Archives

  • Timeshare Nightmare for Owners (2)

     Moness Murmurings Mounting Frustration and confusion has intensified among timeshare owners at Moness following the in-depth article in Comment’s last issue on the financial and organisational problems the once popular resort is attempting to com...
  • Timeshare Nightmare for Owners

    They find that ‘all that glisters is not gold’ In common with the purchasers of timeshare sales’ deals worldwide, those who invested in ownership of an asset at Moness in Aberfeldy bought a specified week, in a specific cottage/lodge of a size and ...
  • Evidence2Suppress?

    The contentious ‘Evidence2Success’ survey conducted by P&K in local schools during 2013 has been the subject of a series of scathing articles in the Scottis Review. KENNETH ROY, its Editor, has given permission for the reproduction of  the fo...
  • Academy Pupils and the Town Populace

    In March this year the issue of pupil pilferage from local shops in Aberfeldy was raised. In September the issue of lunchtime pupil behaviour in the town streets during term was highlighted from the perspective of one local resident school pupil, whose pa...
  • Griffin Grumbles Addressed

    SSE answers queries over management of ‘windfall’ funds Speculations and some implicit criticisms about the management by Scottish & Southern Electric Renewables (SSE) of the Griffin and Calliachar windfarm funds have been raised by Comment for c...
  • Pupils and the Local Populace (2)

    Following the lead story in the September print edition of Comment there has been a busy response from adults and young people alike to some of the issues raised by Tino Murdoch’s outspoken views.Below we record some of these, the majority of which plac...
  • Pupils and the Populace

    Clarion Call by Academy Whistleblower 17 year old Valentino (Tino) Murdoch attends Breadalbane Academy. He has spoken out about what he has identified as ‘what people above and below my age group wouldn’t talk about in a million years’ which he ha...
  • Anxiety and Anger in Aberfeldy

    Triggered by P&K’s Notice To Quit to Caravan Site ‘Seasoners’ The P&K Environment Service, responsible for running the Aberfeldy Caravan Park, has landed a mid summer stinker among the loyal and regularly-returning crowd of seasonal occupi...
  • Whatever Happened to our Highland Perthshire DMO?

    Killiecrankie's James Rattray (pictured), of Explore Scotland Ltd, is puzzled On the 7 June 2010 it was announced that “A new initiative to boost tourism in Highland Perthshire has received ... a £300,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise.” The Destina...
  • Taymouth: For Sale - Again?

    In a climate of rumour and misinformation the recent persistent message emerging is that Taymouth is on the market, once more, and this time for a figure around £30million. The price seems to be going up and the uncertainty about the future worsening.Wha...
  • The Birks Cinema: Looking to The Future

    Julia Watson of The Friends of the Birks Cinema explains how things stand with the project and appeals for local support Questionnaire forms went out to most addresses in Aberfeldy and a sample of households across the rest of Highland Perthshire – 3,2...
  • Alternative Voting: Candidate’s Response

    Noting that the Alternative Vote (AV) system which is subject to the referendum on 5 May might appear a modest change compared to the options discussed by Hamish and Jock in ‘From the Top Deck’ recently, the Perthshire North Scottish Lib Dem candidate...
  • Enchanted Forest on the Move

    The Enchanted Forest, managed by Pitlochry Area Community Interest Company (CIC), has announced it intends to move to a new venue in 2011. The event, which began at The Hermitage in Dunkeld in 2002, moved to Faskally Wood near Pitlochry in 2004 and, in k...
  • Aberfeldy/Dunkeld Public Path Access Reopened

    The public path linking Aberfeldy with Dunkeld was reopened as scheduled, in late April. As the path runs through the Griffin Construction site, members of the public using it are advised to take note of the Responsible Access Notice and map below.Extra c...
  • Aspirational Learning Programme

    Eleven Young people from Highland Perthshire (Aberfeldy, Ballinluig & Pitlochry) have just benefitted from participating in The Pacific Institutes Pathways to Extreme Success (PX2) Aspirational Learning Programme. The young people pictured have worked ext...
  • May Start for Garry Bridge Leap Venture

