Richard Watt, The Courier

Richard Watt

The Courier

Angus, ON, Canada

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Past articles by Richard:

Council leader vows to tread carefully following Travellers' eviction decision

A council leader has promised to handle the impending eviction of a St Cyrus Travelling community as a “sensitive situation”. Last week, Scottish ministers refused planning permission for an unauthorised Travellers’ site at North Esk Park near St Cyrus. The estate has substantially expanded since the first temporary homes appeared in September 2013. After refusing permissions and instigating […] → Read More

Angus celebration of Burns features tribute to late MSP

A poignant tribute to one of north-east Scotland’s most respected politicians took place during a ceremony in Angus this weekend. Hillside hosts a yearly pilgrimage to a spot with links to national poet Robert Burns, who undertook a “Highland tour” of the region in 1787. The tribute highlights the links between Burns, the Mearns birthplace […] → Read More

St Cyrus Travellers decision 'disappointing for all' says group

The decision to clear out a controversial Mearns Traveller site has been criticised as “disappointing for all” by a human rights group. North Esk Park near St Cyrus was developed virtually overnight in 2013, prompting a four-year argument between residents concerned at increased flood risk and Travellers fighting for their right to remain. Aberdeenshire Council […] → Read More

Under-occupied Angus primary schools could face closure

Parents will be asked what to do with emptying Angus schools as the local authority considers closures as part of a 30-year strategy. Several of Arbroath’s primaries are being rebuilt with tens of millions of pounds from the Scottish Government, alongside new secondaries for Forfar and Brechin. But several outlying schools are costing taxpayers up […] → Read More

No plans for prosecution a year after woman’s tragic death in Arbroath road accident

The Crown Office has confirmed there will be no prosecution over an accident that claimed the life of an Angus pensioner last year. Barbara Stormont from Arbroath was knocked over in the town’s Keptie Street exactly a year ago. The 81-year-old was rushed to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee under police escort but died from her injuries. […] → Read More

Drink-driver was in night-time Arbroath crash without lights

An Angus drink-driver hit an oncoming car after the occupants gave her a no-lights warning, a court heard. Pensioner Jemima Spurway, from Arbroath, was seen driving without her lights on at 11.30pm last month. But when oncoming motorists tried to flash her into switching on her beams, she drove into their car. The 73-year-old first […] → Read More

Financial effects of Storm Frank still being felt in the Mearns

The repercussions of a catastrophic storm are still being felt in the Mearns, 21 months after it wreaked a trail of destruction across the region. Storm Frank swept the country on December 30 2015, bringing torrential rain that flooded homes and destroyed roads across Angus and Aberdeenshire for more than a week afterwards. The Mearns […] → Read More

Men caught with counterfeit notes in Angus

Angus police caught two men with almost £1,000 in counterfeit notes, a court heard. Michael Thomas Summers and Ian Alfred Cleeton were carrying 98 fake Bank of Scotland notes when they were intercepted on the outskirts of Montrose earlier this year. Cleeton, from Milngavie, appeared at an intermediate diet at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted […] → Read More

Angus waste costs ‘will become horrendous’

The leader of Angus Council has warned the cost of keeping the county’s recycling centres open will “pale into insignificance” next to spiralling waste disposal fees. Councillor Bob Myles’ administration was last week criticised over steps to delay the axe falling on Monifieth recycling centre, along with other money-saving changes, for 12 months. In 2016 […] → Read More

Merlin pilot gives Arbroath pupils a course in higher learning

Angus secondary school pupils have been given a flying visit by Royal Navy helicopters as part of their higher learning. Arbroath High School is taking part in Maths Weeks Scotland and pupils were delighted to welcome Merlin pilot Lieutenant Morris in Keptie Road. Lt Morris gave the children a lesson in aviation mathematics before taking […] → Read More

Arbroath bus service changes fail to find favour with locals

The residents of an Angus town are feeling run down over changes to bus services. Stagecoach East Scotland made changes to a number of its Angus routes last week, which has not gone down well with some locals in Arbroath who have complained straightforward routes are now more winding. The firm has said it has […] → Read More

Angus appeal after traditional band lose everything in fire

An Angus fundraiser has been launched to support a touring band after their gear was destroyed in an arson attack. Scottish folk group Hò-Rò were left without instruments and other equipment after a fire near Ibrox stadium in Glasgow on Wednesday. Forfar-based charity event company EPL Events made an appeal to help their friends, who […] → Read More

Royal baby news puts teacher's pregnancy sickness fight back on the agenda

A Tayside teacher is helping in the fight against a potentially life-threatening illness that affects thousands of pregnant women each year. Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) hit the headlines when the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton battled the condition during her first two pregnancies and was hospitalised when expecting George in 2012. With this week’s news that Kate […] → Read More

'No foregone conclusion' ahead of another Angus recycling D-Day

An Angus village will not host a “superskip” combining two town recycling centres, a meeting heard last night. Angus Council needs to save £250,000 from its recycling budget and last year the SNP administration supported recommendations to close the Monifieth skip and merge Forfar and Kirriemuir, possibly at Padanaram. The incoming Conservative-independent administration recently forged […] → Read More

Angus councillors urged to say “enough is enough” at job cuts meeting

The newly elected members of Angus Council have been urged not to back plans to slash the workforce by up to 800 full-time posts on Thursday. The local authority will debate its new workforce strategy at a meeting of the full council in Forfar at 2pm. Announcing the strategy, council leader Bob Myles said the challenges […] → Read More

Brechin dog ban man ‘richly’ deserves prison, says sheriff

A frustrated sheriff told a Brechin man who flouted a dog ownership ban after previously inciting his pet to attack a police officer he “richly” deserved a prison term — but that legislation left him unable to hand down such a sentence. Paul McRorie from Brechin was forbidden from keeping a dog for 10 years […] → Read More

Gumtree debate in trial of Tayside puppy sales accused

The trial of a Tayside woman accused of selling puppies without a licence yesterday heard 65-year-old legislation may not cover online sales. Jaimie Colquhoun from Dundee was approached by Scottish SPCA detectives investigating reports of puppies dying shortly after they were sold in 2015. She appeared on trial at Forfar Sheriff Court on Tuesday, facing […] → Read More

BREAKING: Serious road accident in Brechin

Emergency services are in attendance at a serious road accident in Brechin. Police and ambulance personnel are in the process of closing the road at Drumachlie Loan, next to the A935 main road to Montrose. A police spokeswoman said: “We were notified of an accident at 3.20pm and officers are in attendance. “Investigations are ongoing.” […] → Read More

Angus Council to cut 800 jobs over three years

Angus Council will shrink its workforce by up to 800 staff over the next three years, it emerged today. The local authority has published a workforce plan containing its agenda for the years 2018 to 2021, with office staff most at risk. It states that Scottish Government policy to increase early years provision will lead […] → Read More

Angus-wide project to tackle loneliness

The most vulnerable and lonely people in Angus will be able to call on a new befriending service. Care About Angus are set to roll out a new befriending service across the county as they bid to tackle the issue of loneliness. Statistics released last September by the Scottish Government report Loneliness In Scotland showed […] → Read More