A view from the Bridge

I’M waiting with baited breath to see what delights George Osbourne has in store for us in today’s budget. Annoyingly, he won’t actually deliver it until around 12.30pm, by which time this paper will have been half-sent. Which means I’ll have to wait till next week before I can rant about it properly. Hmph.

It’s maybe too much to ask for that we might get a cut in fuel duty in the midst of the theatre that is a Westminster budget. Our petrol prices remain some of the highest in the world. In the USA, motorists are getting angsty because fuel costs have risen to $2.40 (around £1.60) a gallon. We can only dream!

Indeed, you have to wonder where the logic of our insanely high fuel duty lies - particularly when one considers that even in (allegedly) improverished Ireland, petrol remains significantly cheaper than it is in the UK.

I can only hope that when George Osborne stands up in the House of Commons this afternoon, it will be those on middle and low incomes foremost in his mind, and not the terminally wealthy. He could do that by not raising fuel duty.

IN other news, this week I have written about the consultation for development at Blackdog. Part of the plan includes a travellers’ halting site, which has prompted negative responses from residents. Given the middens left locally by some travelling groups, it’s not an entirely irrational response.

However, as Cllr Hendry says, Aberdeenshire needs sites like these. I find myself thinking that perhaps the best solution would be if individual travelling families purchased their own land. Provided the land was only ever used for short-term stops, was kept in good order and didn’t agitate the neighbours, I doubt there’s anything planners could - or would - do. No point in evicting someone from their own land if they’re only there for a fortnight, and keeping it tidy.

ON Sunday I celebrated Mother’s Day with my parents and grandparents at the Ugie House Hotel in Keith, with a meal which was supposed to be my treat.

After a beautiful three course carvery, I dutifully went up to pay (as I had promised), only to discover that I had lost my debit card.

As a result, I had to borrow £100 from my Mum to pay for a meal that was supposed to be my treat. I trust that everybody reading this was able to celebrate their Mother’s Day in a more organised fashion than I, and that, indeed, my own Mam can forgive me for being a dozy eedjit.