    UK’s first Bridge Bungee Jumping Site In 2010 P&K Council granted consents for a special bungee platform to be erected under Garry Bridge, near Pitlochry. The first application of its type to be presented in Scotland, it will become the first permanent...
  • Highland Perthshire Holyrood Hustings

    Comment, in association with Heartland FM and Clearwater Studios of Perth, is to present Highland Perthshire Hustings for Holyrood in the Auditorium on Breadalbane Community Campus Wednesday 27 April.A ‘Question Time’ format will be chaired/facilitate...
  • Scrap Scotland’s Local Councils

    Martin Sime, of SCVO, suggests that abolishing local government would increase accountability and reduce bureaucracy Maybe I’ve just been over-exposed to it recently, but I can’t be the only one who’s fed up with the sterile debate between local an...
  • Tower Inferno at Blair

    Eight appliances from throughout Perthshire rushed to assist in containing and quelling a fierce fire at Blair castle which engulfed the building’s clock tower around 8.30pm on 10 March. The blaze in the tower, dating from Jacobite times, is understood...
  • Initial Readers’ Survey Results

    The February edition of Comment contained a readers’ survey form inviting evaluation of the publication. Respondents were given a two week deadline for the return of their form and all those received by the cloing date were numbered and entered into a p...
  • Turbine Trouble

    Windfarm Anger Mounts Over Road Chaos Huge disruption until October is going to be caused to local roads by the sudden imposition of double the number of daily deliveries of massive turbine parts to the Griffin Wind Farm development.Some businesses in St...
  • Census Help Offered

    27 March is Scotland’s next census day. This is an important day for all residents of the United Kingdom when there is an official count of every person and household in the country. It happens every ten years and the statistics gathered are used to dev...
  • Lessons To Be Learned from Griffin

    Responding to Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser’s criticism of both Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) and Perth & Kinross Council (P&K), the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Perthshire North Victor Clements has offered a more local insight in to what ...
  • Warm Appreciation for Local Service

    After 33 years working with Menzies and latterly with WH Smith’s the newsagents in Pitlochry, Nigel Wild, the local branch manager, retired on Friday 18 February. A number of local customers and fellow Pitlochry retailers decided to give him a send off ...
  • P&K Administration Scorned Over Toilet Closures

    At the budget meeting of Perth and Kinross council on Thursday 17 February, C’llr Ian Campbell again hit out at the SNP administration’s policy on closing attended public toilets throughout Perth and Kinross. In hailing the Conservative group’s prop...
  • New Fund Proposed by P&K Tory Group

    During the P&K budget debate on 17 February, Highland Perthshire Councillor Ian Campbell outlined a new Conservative group proposal for a Community Facilitation Fund. He claimed that this will enable local groups of all interests to explore, in conjunctio...
  • Ancestor Research in Blair Atholl: Help Sought

    Elizabeth Seabrook has contacted Comment seeking help from readers. She is tracing some ancestors, Charles and Ann Davidson, who were married in Ancrum in 1797; their first three children, all girls, were baptised there between 1798 and 1802. They then ha...
  • Union Boss: Whistleblower Should “**** ***”

    Former Breadalbane Academy English teacher Ann Braidwood’s account of her treatment at the hands of P&K Council in January’s Comment has been met with silence from the local authority and with shrugs of “typical P&K behaviour” from numerous local ...
  • Bounce Back or Bounce Beyond? Winter Lessons Part 2

    The Wrong InfrastructureAnthony Hodgson, of International Futures Forum, reckons we have created a society based on convenience, consumption, mobility and dependency. It was great while it worked but now it is severely challenged and likely to be more so....
  • Clam Up on The Cock Up.....

