Tag Archives: Montrose

Plans to repair Esk Road footpath in Ferryden welcome #Montrose

Angus Lib Dems are backing proposals by Angus Council officers to repair the Esk Road Coastal Path in Ferryden.  Due to coastal erosion and the resultant safety concerns the very popular coastal path has been closed, for many, many months. 

I back the hard work which has been put in by the council to reinstate the previous line of timber wall and path along the section affected by the erosion. I am aware that local walkers will be delighted when the coastal path finally re-opens due to its popularity

Sanjay Samani and David May visit damaged footpath

Lib Dem Cllr David May said,

“A number of people in the area have spoken to me about this as it is a path much used by local walkers and I have been regularly in touch with council officers for it to be re-opened. However, it has taken them time to establish ownership as well as developing a coastal defence structure which would provide increased protection against further erosion of land, and reduce the risks to the reinstated Core Path, as well as other local assets and infrastructure, including utilities and rail.”

“The good news is that most of the planning of what is needed to reinstate the path has now been done, and the roads staff are now in the position of currently seeking formal consent from the statutory bodies and the landowner to carry out the  proposed works.” 

See more on this story at the Montrose Review by clicking here

Honoured to be selected as Angus candidate for 2015 General Election

Angus Liberal Democrats have reselected me to be their candidate for next year’s General Election.  I have campaigned on behalf of Angus residents for many years and as candidate at the 2010 General Election and again at the 2011 Scottish Elections.  
 
It is a real honour to be selected to represent the Angus Lib Dems again and I would like to thank the members for their continued support.
 
Angus & Mearns Select Sanjay Samani as their General Election candidate
 
There has been a clear message from voters in every election since 2010.  We are all fed up with the the same old politics, where our voices are not heard and we feel we cannot make a difference.
 
Angus voters made it very clear that we want to remain part of the UK at the Independence Referendum, but also that we want the way we do politics to change.  All political parties are committed to further devolution to Scotland and, as a Lib Dem MP, I would work for Home Rule for Scotland.
 
But that does not go far enough.
 
Only the Lib Dems are both committed to changing politics and could also be in government to force through the changes we all need.  Labour and the Tories have repeatedly blocked change.  The SNP cannot and will not be part of the government.  The Lib Dems gave you a say on voting change, but our plans for giving you real power to sack your MP, clean up money in politics and having an elected House of Lords have all been blocked, by hard right wing Tories and Labour – desperate to hold on to power.
 
With only 6 MPs, the SNP cannot make a difference and as they are determined to split our country apart, are not worried about how Westminster is run.
 
Only with a Scottish Lib Dem can people in Angus be confident that their MP is working for real change to make sure their voice is heard.
 
Montrose Lib Dem Cllr David May welcomed my selection, saying,
 
“Sanjay has backed keys campaigns in Angus and in particular the Montrose area.  This includes better funding for flood prevention and coastal erosion across Angus and the need to back plans to develop the Harbour here in Montrose.  He has backed small businesses, the need to reinstate traffic wardens and backed the need to ban Legal Highs.”
 
Sanjay has also criticised the SNP for their huge cuts on college places, closure of our police counters and lack of action on a flyover at Laurencekirk. 
 
“Sanjay understands that all MPs should work hard on local issues for their constituents, but that they also need to drive through changes at Westminster so that our views are heard.  All too often SNP MPs sit on their hands on Westminster issues because they are only worried about independence. Angus voters gave a huge majority for being part of the UK and they need an MP who can and will deliver more powers for Scotland and clean up politics at Westminster.” 
 
Chair of the Angus & Mearns Lib Dems, Clive Sneddon said,
 
“Sanjay is a worthy candidate and I am delighted that he has agreed to represent the party again at the General Election. Sanjay has stood up for families working in Angus and the elderly. He will work hard to represent everyone in Angus at Westminster.”
 

Save Our Police Campaign Launch

Angus North and Mearns Liberal Democrats launched a local  campaign to Save Our Police this week-end across the constituency.

Reacting to plans by all three other major parties to centralise the police to a single force, Sanjay Samani, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Angus North and Mearns, commented:

“In my view the fight against crime in Scotland is now under threat from plans by the SNP and the other parties to centralise our police. Under their plans local police forces would be disbanded and every police officer would be allocated according to national directions not local policing need.”

“I am particularly concerned that by creating a national police force, the chief constable will come under the political control of a government minister and will lose their links with local communities.

“In addition, the cost of centralisation, building a new HQ and new IT systems will costs a fortune and will cost police jobs. The SNP has refused to answer repeated questions about how much their plans will cost, fuelling fears that police officers will lose their jobs to pay for the changes. Some chief constables have estimated it could cost the jobs of 4,000 police officers.”

Angus and Mearns Liberal Democrats want to keep policing local, help the local police to work with the local community and to keep the number of officers high.

“In the course of the next few weeks we will be distributing thousands of leaflets about our campaign across the constituency,” Sanjay continued, “and I would urge residents to sign and return our petition by Freepost, so their voice can be heard.”

“You can also support the campaign on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurPolice.”

Commenting on the proposals to centralise police decision making, by Holyrood, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott said:

“This is a slippery slope to one police force. For 150 years people in this democracy have worried about the government gaining political operational control over policing. The First Minister refuses to see that a National Police Board, appointed without debate in this Parliament – and with no basis in law – moves us down that dangerous road.”

“We need a police service that is responsive to local needs not subject to central diktat and centrally imposed targets.”

Sanjay Samani visiting Forfar police station with Cllr David May

Angus Lib Dems renew calls for Government support to halt coastal erosion in Montrose

Following the recent bad weather, Angus Liberal Democrats have renewed their calls for the Scottish Government to do more to help protect Montrose from coastal erosion.  There has been further erosion at Montrose Golf Course, which is the 5th oldest in the world and will celebrate its 450th year in just two years time.

