Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, - The decision by Perth and Kinross Council to market the availabilty of the City Hall for such a limited time of three months is a somewhat half-hearted response to the decision by Historic Scotland to refuse consent for demolition. This will leave the council exposed to the challenge that it is not taking the remarketing exercise as seriously as is expected especially so at a time when the property market is on its belly, not to mention the state of the global economy. Even if funding was readily available what developer would go to the considerable expense of making a bid when the council is apparently hell-bent on demolition? Surely the most prudent approach would simply be to put it back on the market without deadline for bids. In addition the council report is flawed in that it does not express how the building is to be marketed. Is it for sale or lease and what is the expected price or rent and period of any lease? These factors will have a crucial bearing on the viability of any proposals that might come forward. Councillor MacLellan, according to your report, has expressed a view that none of the £3.28m earmarked for the civic square should be made available to a developer for another use. Why not if a contribution makes that other use viable and thereby saves the council in both the capital cost of creating the square and its ongoing annual maintenance and running costs? It seems to me that the council's ambitions are not entirely different to the latest Linacre scheme in so far as the creation of a market place is concerned, but at least the Linacre scheme, which retains the building, would provide much more scope for year-round usage than would an open square, given our erratic climate. Perhaps the council would be wise to engage with Mr Linacre's trust with an open-minded approach. J Low.9 Almond Gardens,Perth. Grass cutting explanation is nonsense Sir, - I refer to your article on the lack of maintenance in cemeteries (June 25). The council spokesperson explained that the grass is left to degrade. Utter nonsense, the interval between grass cuts is too great therefore too much grass is left to accumulate. Our cemetery at Crook of Devon is a fine example of this it's like a hayfield. At that cemetery, in memory of my parents, I planted a beautiful red rose as close to the gravestone as possible so not to interfere with the occasional grass cuts. The plant flourished for three weeks until it was killed by the irresponsible use of systemic herbicide weedkiller by council employees. I discussed this matter with the local councillor on June 18 but as yet have had no response. I also note in your article the comment that all council services are under pressure. This being the case, why did I witness a council employee carrying out weed-killing operations on a Sunday morning in the old cemetery in Crook of Devon? Ian Robertson.1 Station Road,Crook of Devon,Kinross. Why the delay over speech? Sir, - Why is the defence secretary taking his time to deliver his speech on the future of our Scottish regiments? Is he waiting until the Olympic Games are over as a lot of our troops are involved in the security aspect, or is it because of the expected backlash he will inevitably receive from the many thousands of veterans who will vent their anger if their regiment is cut in any way? He should not forget when Gordon Brown called for a defence review which saw many regiments cut and amalgamated, the veterans turned their wrath on the Labour Party and called for them to lose at the next election by asking everyone to vote Conservative. This happened with the Labour Party demoted to the opposition benches. The Tory Party, who were quick to jump on the bandwagon, promised veterans they would reinstate the Scottish regiments once in government but have done the reverse and started a huge redundancy plan with more regiments to be culled. I believe that Philip Hammond, the defence minister, is running scared of announcing his next cull of Scottish regiments as the many thousands of veterans at the next election will get rid of the Tory Party, just as they did with Labour. Major Bob Ritchie.Livingston. Needs to brush up on history Sir, - Keith Legg (Letters, June 28) needs to brush up on his history if he thinks the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were single countries that disintegrated. They were in fact made up of many much older countries that decided to once again become independent. Much like the Scotland of today. Also, why does he assume that England will have a seat on the UN Security Council and not the UK since he claims the UK will still exist without Scotland? Is he saying that the UK without Scotland will only consist of England or is this a Freudian slip that reveals his true belief that England is the UK and Scotland is nothing more than annoying shire? If it is the former, then there is no UK without Scotland and all his arguments apply equally to England. Eric Manzie.Easter Balgarvie Farm Cottage,Cupar. Sneaky tax Sir, - I may be mistaken, but I don't recall seeing anything about a 5p bag tax in the SNP's last election manifesto. It seems they are very prone to sneaking in legislation that nobody had a chance to vote on while failing to implement some pledges that were in the manifesto! (Capt.) Ian F McRae.17 Broomwell Gardens,Monikie. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to email@example.com or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.
