From Oor Cooncillor
Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st July 2018

Date of publication

1st September 2018

FROM OOR COONCILLOR JUNE 2018

Kathleen Baird

Speed of traffic and car parking continue to be issues. Hopefully some of the measures now in place are helping to improve the situation.

Vehicle Activated Signs are now in place at both Abernethy and Aberargie, signs are having the desired effect, drivers are slowing down.

40mph speed limit from  Abernethy east to Cemetery  to be introduced .

Parking remains an issue, particularly in the square. Everyone is part of the solution, please think before you park. Visitors like to come to Abernethy to visit the Tower, the Museum and spend money in the community. I hope visitors will also think before they park and not block doorways or other cars. The saga goes on.

Perth & Kinross Council is trying to introduce MINI GLASS RECYCLING POINTS in villages, and Abernethy is in line to be considered. No sites have been identified at the moment.

Council continues to provide grant funding to Abernethy in Bloom to help them enhance the village. Community involvement is vital to the success of Bloom Groups and we can all help by not dropping litter and generally taking pride in the village.

Enjoy the summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me either by phone , email or talk to me at any community event if you  think I can be of help .

kathleenbaird@pkc.gov.uk  07584206839

Henry Anderson

Unfortunately, we all came back to earth with a mighty bump when the decisions on the PKC budget for local services were announced. Education, Transport, and Training of the workforce, all came under the cuts. Yet our reserves have taken a huge dip as the administration pulled out an eye-watering xxxxx.

Up until now PKC has been innovative in the way it has streamlined and transformed the delivery of services within the council area. Over the past 10 years the SNP administration has transformed services in a prudent and thoughtful manner. However this Conservative led administration has taken no prisoners in implementing cuts that will have a great impact on people all across the Shires and Perth City.

Within 8 months of the SNP administration implementing late night buses, they were immediately cut by the current Conservative administration in this budget. Hardly enough time for this initiative to bed in. Our Conservative elected members come out with the mantra of “use it or lose it” I would agree, if enough time had been given, allowing the users to realise that these services were running. How can an administration advocate that Perth will become the centre of arts and culture, if they expect people to miss half an evening’s performance, to get public transport back to their rural accommodation?  You may ask me what could have been done to cut the costs of late night buses and still have retained these services.  Has anyone discussed with the transport providers, of not adding an extra service but to actually retime the service they have on at the moment to accommodate the night time economy? Little point in running a service that requires the public to restrict the time they spend at events.

What sense was there in closing a Perth School, Balhousie with a current role of 150 pupils that equates to 60%? Though it has little impact on Lower Earn it gives little comfort for the future of schools that have a 60% pupil attendance of that schools total capacity. Then we have the scenario of rural schools. Have we not learned that constant reviews of schools every 4 to 5 years have a negative impact on parental decisions, to make placement requests? No parent would want their children’s education interrupted by a change of school half way through their primary education. If one studies the figures from the Forteviot saga one can clearly see that once the review with its negative report on a perfectly good working school was put in the public domain, the school role dropped from 14 to 4 thus making the mothballing of Forteviot inevitable. Truly sad, for I could see a future for Forteviot in rural education.

My view is that all catchment areas should be reviewed before these rural schools are considered for review, and with more attention to the recommendations of the report for “Commission on Delivery of Rural Education”. If this was followed I believe that pupils living in the Lower Earn could be given an education within a Rural School environment and not shipped into an urban school as is done currently. The benefit of this is that we would be educating our children that live in a rural environment, with a greater understanding of our rural environment. I am not saying that an urban school does not educate and prepare our children for a transition up to secondary education. However, how often does the Royal Highland Education Trust visit, or take children out on trips to an agricultural setting from our urban schools, compared to our rural schools?

 In my experience we have a lot of young children that do not have any knowledge of the rural countryside. They do not realise that the fields, at certain times of the year, have large industrial operations that are dangerous. Additional care is required as many of these operations are seen as an adventure playground to our children. The reality is they are not and accidents can be disastrous.

One last point for this edition is the closure of breakfast clubs. This will impact young working families and will put added pressure on these families. The SNP have always been a supporter of working families and have done all in their power to ensure the continuation of such schemes. Once again the excuse of “lack of users” has been wheeled out by the Conservative led administration and no alternative has been looked into for this scheme.

As always I can be contacted at handerson@kc.gov.uk or telephone 01738475039 or at home 01738812061 mobile 07899062122. I also have surgeries before the Abernethy Community Council meetings that I attend.

Henry Anderson