    Over Felling of Protected Tree on Campus On 13 January R Murray, AuthorityWatch’s Topic Co-Ordinator for the issue of the Breadalbane Campus tree felling, prompted by contact from members of the public, posted the contribution below on the Commentonli...
  • The Bus is The Link

    This is the time of deep cuts in public services. Remote rural areas are especially vulnerable: small populations scattered along miles of secondary roads make for high per capita costs. This is a bugbear for people running country bus services. Several s...
  • Testing Times Ahead for Pitlochry Community Council

    As Pitlochry waits for sight of the new planning applications for its town centre site, the question is: what will be the town’s response this time? With the previous applications there was widespread objection clearly demonstrated by:         ...
  • Pill Packs Charge Protests Continue Locally

    The storm over the introduction of charges from 1 February by Davidsons Chemists’ outlets in Highland Perthshire for supplying medication in dosette boxes (easy-to-understand disposable plastic trays) continues.Officially called Community Monitored Dosa...
  • Local Post Bus Service Removal ‘Bad News’

    MSP Murdo Fraser believes the axing by Royal Mail of the Postbus 223 service from Pitlochry to Rannoch Station is a poor decision for Highland Perthshire.The MSP wrote to Royal Mail about the cut, questioning whether the decision is in the best interests ...
  • Blair Atholl Water Woes: Enquiry

    Steps must be taken to improve Blair Atholl’s water pipes so that there is no repeat of loss of water supply which a number of residents in the village experienced for several weeks over the Christmas period and into the New Year.In a letter to Richard ...
  • Pharmacy Pill Pack Protest Continues

    Lack of funding from the NHS has forced a Perthshire pharmacy to introduce a weekly charge for a popular service, it is being claimed.Davidson Chemists has responded to published criticism of its decision to launch a three-month pilot across six of its st...
  • A9 Dualling Debate Disappointment

    Reflecting on his Dual the A9 Timetable debate on 19 January, MSP Murdo Fraser has expressed his disappointment with Transport Minister Keith Brown for failing to set out a timetable for dualling the A9.Murdo Fraser MSP said: “It was disappointing that ...
  • Turbine & Timber Transport Traffic Warning

    Scottish & Southern Energy plans to conduct a ‘trial run’ on the 31 January (subject to confirmation) consisting of an unladen abnormal load vehicle simulating the delivery of the largest turbine component to the Griffin windfarm site. The vehicle wil...
  • Caravan Park’s Contribution to the Common Good

    The issue of the P&K run loss-making Aberfeldy Caravan Park, which is ‘common good’ property, has prompted a number of enquiries regarding the existence and operation of Common Good Funds. AuthorityWatch has offered the following points in the public ...
  • Pharmacy Pack Payment Levy

    J Dolzanski of Aberfeldy alerts readers to an imminent hike in pharmacy costs in Highland Perthshire Davidson’s Chemists are to introduce a weekly charge of £2.25 to those who receive medication in an easy to understand, disposable tray. It’s a good...
  • Grim A9 Statistics Prompting Parliamentary Debate

    Ahead of debate on the A9 in the Scottish Parliament on 20 January, which will be based on Murdo Fraser’s motion ‘Dual the A9 Timetable’ the MSP has listed some of statistical reasons behind the need to dual the road in its entirety from Perth to In...
  • Parent Identifies P&K Data Sharing Error

    In a letter to the chairman of Breadalbane Academy Parents’ Council, a parent has expressed concerns over the management of data sharing at P&K Council.Madelaine Thorley, who has publicly questioned the legality of the use of the pupil identification ca...
  • Aberfeldy Caravan Park Query

    Could P&K Run the Proverbial in a Brewery? Informed by a supporter that the council-run Aberfeldy Caravan Park was running at a loss, AuthorityWatch at first viewed the information with some scepticism. It seemed scarcely credible that a well appointed a...
  • Insulation Incentive for Highland Perthshire

    Surveys have highlighted that incidences of fuel poverty are higher in Highland Perthshire than anywhere else in Perth & Kinross. Accordingly P&K Council is working with the energy efficiency charity SCARF (Save Cash and Reduce Fuel) and contractor EAGA ...
  • Aberfeldy Dog Dirt Menace

     Eric Slorance, Vice Chair of Aberfeldy Community Council, shows a 'yellow card' to careless dog owners The severe winter weather over the last six or seven weeks have caused real havoc particularly for the elderly risking life and limb trying to negoti...
  • Broadside on Aberfeldy Roads' State