Reacting to news of further erosion at the Golf Course and along the coast, Sanjay Samani, Lib Dem campaigner for Angus and Mearns said:

“I was shocked to hear from Montrose Cllr David May this morning that there has been further erosion at Montrose Golf Course.  I visited the course with Alison McInnes, Lib Dem MSP for the North East, just three weeks ago to inspect the damage.”

“The SNP have scrapped a special flood funding scheme introduced by the previous Lib Dem / Labour administration.  They have largely left Councils to fund such schemes from their own budgets.”

“With both coastal erosion and flooding, the SNP Government have focussed on funding warning systems.  While the new warning systems are worthwhile, they do not replace the need for investment to protect our coastline”

“The SNP have not allocated enough money to properly tackle coastal erosion and so risk losing an important part of Scotland’s sporting heritage.  The golf course is all that stands between Montrose and the risk of damage to the town.”

Montrose Cllr David May commented, “This morning, I inspected the impact of the recent bad weather on the coastline at Montrose Golf Course. There has been further erosion, especially at some of the more vulnerable holes.”

“I call on the Scottish SNP Government for help, so that hard cash is allocated to help deal with coastal erosion.  And furthermore, the SNP needs to change policy on the way it allocates funding.”

“With more bad weather forecast for the coming weekend, there are obviously concerns about the impact on the course if there is further erosion.”

Sanjay visiting Montrose Beach with Alison McInnes MSP

Fears Angus and Mearns will lose out due to SNP Flooding policy

Worries have emerged as part of a recent consultation response to Scottish Government plans, which will shape the nation’s future flood management response, with Angus Lib Dem Cllr David May claiming rural areas such as Angus and Mearns look certain to lose out.

The SNP government’s Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 has been described as a “big step forward … providing a unique opportunity to shape new ways of working and creating a modern, sustainable approach to flood management fit for the 21st century.”

A number of Angus communities have suffered flood misery in recent years and, at a time when major financial challenges face councils, Angus infrastructure services convener David May has attacked the way money is dished out for flood schemes.  Presently under this government, funding depends on the number of properties directly affected.

Mr May said:

“The funding formula means that urban areas — by their very nature more densely populated — are going to be advantaged and areas such as Angus and Mearns will lose out.

“Having in the past year regularly visited areas affected by flooding, I call on the Scottish government to reconsider their policy.”

“Given financial pressures facing councils, so it is more important than ever to make sure we receive adequate funding and do not lose out just because of our location and population.”

Highlighting the specific across Angus, Mr May continued,

“In March this year Angus Council agreed some short term measures to improve the Barry Burn Flood Protection Scheme. However, although these short term measures have been met from the council’s roads budget it is unlikely the Council will be able to fund the potential longer term solutions under investigation for Carnoustie.”

“A similar situation exists in Arbroath, which experienced significant flooding beyond the usual risk areas. The removal of the dedicated government grant scheme has thrown plans for flood protection schemes into complete disarray.  Added to this, is the confusion created by the phased introduction of the new Flood Risk Management Act (2009) which changes local authorities’ responsibilities and powers.”

“We are doing what we can locally – today we will be discussing the latest report on the Brechin Flood Protection Scheme. Although this is a relatively modest scheme by national standards, it still comes with a price tag of £13m. Flooding needs to be considered at a national level, as the resources required to properly address it are clearly beyond the financial means of local government.”

Sanjay Samani, Liberal Democrat North East Regional Candidate added his support for Mr May’s comments, saying:

“By funding the new flood prevention schemes for the new act based on population, the SNP Government is being too simplistic.  They have announced funding for a new Flood Forecasting Service.  The information from this service must be used to target central government funding for flood prevention.”

PHOTO: Sanjay Samani and Cllr David May visit the site of flooding in Brechin with Provost Ruth Leslie Melville:
Sanjay Samani visiting flooding site in Brechin

Angus Liberal Democrats Back Community Councils

 

Responding to the suggestion by Arbroath Cllr David Fairweather that Community Councils be disbanded, Liberal Democrat campaigners for Angus, added their support for the great work done by Community Councils.

Sanjay Samani, campaigner for Angus and Mearns, said:

“As secretary of Alyth Community Council, I am fully aware of the crucial role they play in local communities.”

“In particular, Community Councillors do a huge amount of work on a purely voluntary basis.  They organise a tremendous amount of events, discussions and fund raising for local people.  In Alyth, sub groups set up by the Community Council are responsible for the Christmas Lights, the Gala and parade, youth activities, management of the Town Hall and a community consultation on long term plans for the town.  These are just some of the things that Community Councils are responsible for, all across Angus.”

“All this unpaid work done on a voluntary basis would have to be taken up by the Council at considerably more expense than the nominal savings Cllr Fairweather’s suggestion would make.”

Montrose Councillor David May said:

“I visit three Community Councils on a regular basis.  They represent the cross section of opinions to their local councillors and act as a key liaison with Council officials, local police, schools, residents associations and healthcare providers.  They are a weather vane for residents’ opinions on key planning applications and on long term planning for their areas.”

“Without the voluntary work done by them, Council officials would have their work cut out to make sure that their decisions are democratic and represent the views of everyday people.”

Kirriemuir Councillor Alison Andrews commented:

“Having attended my local Community Councils, disbanding them would be a huge loss to communities.  They would lose the strong voice they have with local service providers, with Angus Councillors and Angus Council as a whole.”

“It is really important that residents are able to raise local issues without involving any party politics and it is vital that communities continue to have their say.”