Smith Commission Asking For Peoples Views On Further Power For Scotland

Have your say on the future of Scotland.  Information is on the Smith Commission website as to how to put forward your ideas and comments on the further devolution powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Lord Smith has been tasked with convening cross-party talks to produce, by 30 November 2014, Heads of Agreement with recommendations for further devolution of powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the UK. As part of that, Lord Smith wants to hear from you about your views on what could be devolved.

If you wish to put forward your points then the website to start with is the Smith Commission which gives information as to how you can do this.

You only have until 31st October 2014 so start writing now to ensure you get your views heard.


This is a link to the page which gives information on how to put forward any points or ideas that you have.


Average Speed Cameras Go Live In October

The new average speed cameras on the A9 throughout the area will be going live on 28th October according to the A9 Safety Group.  This means that from Dunblane to Inverness there will be average speed cameras throughout most of the journey.

In the local area this means that on the dual carriageway cars and car derived vans are at the national speed limit of 70mph.

However, if you travel north on the A9 and reach one of the overtaking lanes, this is a 60mph for most vehicles.  It is not classed as dual carriageway.

It may be that getting to Perth or Stirling will cost a little more time if there are lorries trying to overtake one another whilst keeping to the speed limit which for them is 50mph.

So from the 28th October, the average speed cameras on the A9 will be live.


Career Opportunity

A vacancy has arisen for a Reservations/Receptionist at the award winning Duchally Country Estate.

Previous experience is preferred but full training will be given.  Must be computer literate.

Required for 4 shifts in a 7 day week including evenings and weekends.

Duties include – to be the focal point of all contact with visitors, including answering the phone, dealing with faxes, emails and taking reservations.  You will be required to provide an excellent customer service at all times.

The position also involves managing reservations to ensure revenue is maximised.  Liaising with external businesses and monitoring third party websites.

Previous applicants need not reapply.


If you are interested in this position please email a covering letter to attaching a current CV.



Community Christmas Event

It’s back and it promises to be a fantastic event again this year.  Now in it’s 3rd Year, the Auchterarder Community Christmas Event will take place on Sunday 30th December 2014.

A time for the whole community to get together and enjoy a little Festive Cheer as we bring together local businesses and crafters to help kickstart your Christmas shopping in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

So make a note in your diary for Sunday 30th November and come join us in celebrating the beginning of the Festive Season.

Issue one pic

Keep On Being Involved

In the two weeks since the Referendum, what have those who campaigned for both sides been doing?

Not those activists that are politically affiliated, what about those from the grass roots level who got involved?  Those who for the first time decided that this issue was important enough for them to vote.  With a turnout of over 80% for the referendum, there are many who were involved on both sides of the coin, what are they doing now?

From having a chance to make a choice in their future, everything seems to have gone back to the way it was before.  “You’ve done your bit now leave it to us professional politicians”.  A less than subtle way of being told to keep out.

For those who enjoyed that involvement and are not happy to sit back and watch the ususal suspects carry on as before, here are a couple of suggestions.

Attend meetings – There are meetings all over the place.  One of the best to attend is your local Community Council meeting.  Normally there is a representative or two from your District Council there which means you can ask questions and see what is happening in your area.  You should be able to find out about your Community Council on your District Council web page.

In recent years some Community Councils have been struggling for members, however it is a community group that is consulted by the District Council on many things.  So if you want know what is going on and have some input to your community, then go to these meetings.  They normally discuss things like planning, community projects, parking, policing etc.

If you want to make a difference to your local community then this is the place to start.  Questions are taken from members of the public at these meetings, usually at the end of the meeting.  This means that if there is some research to be done they can do it before the next meeting, where the point you raised should be put forward with answers or at least a suggestion of where answers can be found.

Also check and see if there is a local residents committee or something similar.  These groups can also have a say in what happens in local communities.  Town hall groups are another place where you can find a wealth of information about what is going on locally.

So if you were involved in the build up to the Referendum, why not continue being involved.  Maybe by starting at the grass roots level you can ensure that you and those you know are kept involved and help make changes for the better in your local community.


Faith In Local Traders Renewed

In this week of all weeks, I have seen so many places increase charges, reduce variety and much more to gain as much as possible out of the influx of tourists.

