Coun­cil needs to pro­tect its nat­u­ral as­sets

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - COMMENT -

Sir, – I am re­ally cross that Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil has failed to tidy up the Meik­leour Beech Hedge, as re­ported in The Courier.

I first wrote to the then provost who rep­re­sented Blair­gowrie about the state of the hedge in June 2016 and was told, as you re­port now, that there was a prob­lem with the landowner.

Fail­ing to main­tain such a valu­able as­set to the lo­cal com­mu­nity and the na­tion is the sort of be­hav­iour that puts peo­ple who in­herit vast es­tates in the spot­light and will no doubt lead to so­cial­ist land own­er­ship re­form.

How­ever, this is also yet an­other as­pect of our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ col­lec­tive fail­ure to act to pre­serve or ex­ploit an im­por­tant lo­cal as­set. They seem able to spend tens of mil­lions of pounds on projects in or­der to bask in their glory, yet are un­able to use those pow­ers to main­tain or pro­mote oth­ers.

There are statu­tory pow­ers avail­able to them to main­tain road­side verges and trees. The cost, re­cov­er­able from the tree own­ers or not, is neg­li­gi­ble along­side the cost of re­fur­bish­ment of the City Cham­bers, Perth The­atre or Mill Street.

This ne­glect, like that of the City Hall, St Paul’s Church and the nu­mer­ous build­ings in Perth city cen­tre with veg­e­ta­tion grow­ing all over, tran­scends the watch of coun­cils of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal colours, so is it the fault of the paid of­fi­cials?

Our coun­cil needs to tidy up the hedge, erect signs ad­vis­ing mo­torists they are not just en­ter­ing a dark old wood, tidy up the layby, re-erect signs telling the his­tory of the hedge and pro­mote this world-renowned fea­ture as a tourist at­trac­tion.

Maybe one day we will also see pro­mo­tion of Dun­si­nane Hill. I show it off to ev­ery­one who vis­its me from far and wide, but its lo­ca­tion ap­pears to be a closely guarded se­cret in Pullar House and 3-5 High Street. Alas­tair H An­der­son. Bell­wood Park, Perth.

Pic­ture: Steve Macdougall.

One cor­re­spon­dent is ‘cross’ that the coun­cil has failed to tidy up the Meik­leour Beech Hedge.

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