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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

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...

Perth & Kinross

Black Watch Brigadier opens fire on housing proposal

June 21 2010

As comander of The Black Watch in the desert heat of Iraq, Brigadier Michael Riddell-Webster is no stranger to bitter conflict. But now he is fighting a battle much closer to home as he tries to prevent two new houses being built in his rural Perthshire hamlet. He has turned to the Scottish Government for help after a developer appealed against a decision by Perth and Kinross Council to refuse permission for the houses at Lintrose, near Coupar Angus. Writing as "a serviceman, a local and voter in the Kettins area" to the government reporter allocated the case, he sad that a previous similar application has already been rejected and appeals for consistency over the gap site, between a cottage and the minor road nearby. Giving his address as the Ministry of Defence main building, Whitehall, where he serves as head of Capability Ground Manoeuvre, he stated the site is outwith housing boundaries, despite an artificial bund having been created recently. Brig Riddell-Webster wrote, "The community council is clear in its opposition, concerned about future ribbon development and the apparently effortless ease with which decisions upheld at appeal by the Scottish executive can be overturned. "Should local concerns be so easily ignored in favour of alien developers' pockets?" He added, "And what of precedent? "Are we really living in an era when decisions taken by the council planning committee, upheld by the Scottish executive and intended to be binding, can be overturned by landowners who merely have to produce an artificial earth bund, upsetting an agricultural landscape that has been there since time immemorial, in order to produce a planning application in line with the housing in the countryside policy? "Surely this is not what the policy had in mind. "The policy is looking to protect the outstanding landscapes of the countryside hardly something achieved by the creation of artificial bounds to hem houses in." Perth applicant Scott Hunter maintained the site would "bring to a close the linear pattern of development" at the tiny hamlet, despite the council ruling it would be contrary to the local development plan. The government directorate for planning and environment appeals hopes to settle the matter in August. Brig Riddell-Webster was made representative colonel of The Black Watch Battalion last year and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his actions during the Operation Telic invasion of Iraq in 2003. Under his command, The Black Watch battle group secured the town of Az Zubayr and laid the foundations for the eventual fall of Basra, a key moment in the war. His family is well-known in Perthshire, with his father John a soldier and Military Cross recipient a long-time councillor.

Angus & The Mearns

Ian Rankin steps into Black Watch play censorship row at Angus school

March 9 2015

Leading Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin has stepped into a row over an Angus secondary’s decision not to study an acclaimed piece of writing centred on the Iraq War. Black Watch has been taken up by students at other schools in Scotland, but the decision of Webster’s High School in Kirriemuir not to include the play as a core text this year has divided parents. The bad language and sexual content of writer Gregory Burke’s drama about the lead up to the tragic death of soldiers from the regiment in a 2004 roadside bomb attack upset some, but other parents have described the school’s decision not to use the play as “ridiculous and childish.” Angus Council said it was not the case that Black Watch had been banned, but it was not on the SQA prescribed reading list and a decision had been taken to study another text. Rebus creator Rankin has now added his signature to an open letter to Webster’s head teacher Jane Esson calling for a re-think on the play. The letter, co-signed by others including author Louise Welsh, Fiona Morrison-Graham vice-president of the writers’ association Scottish PEN and screenwriter Michael Cullen said: “The nature of Black Watch’s language allows us to hear soldiers speak in their own voice about their lives and the effects of momentous political decisions. “When we ignore those voices, we step away from an important dialogue about our society, and our understanding is worse for it. “In the spirit of such constructive dialogue, we would support the pupils and parents of Webster’s High School. We respectfully ask the head teacher to reconsider her decision and allow her students to continue their study of this essential piece of Scottish culture.” Kirriemuir councillor and retired Black Watch Major Ronnie Proctor previously said he respected the head teacher’s decision to exercise her prerogative to decide which texts are studied by pupils.

