The Ellon community is rallying together to bring Christmas to town following the sudden collapse of the Community Council.
Residents were shocked to discover the Community Council had folded via the group’s Facebook page on Friday night, resulting in the cancellation of the Christmas lights and festive parade.
However many local businesses and groups have voiced their support in the hope that the festivities can still go ahead as planned.
The annual light switch on event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 19, and many believe the event can still run if there is enough support.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Manager, Elaine Brown, explained: “The issue of a lack of sufficient members for Ellon Community Council to operate and the failure to attract new members has been an ongoing discussion for some time.
“The recent resignations of all remaining members was of their own volition and without warning - an area manager cannot simply choose to shut down a community council, which is an elected body.
“It is these resignations which have effectively ‘closed down’ the community council, at least until such time as members of the community come forward to stand for election and it achieves the minimum membership needed to operate legally.
“With regard to the Christmas lights, concerns have been raised about previous purchases made by the community council and which therefore raised concern about further purchases/orders, we are continuing to make inquiries in this respect.
“We will seek to work with alternative groups, should it be necessary, to make sure Ellon has Christmas lights this year and our door will always be open for the reestablishment of a community council.” Local councillors have given the festive events their backing.
Councillor and chair of the Formartine Area Committe, Rob Merson, said: “I am extremely encouraged by the number of organisations and individuals who have offered their support and assistance with ensuring that there will be a Christmas lights display in Ellon this year - and I am very hopeful that arrangements might be put in place even at this late date.”
Cllr Richard Thomson added: “Contrary to some accounts on social media, the Community Council has received a considerable amount of support from council officers and elected members in recent months.
“It’s very disappointing that the remaining Community Council members decided to resign en masse, but it should be made clear that the decision to do so was theirs alone.
“There was absolutely no reason why, even with their reduced numbers, the Community Council could not have gone ahead with this event which has always been a huge credit to all involved.
“Right now, the short term priority must be to ensure that the Ellon Christmas events can go ahead as far as is now possible.
“Longer term, the goal must be to re-establish a functioning community council which can contribute as positively as its predecessor has to the life of the town.”
Cllr Gillian Owen said: “The lights switch on has been a major event in Ellon’s calendar for a number of years and it brings the whole community together.
“I had my usual surgery on Saturday and suggested that if anyone wanted to offer support they could come along and a few people did. It’s amazing when an issue has an impact how the community has stepped up to offer help.”