    An Aberfeldy resident has savaged the standard of road maintenance being applied around the town.In a letter to P&K council William Leszke has expressed himself to be “totally appalled with the state of the Aberfeldy roads. After 6 to 7 weeks of winter ...
  • P&K Lambasted by Former English Teacher

    Former English Teacher Claims Academy Department Was in ‘Virtual Collapse' A former Breadalbane Academy schoolteacher has launched a stinging attack on the way that her school and Perth & Kinross Council handled a string of problems in the English dep...
  • MSP Urges P&K to Reject Calliachar Increase

    The proposal to increase the size of the Calliachar wind turbines by 10% must be rejected by Perth & Kinross Council when a new, formal planning application is submitted, reckons MSP Murdo Fraser.He wrote to Perth & Kinross pressing that it should refuse ...
  • The Anonymity Issue for Whistleblowers

    As Comment enters its 30th Year of publication, editor Brendan Murphy reflects upon this perennially raised issue. In the earliest days of Comment the public meetings held bimonthly in the Mid Atholl Hall, Ballinluig, often vexed over the issue of anonym...
  • The Gift of Time

    A Plea for a 2011 Resolution As the recent festive season turned our mind to friends - present and absent - did we consider that the greatest gift they could receive from us might be the gift of time - time to talk and time to be heard?Many of us find it...
  • New Year Resolution Recommendation for P&K

    A reader has emailed an end-of-year message to Comment. It was accompanied with a wry observation that our politicians should base their new year resolutions on finally fulfilling the aims that they previously set themselves.She wrote: “Our local author...
  • Bounce Back or Bounce Beyond? Winter Lessons

    Anthony Hodgson, of International Futures Forum, reckons we have created a society based on convenience, consumption, mobility and dependency. This is supported by a political, business and physical infrastructure that places the material economy at the c...
  • Bounce Back or Bounce Beyond?

    Winter LessonsPart 1 – Can they look after us? Anthony Hodgson, of International Futures Forum, reckons we have created a society based on convenience, consumption, mobility and dependency. This is supported by a political, business and physical infras...
  • A9 Dualling: ScotGov Criticised

     ‘SNP Is All Rhetoric’: MSP The SNP government has been accused of too much rhetoric and not enough action on dualling the A9 after giving an unsatisfactory answer to a parliamentary question lodged by MSP Murdo Fraser.MSP Murdo Fraser lodged a parl...
  • A9 Dualling: ScotGov Criticised

     ‘SNP Is All Rhetoric’: MSP The SNP government has been accused of too much rhetoric and not enough action on dualling the A9 after giving an unsatisfactory answer to a parliamentary question lodged by MSP Murdo Fraser.MSP Murdo Fraser lodged a parl...
  • P&K Local Plan MIR: Why It Will Matter To You

    Helen McDade urges Highland Perthshire folk not to sleepwalk into permitting planning proposals to to be brought in without proper public scrutiny The number of people who comment on, or turn out to meetings on, individual planning applications - such as...
  • Calliachar Wind Farm: Public Exhibition

    SSE has submitted a Pre-Application Proposal to Perth and Kinross Council to increase the overall tip height of the consented 14 wind turbines at the Calliachar Wind Farm (by Aberfeldy,  PH15) and is inviting members of the public to a public exhibition ...
  • AuthorityWatch and P&K

    A number of like-minded people around Highland Perthshire have formed an informal association, AuthorityWatch, to address the existing deficit in democratic accountability and to make it difficult for councillors and council officials to ignore the voice ...
  • A9 Death Collision

    In a collision involving three articulated lorries at around 5.20am on 23 December on the single carriageway section of the A9 north of Dunkeld, near Jubilee Bridge, one man died and another was seriously injured.It is understood that two HGVs collided he...
  • Campus Tree Felling: Early Reactions

    Given the conditions applied by P&K to the development of the new community campus, and the fact that a mature, feature, copper beech was felled within a Conservation Area, Aberfeldy CC raised the issue at its meeting on 1 December. Community Council sec...
  • P&K Local Plan Submissions Deadline Extended by P&K