Angus & The Mearns

Kirriemuir pupils strengthen Kenyan links

June 12 2013

An Angus high school is reaping the benefits of a global partnership with a school in Kenya. Two pupils and two teachers from Litein High School in the Rift Valley area of Kenya are visiting Webster’s High in Kirriemuir as part of a programme between the two schools established six years ago. Literature teacher David Koech and agriculture and biology teacher Eva Ntinyari arrived at the school on Friday, along with two pupils from Litein Alex Saitoti, 17, and Adrian Bandika, 14 who have been taking part in a variety of activities during their stay in a bid to find out about Scottish education and culture before returning home on Monday June 24. Later this year, pupils from Webster’s will replicate the journey after going through a rigorous selection process and will be joined by two members of staff. Principal teacher of pupil care and support Audrey Murray said that the partnership gives both institutions an opportunity to share vital information with each other. “Everything to do with the partnership is a shared project,” said Audrey. “We did a creative writing project where there was work done in Kenya and then there was responding work to that here. We also did a social education initiative and provided some education on HIV and Aids. “We also get to compare things like our carbon footprints and learn from the way they do things in Kenya. “By looking at the way others see and do things, it allows us to see things differently and with a new perspective.” While on the trip, Alex and Adrian have had the opportunity to sample days in the classroom at Webster’s and have taken part in several social and cultural events throughout the town. Adrian said that it was of great benefit to learn about different cultures. “I have really enjoyed meeting new people, socialising and making new friends. We are learning a lot,” he added. Alex echoed those sentiments and said: “It has been good to learn about different cultures and find out about the problems or tasks facing the school or pupils, which are the same we have.” The partnership was originally funded by the British Council but that support ceased last year. Since then, both schools have worked hard to fundraise to maintain the link, with pupils at Webster’s taking a leading role in arranging events to raise cash. Fellow principal teacher of pupil care and support Mary McGregor said: “It’s all part of our global vision as a school. We want to be outward looking and see the interlinking nature of the planet and we have learned so much from Litein. “The two pupils and teachers that are over have become very much part of the community already and they are staying in Kirriemuir as well as going to a number of events organised by the school and local rotary.” The school will be hosting a summer fair on Saturday to further boost the fundraising efforts of the project and staff thanked those who have lent their support to event. Alan Taylor, physics teacher at the school, said: “Webster’s High School would like to pay special thanks to the Rotary Club of Kirriemuir, who have generously donated funds to the link and donated prizes to be given out at the fair. “Thanks also go to Colin Smith for providing televisions for the Kenyan guests for the duration of their stay and to the Kirriemuir Co-op, who donated a welcome pack of provisions. “Thanks to all local businesses for donating raffle prizes and to stallholders who are taking part on Saturday.” The event will run from 10am to 2pm and entry will cost £2. Picture by Photos on Location

