Category Archives: Stonehaven

Save Our Police Campaign Launch

Angus North and Mearns Liberal Democrats launched a local  campaign to Save Our Police this week-end across the constituency.

Reacting to plans by all three other major parties to centralise the police to a single force, Sanjay Samani, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Angus North and Mearns, commented:

“In my view the fight against crime in Scotland is now under threat from plans by the SNP and the other parties to centralise our police. Under their plans local police forces would be disbanded and every police officer would be allocated according to national directions not local policing need.”

“I am particularly concerned that by creating a national police force, the chief constable will come under the political control of a government minister and will lose their links with local communities.

“In addition, the cost of centralisation, building a new HQ and new IT systems will costs a fortune and will cost police jobs. The SNP has refused to answer repeated questions about how much their plans will cost, fuelling fears that police officers will lose their jobs to pay for the changes. Some chief constables have estimated it could cost the jobs of 4,000 police officers.”

Angus and Mearns Liberal Democrats want to keep policing local, help the local police to work with the local community and to keep the number of officers high.

“In the course of the next few weeks we will be distributing thousands of leaflets about our campaign across the constituency,” Sanjay continued, “and I would urge residents to sign and return our petition by Freepost, so their voice can be heard.”

“You can also support the campaign on Facebook at”

Commenting on the proposals to centralise police decision making, by Holyrood, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott said:

“This is a slippery slope to one police force. For 150 years people in this democracy have worried about the government gaining political operational control over policing. The First Minister refuses to see that a National Police Board, appointed without debate in this Parliament – and with no basis in law – moves us down that dangerous road.”

“We need a police service that is responsive to local needs not subject to central diktat and centrally imposed targets.”

Sanjay Samani visiting Forfar police station with Cllr David May

Angus & Mearns Lib Dem Website

A new local party for the Liberal Democrats has been created.  The first committee meeting of the Angus and Mearns Liberal Democrats was held last week.  The new local party covers the two new Scottish Parliament constituencies of Angus South and Angus North and Mearns.

The new local party boasts 6 Councillors and a brand new Executive, determined and energised to build up campaigns on local issues.  From Moniefieth to Stonehaven and from Lintrathen to Arbroath, local Lib Dems will be campaigning all year round in the interests of residents, businesses and farms.

Click here for the new Angus and Mearns Liberal Democrats Website

There is also a new Facebook page for the local party, to make it easier for everyone in the area to get in touch with the local party.

Click here for the Angus and Mearns Lib Dems Facebook Page

Everyone should be working together towards a solution for Bervie Braes

I am deeply concerned that a divide is forming between Aberdeenshire Council and Bervie Braes residents, and I have called on all those involved to work together for a resolution.  I sought to remind all concerned that they are working towards the same goal, to secure the Braes and ensure there are no further landslips.

Everyone involved, the residents, the Community Council, Aberdeenshire Council and local Councillors all want the work to secure the Braes to go ahead as quickly as possible.

Having visited Bervie Braes with David Fleming, chair of the Community Council and discussed the issue at length with Aberdeenshire Councillors, particularly Stonehaven Cllr Peter Bellarby, it is striking that they have far more in common, than they have differences of opinion.

Residents, having narrowly escaped earlier this year, and having been promised a resolution by the Council, will be worried about going through the winter without the Braes being secured.  Clearly, residents want to ensure that their future insurance coverage is not affected by the waivers which they have been asked to sign.  Their concerns are understandable and the council should take note.

It is therefore heartening to learn that the Council, having tried several times to visit all the residents to discuss the waivers face-to-face, is open to changing the wording in response to their worries.  When I have discussed the issue with Peter Bellarby and other Aberdeenshire Councillors, it was clear that they felt very, very strongly that the Council should undertake the effort, even though it has no responsibility to do so.

Aberdeenshire Council have had a major success in securing £2m from the Scottish Government towards the cost of the scheme and should be commended for their effort.  Understandably, the council has a responsibility to all other Aberdeenshire residents to ensure they do not incur a future liability, beyond the proposed scheme.  The contractors insurance will cover the work that they do, so this should be straightforward.

I would urge all those involved to put themselves in each others’ shoes.  They would then understand that it is in everyone’s interest to work together towards a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Sanjay Samani visiting Bervie Braes