Ellon councillor outlines her aspirations for the New Year

Councillor Gillian Owen  - looking ahead to 2015.
Councillor Gillian Owen - looking ahead to 2015.

An Ellon councillor has spelled out her hopes and aspirations in a New Year message.

Gillian Owen says it is important to reflect on what has happened over the last year and also to plan ahead. 

Her message states: “Ellon and the surrounding villages are all very community orientated and I would like to place on record my thanks to the many voluntary groups and organisations across the area that do so much for local communities, from the Community Councils - Ellon, Foveran, Slains & Collieston and Ythan - Ellon Civic Pride, the Church groups, the Boys and Girls Brigades, the Scouts and Guides and many others.

“Once again Christmas was launched by Ellon Community Council’s excellent lights switch on. Well done to everyone who took part.

“2014 has been another busy year not least for me as chair of the council’s Scrutiny & Audit Committee. We have completed a busy year reviewing the finances and budgeting process as well as specific investigations.

“The financial challenges continue to bite and having to think about further cuts in the budget of £50 million over the next five years again focused the attention, but we will all have to work together to find solutions. 

“A number of issues continue to be of concern to all communities, speeding traffic is the one that figures most, but remember that the Police are keen to act and if you have the registration number they may not be able to prosecute, but they can make a visit and educate the driver. 

“Potholes, particularly at this time of year, can do serious damage so they should be reported, either to me or go online to the council’s website or call the helpline.

“We have all watched the Ellon Community Campus (Academy site) rise steadily over the year. Everyone can see the most remarkable facility that we have. 

“As the opening rapidly approaches a huge amount of work is now being done in the background to ensure that safe routes are finalised and that a regular bus service is available to ensure all the community can enjoy the new facilities. 

“As I said last year, all we need now is for the Cromleybank development to start so that the Academy doesn’t become an ‘island in the middle of nowhere’.

“We have at last seen works starting on the AWPR along with the dualling from Tipperty to Balmedie. These projects will enhance this area greatly it is just a shame we have had to wait over 40 years for them. 

“And, not wishing to seen ungrateful, we do need to lobby hard to get the dualling to Peterhead, hence in August I launched a campaign, ‘Why Stop at Ellon’. I am humbled to see the support this has achieved, but the campaign is far from finished.

“With the opening of the Academy in August the time is rapidly approaching when we need to consider our options for the whole of the existing school sites in the town. 

“Many of us have a view and please be assured you will all have an opportunity to express it. This redevelopment is key for Ellon town centre and no decision will be taken lightly.”