Suprime is star turn at Brechin’s Autumn Show

November 4 2014

A horse that has rewarded his owner “time and time again” for taking a chance on him was crowned the supreme champion of the recent Brechin Castle Autumn Show. In a “thrilling” finish to Blairgowrie rider Donna Webster’s show season, her hunter Suprime Star rose first to the top of two section championships before scaling the show supreme. Their overall win comes just three years after Donna took a leap of faith to buy 13-year-old ‘Phoenix’, which previously stood idle in a field for two years. “He was originally bought as a project,” said Donna, who had sadly lost her previous horse in a stable fire. “Rather than sitting at home moping, I went along to Strathmore and District’s riding club camp to be amongst friends.” It was there that Donna learned of a horse that had been out of work for some time as its owner had chosen to stop riding. “I dragged one of my friends along with me to see this fat, hairy horse and I made her get on him first,” explained Donna. “He didn’t buck her off, so I got on and he didn’t buck me off either so I thought that, considering he had done nothing for two years, he was worth taking a chance on.” Although from this standing start it took time to rebuild Phoenix’s fitness, Donna said the Star Trek-sired gelding has since rewarded her "time and time again". Staying within their comfort zone, riding and jumping among friends through SDRC for which Donna is a former chairperson and current committee member and on the flat at local shows such as Alyth and Kirriemuir, they were finally encouraged to compete further afield by Linda Lucy, who judged Phoenix to stand champion of the riding club’s recent annual working hunter event. Donna travelled to Brechin to contest the workers classes, and only opted to enter the ridden small hunter class simply to give Phoenix “something else to do”. “I so was thrilled with him,” reflected Donna after scooping both the ridden horse and working hunter section championships en-route to their supreme win. In particular, her workers triumph meant all the more to her as it was the first time Donna has jumped the gelding, which originally reached the UK from Holland via Alan Spalding, away from the realms of the riding club. “He was pretty much foot perfect all day, which isn’t something that can always be said about him as he doesn’t like to stand still for too long!” she conceded. Wowing the ridden horse judges Kirsty Aird (ride) and Dr Clare Peddie (conformation) with his “smooth and comfortable ride” and the working hunter judges Julia Craig (jump) and Sandra Yeaman (conformation) for his “impeccable manners” and “great condition”, Phoenix rose through the ranks to the top of the supreme. “He is just an ideal hunter and you could see him out on the hunting field looking after his rider,” said workers ride judge Julia. Speaking after the show, on behalf of all of her co-judges Miss J Dolan, Beryl Bruce, Kaye Ferguson, Clare, Kirsty, Sandra and Julia Jill Gunn said both Suprime Star and the eventual reserve supreme, Pumphill Tirella, stood out clearly as the obvious leaders. With the final nod a “close run battle”, Jill said the decision went down to the wire. With one casting vote the difference, Suprime Star was crowned as the best horse of the show. As a result, Lynn and Emma Robertson were drawn forward with their Dartmoor pony as overall reserve. “The Dartmoor was a quality pony and so true to the breed in type and conformation, with a lovely movement,” said Julia. “You could see that he was really looking after his small jockey, which is so important in a lead rein pony. “If I had a child, it’s a pony I would love to own,” she added. Pumphill Tirella is sired by the 2009 