Sir, – I am amazed at the barrel dredging of the unionists whereby Dr Gillanders suggests the response of the Scottish Government to storm Arwen demonstrates their incompetence to govern an independent Scotland.
We were without power for four days which was very inconvenient and annoying.
I was extremely impressed, however, with the massive response effort by all concerned to get power back on again as soon as possible and to help those in need.
The storm was unparalleled in recent decades and I am sure that there are lessons to be learned.
To try and politicise this, however, is ridiculous in the extreme. If he continues to stick to such facile arguments it should be noted that Scotland had everyone connected again quite some time before some of the unfortunate households in our good neighbours in England.
Stephen Campbell, Hillockhead, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire.
No substitute for in-person banking
Sir, – Once again the Halifax and Lloyds banks could not provide services to their customers due to an online fault.
More and more bank closures make it difficult for customers to be able to do face-to-face transactions.
Modern technology is all very well if it works but bring back the golden days when banking was done in pen and ink.
Michael Baird, The Bank House, Dornoch Road, Bonar Bridge.
Council gets road priorities wrong
Sir, – I am dismayed that Aberdeenshire Council can find enough money for a replacement for the Abbeyton bridge, but not the one at Oatyhill.
I have a lot of sympathy for people along the Auchenblae, Laurencekirk, Edzell corridor who used to commute across Abbeyton bridge – I did it for nearly 30 years, but the Castleton Junction is a “nice to have” A90 access. It is neither more, nor less, dangerous than the one at Fordoun which they currently have to use.
The really dangerous junction is the South Laurencekirk one – which takes all Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Auchenblae and Laurencekirk traffic to and from Montrose and Arbroath, the improvement of which is now utterly “dead in the water” until the Oatyhill bridge is repaired.
It would have been interesting to see again the vehicle count for usage of the South Laurencekirk junction (which was done by Amey) and compare it to a count for traffic using the Castleton Junction, which of course can’t now be done. I suspect that the A937 junction would carry a lot more than Castleton.
I utterly fail to see where the council gets its priorities. Re-establishing a more convenient junction to take the load off another safe junction cannot have the same priority as improving one that has a reputation as a killer.
If the balance is between lives and convenience, lives must win.
Charles Gordon, Ruach, Kirkburn, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.
Adopting crafty ways of north-east
Sir, – It was a strange feeling when I read a reference to me in James Bream’s column.
I have had the pleasure, or otherwise, of knowing Mr Bream for more years than I care to mention. He is my son’s friend and we have shivered through many games together at Pittodrie accompanied in later times by his dad, who like him is an adopted north-easter.
So I wasn’t surprised to hear that during his four-day power cut due to Storm Arwen, he cooked his meals on the top of his wood burner.
Like me I don’t know what he would have done if it wasn’t for good old-fashioned fossil fuels – a good adopted north-easter, I believe.
Alan McPherson, Grant Street, Cullen, Moray.