Garage and Kingswells Church to address the loss of bus services in a manner which is safe to both passengers and drivers.

Police And Fire Control Rooms Axed

alison-mcinnes-msp-9As you may have seen in the press, plans have been approved to close fire and police control rooms and service centres across Scotland. All three of the facilities in Aberdeen will close, meaning that every 999 or 101 call will now be diverted to the Central Belt or Dundee.

This prompted demonstrations from devastated staff, anger at the Parliament, and caused many of my constituents to get in touch with me.

Hundreds of talented and dedicated staff will lose their jobs. They have played an integral role in saving the lives of many people. Their knowledge of our area, built up through decades’ worth of service and once valued and nurtured, will be lost.

This shows the uncompromising nature of the SNP’s obsession with centralisation. It removed any opportunity for local people to object, meaning the appeals of local communities fell on deaf ears. Local authorities, once integral to the decision-making process, tell me they found out about the plans on the news. Coupled with the fact that Police Scotland refused to hold a public consultation because it considered the issues too complicated for the public to come to an informed opinion on, this shows a worrying disregard for the views of local communities.

Local SNP representatives backed the Justice Secretary to the hilt when he established single police and fire services, blithely dismissing our warnings that it would lead to such closures. It is no surprise therefore that the sincerity of their apparent dismay at the decision to shut our control rooms is being questioned.

Alison McInnes OBE, MSP for North East Scotland

Council Budget 2014/15

BudgetAberdeen City Council held its annual Budget meeting on 6th February 2014. The Priority Based Budgeting introduced when the Liberal Democrats were running the city has led to increased stability and improved strategic planning of the city’s finances. In excess of 90% of the proposals were common to all parties with an element of expenditure available for allocation to specific priorities. It was for each grouping to prioritise how this amount was spent.

The Liberal Democrats, as part of their balanced budget proposals, urged additional investment in education and repairing Aberdeen’s crumbling roads and pavements.

Liberal Democrat proposals would have seen £300,000 of Common Good funds spent enhancing Hazlehead Park and the area around it during 2014/15. Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said, “Hazlehead Park is in need of some serious investment and £300,000 could have done much to upgrade this much loved park. Had the Council supported our proposals this would have seen major revamps of the Queen Mother Rose Garden and the poor quality roads around the park”.

The Liberal Democrats also proposed investing £125,000 for replacement or refurbishment of our childrens’ play parks. Although some improvements have been made, investing an additional £125,000 in play parks would have made a real difference by helping to refurbish and improve play parks across Aberdeen.

Turning towards education, Steve said “We believe investing in our children’s education is vital so we proposed giving an extra £100,000 to schools to buy additional books and equipment. That would have made a real difference to every school in the city. Sadly Labour and their Conservative sidekicks rejected this extra investment in Aberdeen’s children’s future.”

The Liberal Democrats also proposed investing a home safety initiative to help address carbon monoxide poisoning, which is still, sadly, responsible for a number of deaths each year. Commenting on this initiative, Steve said, “Investing £50,000 in this would have allowed the council to work with the Fire and Rescue Service and provide thousands of homes across Aberdeen with Carbon Monoxide detectors. This relatively modest amount of money would have made people across Aberdeen feel safer and quite possibly have saved lives.”

The most significant proposal from the Liberal Democrat Group was to nearly double investment in roads and pavements during 2014/15. Currently Aberdeen City Council has a budget of £2.2 million per annum for this which is clearly insufficient. Had these proposals been accepted, this would have resulted in a total of almost £22 million over the next five years being spent on repairing roads and pavements in Aberdeen

Steve Delaney said “Too many of our city’s roads and pavements are crumbling. What the council must do is invest more in the permanent repair and resurfacing of roads and pavements to bring them back to an acceptable standard. In the long-run that will reduce the cost of jet-patching and other less permanent repairs.”

“Sadly Aberdeen’s Labour and Conservative councillors rejected our carefully costed proposal to invest nearly £22 million in road and pavement repairs over the next five years.”

The Liberal Democrats also proposed abolishing “on street” Sunday parking charges and ending both on and off street parking charges on other days at 6.30pm, rather than the current 8pm.