    Given the recent unforeseen adverse weather, an extension to the consultation period to allow for the rescheduling of community council and other local meetings is being made by P&K. The extension was formally approved by the full Council Committee on 15 ...
  • Plan & Execution at the New Community Campus

    These pictures show the artist’s design alongside the actual execution of the frontage of the new Breadalbane Community Campus.   Comparing the construction with the original 3d design perspective of the entrance that was ‘sold’ to the local commu...
  • Traffic Access Fears at New Community Campus

    The shift of the pedestrian path at the eastern entrance to the new Breadalbane Community Campus from Crieff Road has created a risk to pedestrians accessing the site from the town. This is the view of some townspeople who believe that it imposes a potent...
  • P&K Poll of Public Opinion on Financial Priorities

    P&K recently sought public opinion poll returns on proposals for its future financial priorities. One Comment reader expressed very forthright views and sent copy of the answers lodged to some of the items on the local authority’s questionnaire. Quest...
  • National Survey of Community Councils

    Steps are being taken by the Scottish Government to survey the stakeholders of the Association of Scottish Community Councils (ASCC) to find out their views on the association’s progress towards achieving a range of objectives tied to its grant funding....
  • ARE We being Served by Our Local Authority?

    Indications that the public is increasingly distrustful of local government in Perth & Kinross are steadily mounting.Writing to his elected representative, an Highland Perthshire constituent recently likened our local council to ‘a banana republic...
  • Aberfeldy Library Relocation to New Community Campus

    At 4.30pm on 29 November P&K’s press office publicly announced that Aberfeldy Library would close at 12 noon on Saturday 4 December to enable the move to the new Breadalbane Community Campus. It will re-open at its new location at 10am on Thursday 1...
  • Tree Felling Shock Revealed at New Campus

    Tree Felling Shock Revealed at New CampusUpdated 2.12.10 and 07.12.10 When the contractors’ site barriers, signage boards and wire fencing hurdles were removed recently from the Crieff road access to the new Breadalbane Community Campus site, the downt...
  • Closure Threat Removed from Local POs

    Westminster’s greater protection for the surviving Post Office network and the extension of its role its role in being open for longer, allowing customers to access their current account and offering information for jobseekers, has been welcomed by MSP ...
  • Cheaper Fuel Prices for Rural Areas

    You may have heard that the UK coalition government has just announced that it will introduce a fuel duty pilot scheme covering the Northern Isles and the Inner and Outer Hebrides that will see fuel prices fall by up to 5 pence per litre.While this may no...
  • Who stole Scotland?

    This essay by Andy Wightman was printed in the Sunday Herald 17.10.10. It is reproduced here with the permission of the author ‘Show the people that our Old Nobility is not noble, that its lands are stolen lands – stolen either by force or fraud; sh...
  • Bill Keir’s War

    Extracts from the Aberfeldy man’s conversations with MICHAEL HAIGH Some veterans refer to themselves after WW2 as having ‘had a good war’ or ‘a filthy time’ or some such. Bill Keir, who joined up at 19, is a modest man. Given to understatement,...
  • Community History: Author’s Appeal for Help

    Thrilled with the response to his book ‘Aberfeldy - The History of a Highland Community’, author Ruary Mackenzie Dodds has observed that his background research became more difficult the closer he got to the present day. He found it difficult to form ...
  • Thumbs Down to P&K Boundary Change Proposals

    At its meeting on 6 October attended by 16 members of the public, Aberfeldy Community Council (ACC) unanimously came out against P&K’s proposals to tinker with the boundaries of its council area and that of Dunkeld and Birnam.The meeting was attended al...
  • Call for Resignation of Local Councillor

    As one of the people labelled by Ken Lyall as an ‘extremist’ (because I have questioned the wisdom of the proposed hydro-electric scheme in the Birks of Aberfeldy), I am familiar with his invective towards residents who don’t subscribe to his world ...
  • Beyond Our Ken

    Readers may be interested in the recently acquired and unexpurgated text of the C’llr Lyall letter which sparked September’s ‘View from the Top Deck’. The letter was addressed to a member of the Rannoch & Tummel Community Council who had expressed...
  • View From The Top Deck: September 2010