I was therefore absolutely delighted to have my faith in my local traders renewed by a visit to my local garage.

My friend had driven up from London and was due to return this weekend.  Unfortunately there appeared to be a problem with the car during his stay.  Keen to get it sorted out before starting his drive home I called John from Auto and Plant Garage Services in Hunter Street.

John was very understanding of the phone call which gave him very little information apart from my desire to get this car fixed, it had to drive to London and it was making a noise.  He offered to have a look that day and if it was possible he would fix it the next day.

As good as his word, it is now the next day, the car is fixed and will happily make it’s way back to London tomorrow.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the efforts John made to ensure things worked out and his professionalism in still being my local garage when he could have taken advantage of our need for this car to be fixed.

I take my hat of to him and his desire to be a good local garage who treats the customer right.

USA Team Photocall-2010 Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup Arriving In Auchterarder




Friends of Aytoun Hall

Keeping the Heart in our Community









Friends of Aytoun Hall Tombola & Raffle

Latest update on access, parking & public transport routes during the Ryder Cup

Piping in the Ryder Cup at around 11am

See the Ryder Cup & take ‘selfies’

Raffle of golfing goodies

Ryder Cup Programmes for sale in aid of Friends of St Margaret’s Hospital

Refreshments & Home Bakes £2.50


Bring On The Ice Bucket Challenges

Isn’t it fabulous that the Ice Bucket Challenges to raise money for charity have taken off so well? Most of the people I know have done one or more and Facebook is covered with videos of people getting wet.

No matter what charity you are making your donation to, the fact that there has been such a worldwide uptake of this challenge which has helped raise so much money has to be a good thing.

In these times of foodbanks and zero hours contracts there are many who are struggling to make ends meet. That so many people have come together in taking the challenge is heartening to see and the donations will make such a difference to the charity of their choice.

I have seen in recent days a small number of negative reports about these challenges.  Some saying that the challenges should not be done and people should just donate time or money etc without becoming involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Why would you be negative about something that has done so much for good causes?

How or why the donations are given is not really what this is about, it is about donations being made which would not normally have been made.  So if a crazy challenge which is in itself relatively safe, has caught the public’s imagination, I say “go for it”.  Any donations to charity are welcome so there is no reason to denigrate the method or intention behind them.

So to all those who have known that fully clothed, soaking feeling and to those who have yet to experience it, I say well done.  Remember to donate and enjoy being part of a world wide phenomenon that just may increase donations to charity for some time to come.


Keep An Eye On Your Meter Readings

Last year my electricity payments were supposed to be increased by £50 per month.  As you can imagine I was not terribly impressed with this thought and declined to keep my direct debit in place.

I continued to pay the same amount as I had before but did it by debit card every month on payday.  The payments were made without fail however because payment was not made by direct debit I was seen as a payment risk and got warning letters pretty much every month about being behind in the amount payable.  I pretty much ignored them as I was paying £150 per month which for a 2 bedroom semi is quite sufficient I feel

Eventually after almost a year of this, the electricity company started threatening to cut off my supply and actually sent someone to the house to cut off the supply.  I eventually went online and checked my readings etc.

It turned out that the reason I was so far behind in payments was that the last 3 readings had been estimates.  I guess that’s what happens if you are working most days and not sitting in waiting for the meter reader.

On taking my own readings, the actual reading was less than the first estimate.

Obviously I called the electricity company and got this fixed, it turns out my monthly payment should only increase by £6 per month.  Happy with that I set up a direct debit for that amount.

A few months later, I suddenly had less money available in my debit account than I expected.  I went online to check it out and found that the electricity company had again estimated my usage and increased the payment to £208 per month instead of the £156 I expected.

I cancelled the direct debit and will again be paying by debit card each month.  I will however be taking my own readings to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again.

So the moral of the story is, if you have missed the meter reader a couple of times, you really want to be taking your own readings to ensure your direct debits do not skyrocket for all the wrong reasons.

Issue one pic

Back Again

Welcome to this first post in the new Lang Toon Times.  After burning the candle at both ends trying to produce a printed edition it was time for a break.  I am now bringing the online edition back and will be using this for the forseeable future.  If you catch this site at it’s first reincarnation please forgive me it will be a bit ropey.

Improvements to come soon.