HOYS ridden winner Pumphill Bennet, and was bred out of Senruf Troika. The mare has previously stood mini champion at the NPS Summer Show at Strathallan. equestrian@thecourier.co.uk Results Supreme champion: Donna Webster, Suprime Star. Reserve: Lynn and Emma Robertson, Pumphill Tirella. Horses in-hand: Lesley McNaughton-Wells, KD Wild Billy. Reserve: Cathy Petrie, Bankwell Dizzy Ever. Youngstock: 1 Cathy Petrie, Bankwell Dizzy Ever. Hunter: 1 Katie Blewitt, Icardo Van De Molendries Hoeve. Riding horse: 1 Lesley McNaughton-Wells, KD Wild Billy; 2 Katrina Byrne, Wisola; 3 Nicki Donaldson, Cinderella. Ex-racehorse: 1 Sally Northcott, Roscommon; 2 Nicki Donaldson, Cinderella; 3 Katrina Byrne, Laafet. Cob: 1 Sammy Johnson, Houdini Harry; 2 Nicki Flood, Woodside Trio. Heavy horse: 1 Kareen Glennie, Seumas. Ridden horse: Donna Webster, Suprime Star. Reserve: Philippa Merry, Woodytwoshoes. Small hunter: 1 Donna Webster, Suprime Star; 2 Rebecca Ling, Hollie. Large hunter: 1 Philippa Merry, Woodytwoshoes; 2 Lewis Campbell, Feroda Gold; 3 Caroline Hoddle, Hurricane Abjar. Riding horse: 1 Robyn Wilson, Zillion; 2 Caroline Hoddle, Hurricane Abjar; 3 Gayle Culross, Marrus Morse Code. Irish draught: 1 Zoe Guild, Rubix Cube. Cob: 1 Lynn Milby, Jack. Ex-racehorse: 1 Sally Northcott, Roscommon. Heavy horse: 1 Kareen Glennie, Seumas; 2 Kelsey Logan, Hero. Side saddle: 1 Hilary Mackie, Audene Blue Disciplin. Ponies in-hand: Rebecca Bruce, Apollo. Reserve: Conan Lyall, Craigieholm Alice. Youngstock: 1 Rebecca Bruce, Apollo; 2 Chloe Main, Craigieholm Lochinver. Pony: 1 Conan Lyall, Craigieholm Alice. Young handler: 1 Ruby Hall, Jet Set Go; 2 Chloe Main, Craigieholm Lochinver; 3 Conan Lyall, Craigieholm Alice. Local pony: 1 Bethan Whamond, Flora; 2 Linda Robertson, L.A’s Eirian. Ridden ponies: Lucy Craighead, Creevelea Domara. Reserve: Shonah Wood, Follywood Diamonte. Junior turnout: 1 Rosie Barron, Sisco; 2 Ruby Hall, Jet Set Go. Lead rein: 1 Lucy Craighead, Creevelea Domara; 2 Maisy Duncan, Tahuna Caramel; 3 Ellie Coutts, Creevelea Angel Eyes. First ridden: 1 Ami Conchie, Winswood Footprint. Not exc 12h2: 1 Ruby Hall, Jet Set Go. Not exc 13h2: 1 Amy Talbot, Solitaire. Not exc 14h2: 1 Shonah Wood, Follywood Diamonte; 2 Keira Gowans, Mossblown Miss Pippin; 3 Zoe Florence, Hirstmund Merlot. Local pony: 1 Tawnia Duncan, Penucha Thea; 2 Ruby Hall, Jet Set Go; 3 Freya Preston, Shercole Shancee. Pony/riding club: 1 Ellie Coutts, Creevelea Angel Eyes; 2 Ruby Hall, Jet Set Go; 3 Tawnia Duncan, Penucha Thea. Fancy dress: Maisy Duncan, Tahuna Caramel. Working hunter: Donna Webster, Suprime Star. Reserve: Lana Conchie, Aztec Warrior. Lead rein: 1 Lucy Craighead, Craigieholm Tamarind; 2 Maisy Duncan, Tahuna Caramel; 3 Mya Duncan Walker, Harviestoun Romanov. Nursery pony: 1 Amy Talbot, Solitaire; 2 Rosie Edwards, Scorach. Mini pony: 1 Ami Conchie, Wynswood Footprint; 2 Ami Conchie, Naderson Goodwill; 3 Lana Conchie, Aztec Warrior. Mini horse: 1 Kathryn Dawson, Samson Star; 2 Robyn Wilson, Zillion. Novice pony: 1 Lana Conchie, Aztec Warrior; 2 Ami Conchie, Naderson Goodwill; 3 Ami Conchie, Wynswood Footprint. Novice horse: 1 Kathryn Dawson, Samson Star; 2 Catherine Blundell, Abbie; 3 Amy Geddes, Hotspurs High Fidelity. Intermediate pony: 1 Jordan Headspeath, Burnside Seamus; 2 Kerry Richardson, Drambuie Roisbhienn. Intermediate horse: 1 Donna Webster, Suprime Star; 2 Philippa Merry, Woodytwoshoes; 3 Lewis Campbell, Feroda Gold. Open horse: 1 Caroline Hoddle, Hurricane Abjar; 2 Philippa Merry, Woodytwoshoes; 3 Anne Shaw, Bella. Mountain and moorland in-hand: Robin and Karen Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite. Reserve: Cathy Petrie, Bankwell Dizzy Ever. Small breed youngstock: 1 Nicola Luti, Pillheath Angelina; 