Politicians clash over council HQ plan

Aberdeenshire Council's current HQ at Woodhill House, Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire Council's current HQ at Woodhill House, Aberdeen

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin and Gordon MP Alex Salmond has criticised the Conservative group in Aberdeenshire Council for impeding the development of Inverurie.

Ms Martin, a member of the Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres at Holyrood, described Aberdeenshire Council plans to move its headquarters from the city to Inverurie as “a crucial piece of the jigsaw” that will see new jobs, facilities and investment in the town.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

The council plans to build its new headquarters on land currently owned by the Inverurie Locos, who in turn plan to link up with Garioch Sports Trust to create a hugely expanded Garioch Sports Centre.

Ms Martin said: “Impressive graft and vision from within the local community have brought within sight a massive boost in facilities in Inverurie.

“However, this relies on the logical and overdue move of the Council Headquarters from the city to the shire.

“The shift of the Council from Woodhill House to a more appropriate and economical building in Inverurie is crucial to paving the way for the next phase of the Garioch Sports and Community Centre which will benefit over 10,000 users from across Aberdeenshire.

MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond

MP for Gordon, Alex Salmond

“This is a fantastic opportunity to keep Inverurie growing, yet Tory Councillors are threatening a crucial piece of the jigsaw – a new Council HQ.”

Mr Salmond, added: “The new Council Administration should be commended for now getting on with an initiative which should have been completed years ago.

“Securing the capital investment for the next phase of the Garioch Sports and Community Centre will deliver one of the top community and sporting facilities in the country.

“However the local Tory councillors are already criticising the Council HQ move upon which the rest of the plan for Inverurie depends. It is a typically short sighted, do-nothing Tory attitude which is jeopardising investment in the future of Inverurie.”