Steve said, “The Liberal Democrats believe ending on street parking charges on Sunday and making on and off street parking free after 6.30pm would help bring more people back into our city centre on Sundays and weekday evenings. The council should be encouraging people to come into the city centre and not making it more expensive for people.”

As part of their revenue and capital budget proposals the Liberal Democrats also proposed investing:

– £50,000 in installing additional bus shelters

– £50,000 to fund a flood guard grant scheme to help households threatened by flood

– £50,000 in small scale environmental initiatives, providing dog waste bins and warning signs

Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill councillor Steve Delaney said,”Despite the rejection of this by Labour and Conservative councillors today we will continue to campaign for greater investment in our children’s future, action to repair our crumbling roads and pavements and more effort to improve Aberdeen’s environment.”

Proposed Fire & Police Control Room Closures

alison-mcinnes-msp-9Planned police and fire closures threaten vital community links 

Following the centralisation of our police and fire services earlier this year, the new nationwide organisations have now set their sights on closing frontline services and eroding their relationship with the communities that they serve.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are planning to close a number of facilities in the North East, most notably the state-of-the-art control room in Aberdeen.

Plans announced by Police Scotland recently could see 8 police stations in the North East close their doors to the public. Many more will slash their opening hours, with the public counters at stations across the region open for 500 hours a week less than at present. Lib Dems have also highlighted the fact that a question mark hangs over the future of police control rooms across the country.

SNP centralisation is leading to the asset-stripping of local services and, because of the way the reforms were pushed through Parliament, local people won’t even be consulted on the planned closures.

Our centralised services are turning their backs on our local communities. And the plans will lead to a loss of local knowledge. For example, the ability of staff to obtain vital infromation from 999 callers can be the difference between life and death. If a distressed caller says there is an incident at Strachan or Finzean will staff in the Central Belt recognise these places from the way they are pronounced

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for full and formal public consultations into these short-sighted and damaging closure plans. Our local communities deserve no less.

Alison McInnes OBE, Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland (more…)

Pearl Shines At Awards!

Aberdeen City Council CopyrightAberdeen City Council hosted its Star Awards on 2nd May 2013. The event was designed to recognise the excellence of its staff and presentations were made to winners in a number of categories. In particular the “People’s Champion” category invited nominations from members of the public and one of our own was amongst them.

Sheddocksley resident Pearl Rendall is known to us as Kingsford School’s lollipop lady. She has been a “weel kent face” to children (and their parents) in the area for over 30 years. She keeps the kids in order, promotes road safety and brightens up even the wildest and coldest days with her warm smile and friendly conversation.

Kingswells/Sheddocksley councillor Steve Delaney said, “I’m delighted Pearl has been chosen as our people’s champion. Pearl has been keeping our children and their parents safe for more than a generation, despite being badly injured carrying out her duties over 20 years ago. I’ve known her personally for a number of years and enjoy seeing her cheery face every day as she educates our children on road safety and keeps them out of harm’s way. This is a well deserved honour for a true people’s champion”.

Pearl was presented with her award at a ceremony at the Beach Ballroom. Steve added, “Pearl does a sterling job but is a very modest lady. Perhaps now she really knows how much she means to all the mums, dads and kids in our area. Nobody deserves this honour more”.

Mixed Feelings On New Anti-Social Behaviour Policy

Aberdeen City Council has just adopted a revised policy for dealing with anti-social neighbours. Local councillor and Lib Dem Housing Spokesman, Steve Delaney, welcomed the updated policy which has been designed to tackle this blight on our communities. Steve was involved in the decision to extend the operational times of the anti-social behaviour unit during a previous Council term and both the policy and the unit itself have evolved in recent years to offer strong support to those experiencing such problems.

Steve said, “This latest revision sets out timescales and expected actions, gives a commitment for the Council to take firm action, seeks to ensure the Council’s actions are consistent, identifies key agencies for partnership working and considers the impact of anti-social behaviour on victims. In this respect it represents a major step forward but I do have some concerns”.

The Housing Scotland Act allows for tenants to be placed on a Scottish Short Secure Tenancy (6 month tenancy renewable for up to two years) following the granting of an ASBO, which allows for a faster eviction process to be used if the ASBO is breached. Aberdeen City Council does not routinely use this facility though it is acknowledged as an option. This was one of the concerns Steve raised at Committee as he felt it should be used in every case. He also proposed that where a tenant had been evicted for anti-social behaviour, the incoming tenant should be vetted to ensure that they did not have a pre-existing record of anti-social behaviour elsewhere. He felt that failure to do so could expose neighbours to a revolving door of anti-social neighbours.