2 Nina MacDonald Lewis, Houlls Royal Perfection. Small part-bred youngstock: 1 Chloe Main, Craigieholm Lochinver. Small breed adult: 1 Rebecca Bruce, Apollo. Small part-bred adult: 1 Norman McEwan, Penrhoel Bella. Large breed youngstock: 1 Nicola Luti, Glynhir Gwennotta; 2 Jordan Headspeath, Anteallach of Abernethy; 3 F and M Lawson, Waverhead BIK Beauty. Large part-bred youngstock: 1 Cathy Petrie, Bankwell Dizzy Ever; 2 Jacky Niven, Into the Mystic. Large breed adult: 1 Niamh Cameron, Rhys; 2 Kirstie Williams, Usworth Silver Rocket; 3 Linda Robertson, LA’s Eirian. Large part-bred adult: 1 Lesley McNaughton-Wells, KD Wild Billy; 2 Linda Keith, Benson. Highland: 1 Robin and Karen Stewart, Coulnacraig Jacobite; 2 Mary Forsyth, Fourmerk Honey Bee; 3 Bethan Whamond, Flora. M&M under saddle: Lynn and Emma Robertson, Pumphill Tirella. Reserve: Shonah Wood, Merieston Daisy Duke. Lead rein: 1 Lynn and Emma Robertson, Pumphill Tirella; 2 Maisy Duncan, Tahuna Caramel; 3 Lucy Craighead, Craigieholm Tamarind. First ridden: 1 Mya Duncan Walker, Harviestoun Romanov. Small breed: 1 Mya Duncan Walker, Harviestoun Romanov. Small part-bred: 1 Ellie Coutts, Creevelea Angel Eyes. Large breed: 1 Shonah Wood, Merieston Daisy Duke; 2 Amy Green, Craigie Milly; 3 Kirstie Williams, Usworth Silver Rocket. Large part-bred: 1 Rebecca Ling, Hollie. Highland: 1 Jordan Headspeath, Burnside Seamus; 2 Kirsty Smith, Ruban Ceo. Coloured: Lesley McNaughton-Wells, KD Wild Billy. Reserve: Tina Moro, The Highway Man. Youngstock in-hand: 1 Tina Moro, The Highway Man. Pony in-hand: 1 Georgia Robertson, Free Spirit; 2 Sammy Johnson, Houdim Harry; 3 Norman McEwan, Penrheol Bella. Horse in-hand: 1 Lesley McNaughton-Wells, KD Wild Billy; 2 Zoe Guild, Rubix Cube. Ridden pony: 1 Shonah Wood, Follywood Diamonte; 2 Tina Moro, Jack Daniels; 3 Sarah Fish, The Fortune Teller. Ridden horse: 1 Gayle Culross, Marrus Morse Code; 2 Kelsey Logan, Hero; 3 Zoe Guild, Rubix Cube. Appaloosa: Ruth McLean, Capitall Quinn. Reserve: Sue Rore, Lindertis Doubletake. In-hand: 1 Ruth McLean, Capitall Quinn; 2 Jude Taylor, It’s Winchester 73; 3 Sue Rore, Lindertis Doubletake. Ridden: 1 Ruth McLean, Capitall Quinn; 2 Sue Rore, Lindertis Doubletake; 3 Jude Taylor, It’s Winchester 73. Palomino: Lucy Craighead, Creevelea Domara. Reserve: Jenni Ross, Fearless Fenton. In-hand: 1 Jenni Ross, Fearless Fenton; 2 Gail Forman, Falla. Ridden: 1 (equal) Gail Forman, Falla and Lucy Craighead, Creevelea Domara. Traditional Gypsy cob: Sammy Johnson, Houdini Harry. Reserve: Lynn Milby, Jack. In-hand: 1 Sammy Johnson, Houdini Harry. Ridden: 1 Lynn Milby, Jack; 2 Sarah Fish, The Fortune Teller. Arabs: Vanessa Robertson, Shabana Excellaya. Reserve: Hilary Mackie, Audene Blue Disciplin. In-hand part-bred: 1 Hilary Mackie, Audene Blue Disciplin. Ridden part-bred: 1 Vanessa Robertson, Shabana Excellaya; 2 Hilary Mackie, Audene Blue Disciplin. Foreign breeds: Michaela Watt, Zeus. Reserve: Ruth McLean, Blacklaw Xpresso. In-hand: 1 Ruth McLean, Blacklaw Xpresso; 2 Michaela Watt, Zeus. Ridden horse: 1 Michaela Watt, Zeus; 2 Ruth McLean, Blacklaw Xpresso. Veteran: Katie Blewitt, Solus of Marisland. Reserve: Amy Marshall, Rufus. In-hand pre-veteran: 1 Katie Blewitt, Solus of Marisland; 2 Georgia Robertson, Belan Delight; 3 Diana Findlay, Scole Virginia. In-hand veteran: 1 Tracy Van Someron, Singleton Ruby; 2 Gail Forman, Falla; 3 Meliisa McPherson, Fergus of Allnacailleach. Ridden pre-veteran: 1 Katie Blewitt, Solus of Marisland; 2 Kathryn Dawson, Samson Star; 3 Diana Findlay, Scole Virginia. Ridden veteran: 1 Catherine Blundell, Abbie; 2 Tracy Van Someron, Singleton Ruby; 3 Gail Forman, Falla. Ridden veteran plus: 1 Amy Marshall, Rufus.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

