Community council gets its skates on

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ELLON’s Community Councillors held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, discussing, amongst other things, proposals for a proper ‘Bonfire Night’ in the town, a skateboard park, and the possibility of a meeting with NHS Grampian to clarify the status of the town’s health facilities.

The meeting opened with a representation by Liam Baber of the town’s Round Table, who saught dialogue with the council regarding a Bonfire Night for Ellon.

“It’s something that Ellon as a community is missing,” he argued. “Huge numbers of people currently leave to go to Inverurie or Aberdeen - it would be good if Ellon did something,” he said.

The bonfire and fireworks, he proposed, would likely be situated either in Deer Park or Gordon Park, with the turf underneath the grass removed beforehand and replaced afterwards. The council broadly endorsed the proposal, though stressed that the logistics of the event would be for the Round Table to plan and organise.

In the police report from PC Sean Reynolds said Ellon had experienced two house-breakings, three instances of drink driving, car vandalism and ten tax disc offences in the past month.

Part of the response to these problems would now include regular foot patrols around the edge of the town’s woodlands, he said. Councillors moved on to discuss general poor driving on the town’s bypass, and the possibility of better signage at the new entrances to Balmacassie Industrial Estate which, it was agreed, could be better signposted.

In other news, the council discussed the potential Castle Gardens trust, which is anticipated to form part of the planning gain from the new Castle Meadows development recently approved by Formartine Area Committee.

There was some debate over the liklihood of the plans coming to fruition, however chairperson Muir argued that the plans would go ahead, and gave a personal commitment to see them come to fruition in her time as chairperson.

Serious concerns were raised regarding the capacity of Ellon Health Centre to cope with the influx of new residents, with significant residential developments proposed at Cromleybank, Castle Meadows, Ythan Terrace and Hospital Road.

Community Council member Sandy McDougall had previously urged unity on proposals for a new health centre, which already have the backing of the town’s Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Ron Merson pointed out, however, that the town’s ratio of GPs to patients was sufficiently high that it would be unlikely to attract accelerated funding from the health service, and that he himself had received conflicting opinions from Grampian NHS on the topic. The council agreed in principle that it would be beneficial for representatives of ECC to speak with NHS officials.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 28.