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Friday 15th June

A man will go on trial early next year charged with the murder of an Aberdeenshire mechanic.  67 year old Brian McKandie was found dead at his cottage at Badenscoth, near Rothienorman, in 2016.  Steven Sidebottom, who 25, is accused of attacking Mr McKandie at his home.  It’s further alleged that he seized hold of the pensioner, dragged him and robbed him of a sum of money.  The murder trial will take place next January in Aberdeen. It is expected to last four weeks.


Local councillors will next week be updated on the progress being made towards building a new Community Campus in Peterhead.  The £71million project would replace the town’s existing secondary school and house a whole range of community facilities.  Members of the Buchan Area committee will be told that a six-month study will be undertaken into two previously identified sites – the current Peterhead Academy location and an area at Kinmundy Road.  Initial consultation revealed a preference for the latter, along with the development and retention of community facilities in the town centre. 


A damning report by the National Audit Office says the Universal Credit scheme may end up costing more to administer than the benefits system it is replacing.  The single benefit will eventually replace six existing benefits, and is being rolled out across Aberdeenshire later this month.  The Department for Work and Pensions says they are building a system for the 21st century.


A football coach from Fraserburgh has been jailed for four and a half years after admitting charges of using lewd and libidinous practices towards children.  34 year old Alasdair McCulloch carried out the offences over an eight year period up to 2006.  He was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow today and put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.  Police described McCulloch as a predatory individual, who gained the trust of his young victims, before abusing them.  They have thanked the victims for their courage in coming forward.


A dedicated fund should be in place to help communities affected by landslips.  That’s the view of Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid, who constituency areas like Gardenstown and Pennan have been affected.  There is a scheme in England which local authorities can bid for to combat coastal erosion – but there is no such dedicated funding north of the border.  Instead councils must decide how to fund the works from within the overall funding they receive from the Scottish Government. 


Planning officials at Aberdeen City Council are recommending a housing complex proposed for Rubislaw Quarry is given the go-ahead.  Around 300 flats and a combined bistro and mini-museum are planned for the site.  Canadian firm Cartera, which is behind the application, says it will breathe life into the quarry.  Councillors on the Planning Committee will discuss the plans next week. 


The number of people out of work in Aberdeenshire has fallen by 400 compared with the same time last year.  Figures for May show the claimant count is 2,105 - a 16% drop on 12 months ago.  Sheila Murray from Peterhead Jobcentre has told Waves Radio the employment picture for the younger generation is also improving.


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