A view from the Bridge

AT the parking area at Castle Park where the recent Traveller encampment had been evacuated, it was a grave disappointment to see the mess left behind. I dithered about using the word ‘midden’ in the headline, but to be honest, it was about the best word I could use.

What I can’t comprehend is how the people responsible for this mess not only have no respect for the local community; but they evidently don’t care much for other Travellers who, however well behaved, will always be regarded with suspicion on the basis of previous form. I sincerely hope that the group in question is caught and charged for the cleanup. However, I have a feeling that I’ll be hoping in vain.

NEWS that Udny Community Council are ploughing ahead with proposals to invest the dividends from the Community Turbine are welcome indeed.

Already, the body is proposing to construct a new village hall, and a new path connecting Udny Green with the Pitmedden Post Office.

Great news for the area, and testimony to the dedication of the community council in driving the turbine project forward.

READING the First Minister’s comments on fuel duty was a fresh experience: indeed, I was nearly bowled over by the prospect of a politician or a party proposing something other than ongoing punitive taxation on motorists.

All economic activity in Britain relies on petrol; and in the absence of a feasible alternative, it will continue to be so. As such, the entire economy is dependent on easy, rapid movement of goods and people. Anything which taxes that movement can only serve to act as a cosh on growth and investment, which are exactly what the country needs right now in a time of stagnant growth.

The European Commision’s figures demonstrate that we pay more for our petrol than even the Greeks, who, beside being Europe’s financial pariah state, do not produce their own oil or gas. We do.

The further 3p rise in fuel duty - planned for August - will damage any growth which could take place under the present circumstances. For those of us living in rural areas, the costs are even more jarring.

Combined with the abolition of the 50p top tax rate, it isn’t good PR for George Osbourne. Indeed, it looks more and more like a Social Darwinian effort to force the low waged off the road. Bad PR for the Conservatives at Westminster indeed.

I sincerely hope that the SNP’s proposals for a fuel duty regulator will be taken seriously.