Councillors slam lack of civic pride

THE loss of “civic pride” spawned much debate at last month’s meeting of Forfar Community Council, with the state of the Royal Hotel in the town centre coming in for some harsh criticism.

So, too, did the council’s maintenance of the former Chapelpark Primary School grounds, as well as the ever-increasing appearance of weeds throughout the town.

Members felt Oxford Hotels and Inns, owners of the nearby Carnoustie Golf Hotel, were letting the people of Forfar down by their lack of maintenance of the Royal. The pend leading through to the car park was in a poor state, but it was the canopy at the front door which caused the most concern.

They also hit out at weeds growing on roads and pavements throughout the town, with one community councillor revealing he had spent the day “weeding my street”.

He said: “The town is a disgrace with weeds - at the end of the day all we want is value for money.”

Chairman Mrs Isobel Ross said it was an “insult” to the people of Forfar, as well as tourists.

Whilst she noted the graffiti on the Peter Reid statue in the Reid Park had been cleaned, the band-stand had not.

She said: “The park is on the Common Good Fund - the money is there - it’s just another case of nobody’s bothering and neglect. It’s just not on. I’m sorry, this is Forfar, this is my town, and I am going to start beating the drum a lot louder.”

The steps at the East and Old and the graveyard, again on the common good, needed regular attention with a call made for “basic maintenance”.

Members felt the council had a civic duty to properly maintain the former Chapelpark School, whether it was occupied or not, and ensure it did not go into a state of disrepair. That included tending to the weeds on a weekly basis.

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Recent EU legislation has changed the type of weedkiller which we are able to apply to the areas of our towns and villages that we regularly treat. We are now only able to apply contact weedkiller to visible weed growth, and this treatment requires a number of rain-free hours to follow application. We have been hampered in our efforts to deal with weeds due to the recent heavy rainfalls, but are about to start of a round of re-applications soon, throughout Angus.

“The former Chapelpark School grounds will be regularly maintained until such time as the property is sold.

“The graffiti on the Peter Reid statue was removed several weeks ago and the bandstand is due to be cleaned shortly.

“At East and Old Parish Church, the steps and ground are maintained by the council. Weedkilling has been carried out and has taken effect. Work on the cement of the steps was carried out last autumn but may have been affected by the severe winter weather. We will look into the condition of the steps and assess the need for any repairs.”