End of an era at Ellon Community Council

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ELLON Community Council has new leadership today, after long-serving chairwoman Moira Muir stood down from her position on Monday.

Mrs Muir took the opportunity of the council’s AGM to announce her resignation from the position of chair, effective immediately, though she did add that she would serve out the remainder of her three year term as an ordinary council member. She has been a community councillor for 17 years.

The move will come as a surprise to many, after an 11 year stint in charge of the body. In that time, the council’s duties have expanded to include organising numerous events and facilities in the town and, in particular, ensuring a Christmas lights display every year. The body has also grown in importance relative to planning law, and in its function as a statutory consultee.

In recent years, however, a faultline developed on the council between pro- and anti-Castleton factions, with often heated exchanges at meetings which Chairwoman Muir said had made her position ‘challenging.’

an earlier commitment, and desire to spend more time with her family in her resignation speech, she said that the council would need to return to its original purpose of working ‘for the good of Ellon.’

“I have tried to lead Ellon Community Council in a professional manner and I hope I have achieved this,” she said. “My challenge to you is to move forward, move back to the community and make a difference.

Speaking to the Times yesterday, she added: “I am still passionate about Ellon, and always will be.”

Following her departure from the position, secretary Sandy McDougall was nominated for the position of chairman and accepted, albeit reluctantly. Mark Grant accepted the vice-chair position, and the council are currently looking for volunteers for the secretary’s and treasurer’s positions.

Coming years will see the council’s duties grow, as Ellon itself expands. Beside the contentious Castleton development, the council will be involved in planning for the Cromleybank development, as well as the development of the new academy.

In addition to Chairwoman Muir‘s resignation, long serving members Liz Troup and Elma Hay also announced that they would be standing down from the council. Both received presentations in recognition of their long service.

In other community council news, the body heard from PC Ian Ivancic that Grampian Police were dealing with a busy period in relation to the Olympic torch’s passage through the area. He added that around 9% of the force’s officers would be deployed on Olympic-related duties over the summer, and that this would have an impact on police coverage in the area.

He added that enquiries were still ongoing into the reported sex offence which took place in May near Ellon Primary. He added that police were continuing to investigate the theft of hundreds of pounds from the town’s parking meters.

Lastly, members of the council heard that developer Scotia would be seeking input on the naming of new streets at the Castleton development. Member Sandra Topp said that she would look into possible suggestions from the local area.