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

Angus & The Mearns

Shared headship move to be permanent in Kirriemuir

February 27 2017

Two Angus schools will continue to share a head teacher on a permanent basis — despite staff and parents voicing concerns. Councillors on the children and learning committee confirmed the shared headship as a permanent appointment after the results of a formal consultation were disclosed. The committee was told focus groups responded positively but this contrasted with the parent questionnaire where 60% were not in favour of the shared campus model at Webster’s High and Southmuir Primary in Kirriemuir while 67% of staff were also against the change in school leadership being made permanent. However, only 27 families from a possible 921 responded to the questionnaire and the feedback rate was also low among staff with only 55 of 156 employees returning the questionnaire. The questionnaire for pupils supported the views of the focus groups with 76% (136 children) of respondents in favour of the shared campus model continuing on a permanent basis. Convener Sheena Welsh said the pupils were very happy with the arrangement and the head teacher was very keen to continue with the current arrangement. She said the parent council was happy, the parents who came to the meetings were very happy and there had only been “a very small negative response”. She recommended that a permanent appointment was made and her comments were echoed by Kirriemuir councillor Ronnie Proctor who said the children, staff and parents “all see the benefits of this”. Councillors agreed to make the arrangement permanent at Webster’s and Southmuir which are both situated in a shared plot. Webster’s has had two head teachers within the past ten years period while Southmuir has had three substantive head teachers and three acting head teachers. In September 2015, the substantive head teacher, who had been in post at Southmuir for two years, successfully secured a post with another local authority. Discussions were held with the outgoing head teacher at Southmuir and the current head teacher at Webster’s and it was felt that Webster’s and Southmuir might provide an opportunity for the development of a shared campus model. The head teacher at Webster’s took on the temporary additional role of acting head teacher at Southmuir in October 2015 and will now continue in that campus headship role. Pauline Stephen, Head of Schools and Learning, said: “The children and young people of Webster’s High School and Southmuir Primary School are largely in favour of making the joint campus a permanent arrangement. “Staff and parents who responded to the survey, are less optimistic about this change although the data gathered from both groups was small. “There is therefore no clear shared view about the future of the campus headship.” The management structures within the acting Campus Headship model results in an overall saving of £5,214.


New health and social care director appointed in Fife

May 18 2016

A new director of Fife’s health and social care partnership will take up post in August. Michael Kellet, currently director of healthcare strategy at the Scottish Government, will replace the retiring Sandy Riddell and will be accountable to the NHS Fife board and Fife Council, as well as the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary. With over 20 years’ experience of working in government in Scotland, Mr Kellet has taken on a range of key roles over the years, including private secretary to three separate ministers, policy lead on flagship pieces of legislation and a key role representing Scotland abroad. Councillor Andrew Rodger, chair of the partnership’s Intergration Joint Board (IJB), recognised the work done by Mr Riddell and added: “Michael’s appointment marks a major new milestone and his wealth of experience will now drive forward our ambitious plans for the transformation of services and the benefits it can bring for the people of Fife. “I look forward to working with him as we all take forward transformation in Fife together.” Fife is one of the largest partnerships with over 5,000 staff and a joint budget of around £470 million.


£10,400 award for woman who tripped on paving stone left faulty for over a year

May 15 2015

A woman has been awarded more than £10,000 after a fall caused by an uneven paving slab in Dundee city centre. Annie Webster, 60, won her case against Dundee City Council after the court ruled the authority failed to notice a defect on Dock Street for more than a year. She injured her right wrist in the accident, which took place in 2012. Sheriff Lorna Drummond ruled that the council should pay damages of £13,000 for the injury suffered as a result of its negligence. However, the award was reduced to £10,400 because it was ruled Ms Webster did not exercise “reasonable care and attention” herself. The court heard how on the afternoon of November 6 2012, Ms Webster had been in the street waiting for her ex-partner when she turned and tripped on a raised paving stone. The paving stone was loose and uneven, and was more than an inch (25mm) proud at its highest point. Dundee City Council roads maintenance inspects the road every four weeks, and records defects, including uneven footpaths of more than 20mm. Giving evidence to the hearing, the department’s area supervisor admitted that action should have been taken. The court heard the defect had been in the pavement for at least a year before Ms Webster fell and the area was inspected the day before the incident. Other witnesses included members of the council’s legal team and other Dock Street residents. Ms Webster’s solicitor, William Boyle, argued that there was an obvious danger in the paving being in that condition and that it had clearly deteriorated over a long period of time. Sheriff Drummond ruled that the council had a duty to take reasonable care to carry out inspections of public footpaths and that this did not happen on this occasion. However, she further ruled that by turning around immediately before she fell, Ms Webster had contributed to her own accident and was therefore liable for 20%.

Angus & The Mearns

Teenagers reported to Children’s Panel

January 30 2014

Two teenagers have been reported to the Children’s Panel following an alleged assault. Police confirmed two children were charged in relation to an incident at Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir, on January 20. Officers visited the school and confiscated two iPhones, footage from which was described by PC Gail Beattie as showing a “kangaroo court”. Video of the alleged attack, understood to have taken place at Kirrie Den, was downloaded by officers. PCs Beattie and Alan Bell addressed children at Webster’s High School this week, warning pupils of the consequences of such actions. They have vowed to get tough on those tempted to film similar incidents and have threatened Antisocial Behaviour Orders. PC Beattie said: “We have had a report today of another alleged assault which has been recorded, and are also investigating two trees which were cut down in Kirrie Den at the weekend by someone using a saw.”