Police Scotland has confirmed that Graham Kilby, from Crook of Devon, who had been reported missing has been traced safe and well. "Police Scotland would like to thank everyone involved for their assistance," they said. Concern had been expressed after the 46-year-old had not been seen since Thursday morning. Police issued an appeal for the help of the public in tracing Mr Kilby and his car and searches were carried out in the local area. The police issued a statement on Saturday evening that he had been traced.
Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, I wholeheartedly agree with the comments made by Dr Peter Rice, chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, regarding the banning of alcohol sales in supermarkets. He has voiced a belief I have had for years and can't think why our Government can't see this as a simple solution to the alcohol problem. Alcohol is far too easily available in any supermarket and it is difficult to monitor these sales to underage drinkers. I also have seen liquor stores in both Canada and Australia and think this type of store remarkably sensible to control the amount being sold and, more important, to whom it is being sold. Avril Simpson.Field Studio,Welton Corner,Forfar. Position is legitimate Sir, Since 2007, the Scottish Government's position towards constitutional reform has acknowledged that extending the parliament's powers and responsibilities short of independence is a legitimate position to take and one that commands significant support. It is therefore entirely consistent to take this on board when consulting the people, not least if a proposal is generated by credible parts of civic Scotland as looks likely. This referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and must reflect public opinion. Iain Anderson.41 West End,St Monans. You can't be serious, Alex! Sir, June 24 2014 is the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn. Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games between July 24 and August 3 2014. The Ryder Cup is at Gleneagles in September 2014. The SNP's independence referendum will be held in autumn 2014. Alex Salmond's transparency is so obvious it is laughable. Does he really think we will base our decision on flimsy sentimentality and a fleeting feel-good factor? Stewart Whyte.25 Crombie Acres,Westhill,Aberdeenshire. Keep HGVs off village roads Sir, I refer to the accident on the A977 at Drum and your article on traffic speed on this route. I believe that the so-called traffic calming measures through Drum and Crook of Devon villages have been a failure and a complete waste of money. Most drivers completely ignore the speed limit, and if one adheres to the necessary limit you find you are tailgated and harassed by some ill-tempered drivers. I use the pedestrian crossing in Crook of Devon in the early morning on my way to the village shop and have witnessed numerous vehicles going through red lights due to excessive speed at this crossing. Recently a child was knocked off his bicycle by a motorist, who failed to stop. These heavy goods vehicles should not be travelling through these villages as these roads are not suitable. Ian Robertson.Station Road,Crook of Devon. Royal Mail address problem Sir, Your article 'No faith in Royal Mail' (January 9) prompts me to write about something that has annoyed me for years. In the middle ages Dundee became a Royal Burgh within what was then the county of Forfarshire. In 1947 Forfarshire became Angus, but long before, in the 1890s, Dundee had become first a city and then a county (which is why our Lord Provost is also the Lord Lieutenant). So why does Royal Mail still think that Dundee is in Angus? Chris Davey.Camperdown Street,Broughty Ferry. We can't wait another 10 years Sir, It is with disbelief that I read the letter from Jane Ann Liston, member of the NE Fife Liberal Democratic Party, about the replacement school at Kilrymont. Does she not remember that the Liberal Democrats in North East Fife went into the last council elections promising to back the proposal for a school at the Taybridge head and when they were elected on to Fife Council immediately voted against the proposal? The Liberal democrats in Fife are still all over the place re: the replacement school each wanting different solutions and it is only because of the backing of the SNP councillors in Fife that we are finally going to get a school fit for pupils in the 21st century. We cannot wait another 10 years! Bill Connor.5 Jubilee Buildings,Tayport. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.
Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km
The driver of a lorry carrying aviation fuel has been killed in an accident in Kinross-shire, sparking a major emergency response. A Mercedes Sprinter van was involved in a collision with an oil tanker on the A977 at Crook of Devon at 4.30pm on Monday. The oil tanker trailer ended up on its side while the cab broke free, coming to rest in a nearby field. Emergency services rushed to the scene as fuel spilled from the tanker, with Tayside Fire and Rescue setting up an exclusion zone. The tanker was believed to have been carrying highly flammable aviation fuel, prompting emergency services to treat the accident as a ''major incident''. Emergency vehicles stayed at the A977 Main Street at Crook of Devon throughout the night in preparation for the worst-case scenario, should the fuel have ignited. Extricating casualties was a long and drawn-out process. The Mercedes driver was taken by ambulance to Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline having suffered only minor injuries. Sadly, the driver of the oil tanker was pronounced dead at the scene. A 200m cordon around the spillage saw homes evacuated and residents taken to an impromptu rest area at the Loch Leven Community Centre at Kinross. Rest centre manager Andy Cook told The Courier: ''We provided assistance for between 13 and 20 individuals who were evacuated from the exclusion zone and who could not find alternative accommodation. ''The rest centre was set up as the number of evacuees became clear.'' Mr Cook's team also organised hot food and drinks as they worked to find people a bed for the night. By 9.15pm bed and breakfast accommodation had been found for all. Tayside Police said the eastbound van collided with the westbound tanker, resulting in the tank being thrown on to its side. Due to the hazardous nature of the spill, crash investigators were joined at the scene by teams from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. The road was closed throughout the evening and into this morning as their investigations and recovery took place, with diversions set up via the B9097. Police said they hoped to have the vehicles removed and the road reopened as soon as possible. The A977, though a relatively minor route, has become a thoroughfare for large vehicles travelling between the Clackmannanshire and Kincardine bridges and the M90. There have long been safety concerns about the road's suitability for heavy traffic. Police are urging any witnesses to come forward and contact them on 0300 111 2222.
Police in Kinross-shire are searching for a man seen acting in a suspicious manner in and around Crook of Devon since the start of the year. Locals have made a number of reports over the past few days, with a number of apparent sightings in and around Crook of Devon often in the evening. Police Scotland has moved to reassure the public that there have been “no reports of criminality in the area”. Local officers are nonetheless keen to trace the man as a matter of urgency, with lines of inquiry thought to be that he may be sleeping rough or be a missing person from another area. If so, they are concerned that the man may be in need of support or accommodation. Residents have apparently told the police that they do not recognise the man.For more on this story see Saturday's CourierA Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Officers are making enquiries following reports regarding a man who has been walking and lingering in a suspicious manner within a field next to St Serfs Place, Crook of Devon. “There have been concerns raised for the man, who has been seen on around five occasions since Saturday, January 3. “The area is popular with local dog walkers, but the man appears not to be known to those residents.” The man is described as being around six foot, with short brown hair and when last seen was wearing either a dark or grey reflective jacket. He was carrying a large black rucksack and another bag. The spokeswoman added: “We would reassure the public that there have been no reports of criminality in the area. “Officers are, however, keen to trace this man to establish his identity and the full circumstances of the reported incidents.” Anyone with information that could assist officers with their enquiries is asked to call Police Scotland on 101.
Enthusiasts hoping to create a lasting memorial to those who died in the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster of 1879 have uncovered another relative of one of the victims. The Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, which is trying to raise funds for a tribute on both sides of the Tay, has received contact from James Marshall of Crook of Devon, who is the grand nephew of John Marshall of Ceres, the train's stoker/fireman. After seeing stories in The Courier, Mr Marshall got in touch with Ian Nimmo White from the TRBDMT and is now helping with their investigations.
A plan for a permanent gypsy/Traveller site in Kinross-shire is to be debated by councillors this week. The application under consideration is for five permanent pitches, partly in retrospect, at Crook Moss, Crook of Devon, along with road access improvements and landscaping and tree planting. The site, which is owned by the applicants, is a former council tip, though tipping ceased some years ago. Work has already been carried out on the access road and caravans placed on the site, to the anger of some local people. A report to the development management committee, which will meet on Wednesday, states the council’s planning enforcement team was first contacted in May 2010, when travellers started using the site. More than 40 letters of objection have been received, with claims made that the site is contaminated, a traveller site is not compatible with surrounding land use and the site is prone to flooding. Other grounds of objection include that it will result in a loss of amenity to the community, that the nursery and primary school has no capacity and there will be a loss of trees. The report to the committee states that there are no objections from SEPA, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust or the council’s environmental health officers. The education department had confirmed there is insufficient capacity available at Fossoway Primary School to accommodate the development and any children of primary school age would need to go to the nearest available school with sufficient capacity. Noise complaints have been made by resident as a result of a generator being used but it is the intention of the applicants to connect to mains electricity. Recommending approval, development quality manager Nick Brian concedes there have been a “significant number of objections to this partly retrospective proposal”. However, he says that in the light of there being no objections from the main statutory environmental consultees, and a need for the pitches, the plan is acceptable.
Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.