    ‘Has Ken Lost the Plot?’ When I arrived on the upper deck a lively debate was in full swing. Naturally Jock and Hamish were to the fore, but the topic had obviously engaged the interest of a goodly number of local worthies. Such was the heat generate...
  • Turning an Honest Profit

    As spending cuts hit the headline, there is a lot of discussion about front-line services and looking after the more vulnerable members of the community. The May article in Comment argued that social enterprises are half way between a for-profit and not-f...
  • Green Flag Prestige for Victoria Park

    Victoria Park in Aberfeldy has been recognised as one of Scotland’s best green public spaces by being awarded a Green Flag by Keep Britain Tidy for the standards of excellence in its management and maintenance. On 31 August the Green Flag was raised in ...
  • Report Supports Need for better Local Broadband

    A report by think-tank Reform Scotland has called for more investment in rural broadband. It is the latest evidence that the SNP Government must commit to faster and better broadband for the Tayside area and MSP Murdo Fraser has demanded swift action so t...
  • 'Mr Highland Perthshire' Appointed by DMO

    Highland Perthshire Ltd Puts Pete In The Hot Seat The recently established Destination Management Organisation for the area, Highland Perthshire Ltd, (HPL), has now appointed Peter Guthrie to be its Development Manager. Peter has extensive experience in ...
  • Aberfeldy's Chains of Office 'Back in Town'

    Victor Clements, Secretary of Aberfeldy Community Council, relates how Aberfeldy’s symbolic Chains of Office are currently on display at the Watermill Bookshop. The Chains were worn by the Provosts of the old Town Council of the Burgh of Aberfeldy, whi...
  • Democracy or Elective Dictatorship?

    In connection with the development of the centre of Pitlochry, one frustrated and angry Comment reader poses the question: “OK - We Live Here...So What Can WE Do To Make the Place Better?”The same view could be attached to several other experiences lo...
  • New Web Portal Launched for Highland Perthshire

    Twenty six tourism businesses from across Highland Perthshire have spent the last 12 months formulating and developing a web portal for the region www.HighlandPerthshire.com The businesses involved cover the spectrum of tourism from Hotels, Guest Houses, ...
  • Birks Hydro Proposal: Progress Update

    Since the flurry of publicity surrounding the proposed hydro scheme on Urlar burn in the Birks of Aberfeldy which led up to, and followed, the meeting of the Common Good Fund in February, there has been a series of recent meetings. These have involved Abe...
  • Shameful Local Racial Harassment

    Updated 30.06.10 Nasty Practices Behind ‘Charming’ Appearances Fear of reprisals - in the form of physical threat or intimidation, social exclusion, property damage, loss of livelihood, ejection from accommodation or school bullying of their childre...
  • Local Delight Triggered by Dall Estate Refusal

    By 21 votes to three the P&K Development Control committee voted to turn down the grandiose proposals of Malcom James for a £1.3 billion private members retreat at Dall estate, Kinloch Rannoch.The project had proposed a 5 storey 104 suite luxury hotel em...
  • Aberfeldy's Main Street Blues of Voids & Vacancies

    Hot on the heals of the weekend business interruption of the road closure for the cycle race this year, shop keepers on ‘main street’ Aberfeldy have been hit with a five week traffic diversion during gas mains relaying. As if the recession is not dif...
  • Dave’n’Nick’s ‘Big Society’

    Some thoughts on increased local independence by Alastir Tibbitt, of Greener Leith “...(This area of policy) is largely devolved to Holyrood..(but if the Libservatives) are serious about devolving power to the neighbourhood level, then they must be pre...
  • From the Top Deck: June 2010

    Unfortunately Jock and Hamish were notable by their absence from the top deck of the bus on my last trip. Rab the bus driver informed me that they were ‘off for a week of hill-walking in the Netherlands’.Having shelled out £3.99 for a copy of the mag...
  • New Community Library Progress

    As this continues apace at the Breadalbane campus, residents’ views are being sought Residents of Highland Perthshire are being asked for their suggestions on what resources should be stocked at the new community library at Breadalbane Community Campus...