Community funds returned after investigation

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Community funds have been returned to Aberdeenshire Council as part of an investigation into a local group’s efforts to provide Christmas lights in Ellon.

Aberdeenshire Council began an investigation into the former Ellon Community Council after concerns were raised about payments for the purchase of Christmas lights for the town.

The matter was then passed on to Police Scotland.

The police investigation has now concluded and Aberdeenshire Council has been informed that no criminal activity was identified.

As part of the council’s research into the purchase of the lights, the supplier has agreed to refund £3,178.

This money will be held by Aberdeenshire Council until a new community council is re-established in the town. Arrangements are now being made to open nominations for a new Ellon Community Council.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Business Services, Ritchie Johnson, said: “It is important for our communities to have local representation, and the council has a role to support the resolution of concerns or challenges community councils may face. It was right that the Ellon Christmas lights matter was properly investigated and we are pleased to have secured a refund of more than £3,000 from the lighting supplier.

“This money will be held by the council and will be returned to the new iteration of the community council once it is re-established.

“Nominations will open shortly and an election held if required.” Nominations for Ellon Community Council will open after the school summer holidays.