Aug 062010

As the construction of the Menie golf course and infrastructure begins, Voice reader Debra Storr highlights a continuing personal struggle for long-standing residents of the area.

From 28 July, Michael and Sheila Forbes and Michael’s mother Molly were without water for seven days as construction work on the Trump Organisation’s Menie resort cut off their supply. It was restored on Tuesday August 3.

To be fair, Trump’s contractors did deliver water on Saturday, and accidents do happen, but a week without water does not make for a comfortable home.

However, even as the water came back on, the Forbes family was faced with another issue. Large diggers, accompanied by police, moved on to land and removed Michael Forbes’s fishing gear. Michael remonstrated with the contractors and police, showing them the title deeds which put this land within his ownership.

The Forbes family must feel that they are being harassed and intimidated

These actions were all the more surprising given that a few days before, Michael Forbes was visited by Trump’s local agent and they discussed land ownership boundaries. Michael Forbes was assured that all was well – then the contractors moved in.
I visited the family on Wednesday 4 August. Understandably, they are shocked and angry. Trump’s security people were parked on the access to the Forbes’s home, Mill of Menie, during my visit. When I left with the deeds and golf course plans to inspect the disputed land, they followed us. Whilst standing on the cleared land, doing a piece to camera for Tripping Up Trump, the security staff insisted we left, on the grounds that it was a construction site. It was not.
So far, we have witnessed personal verbal abuse, but now there are interrupted water supplies, unwanted surveillance and land disputes. The Forbes family must feel that they are being harassed and intimidated. I hope that they maintain their stance against such bullying and continue to try to live their lives in the home they have occupied for decades.


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