Lib Dem colleague Jennifer Stewart also raised concerns that the policy was too prescriptive in specifying what did not constitute anti-social behaviour. The policy stated that everyday living noise such as people walking across a wooden floor, doors banging, people using washing machines, children bullying each other, revving engines etc; are not to be classed as anti-social behaviour. Steve and Jennifer both felt that such behaviour could become anti-social not as one offs, but where the behaviour was deliberate and sustained.

Steve said, “This is a good policy which could have been so much stronger if our concerns had been taken on board. I’m disappointed that others did not see the value in being tougher on anti-social tenants and in being less prescriptive on what type of behaviour the Council will not take action on”.

The Council’s revised Anti-Social Behaviour Policy is available online.

Delaney Calls For 40MPH Limit On A944

Kingswells/Sheddocksley Councillor Steve Delaney has today called for a 40mph speed limit on the A944 from its junction with the Lang Stracht to the city boundary with Aberdeenshire. This stretch of road has been notorious for accidents caused as a result of speeding. Despite the reduction in the speed limit from 60mph to 50mph a year or two ago, motorists continue to exceed the speed limit. Today’s Environment, Infrastructure & Planning Committee agreed to a report coming forward to consider this proposal.

Councillor Delaney welcomed the Committee’s support and said, “You just need to drive along this road at 50mph to observe the number of vehicles which overtake you, clearly putting themselves and others at risk of injury or worse. This is the only arterial road leading into Aberdeen where the speed limit exceeds 40mph and I truly believe we could save lives by reducing the speed limit and enforcing it with fixed speed cameras”.

Mr Delaney has been in discussion with NESCAMP for some time regarding this and is campaigning for fixed speed cameras on this route. He said, “There’s been a lot of good work done by enforcement teams from Aberdeen City Council and Grampian Police but they can’t be there all the time. Only a reduced speed limit and enforcement by way of permanent fixed speed cameras can prevent accidents and save lives”.

Beware Of Cold Callers

There have been reports of workmen cold calling and offering to clean or seal driveways. This has been in the Sheddocksley area but may spread elsewhere. Whilst this nothing new, this year the workmen are particularly persistent, often calling on the same address three or four times over a couple of days.

They tend to be dressed in reflective jackets and speak with an Irish accent. Residents have stated that a polite refusal is often insufficient with some workmen having to be told several times that their services were not required. In couple of instances a pickup type vehicle was being driven slowly up the street with the driver also wearing a reflective jacket and closely watching the activities of his colleagues.

Local Councillor Steve Delaney said, “I have received a report of an incident where one of these workmen became confrontational. I would suggest that residents do not engage the services of unknown workmen to carry out work for them regardless of price. Unless you use a reputable firm there is no guarantee of quality and there is no redress if things go wrong after the workmen have moved on. I have passed more detailed information to both Trading Standards and Grampian Police. My advice is to be wary about opening your door to workmen in reflective jackets over the next few weeks unless you are expecting them.”

Speeding Concerns On A944

One of the biggest concerns raised in Kingswells has been speeding along the length of the A944, with the section between Kingswells and Westhill being particularly bad. Kingswells/Sheddocksley councillor Steve Delaney has been campaigning for permanent speed cameras to be installed in the interests of road safety over the past few months.

Steve said, “The reduction of the speed limit to 50mph has certainly had an impact amongst law abiding drivers. Unfortunately it is being flouted on a regular basis by a significant number of motorists who appear to have little regard for their own safety or that of other road users”

Both Grampian Police and Aberdeen City Council have been carrying out enforcement action in the area over the past six months or so. This is helping reduce the number of people breaking the speed limit when action is taking place, but they can’t be there all the time and Steve believes the only solution is for permanent speed cameras to be installed.

Steve added, “I’ve seen the traffic data and speeding in not perception, it’s a fact. Given the accident history on this road I will continue to pursue this matter in order to improve safety and reduce accidents and fatalities.