It’s my Opinion

THE time has surely come to the address the replacement of Ellon Health Centre which, in my opinion, is no longer fit for purpose, and has not been for some considerable time.

Granted it would be an extremely expensive item to replace, but then the 15,000 or so users deserve the best, as indeed do the excellent, caring staff who look after our many needs.

At the moment it is a run down facility, badly located in an area where parking has become a joke, and yet at the same time a pay parking zone barely 60 yards away sits empty even at peak usage time.

While I believe the Heath Centre is in need of replacement, it is the generally run down state of the surroundings which cause most embarrassment. The road leading into what passes for a car park is badly potholed, while the parking spaces allocated to the disabled are so poorly marked it is difficult to ascertain if they even exist. Finding a space if you are able-bodied is bad enough.

It must also be a nightmare for the staff who, when reporting for duty in the morning, must be astonished to find cars there from long before the centre opens to the public. This can only mean that members of the public are using the car park before they stroll down to the nearby town centre, or worse still, head for a bus into Aberdeen.

A truly appalling state of affairs, which has been going on for more years than I can remember.

I also suspect that this car park is busier during the school term. A poor reflection on irresponsible people, who hold a total disregard for others - some of whom use the health centre on a regular basis due to ill health.

But while I have no proof of the abuse, it is my intention to take some action if those in authority will not, and arrive really early one fine morning and watch where the motorists go once they park. It reeks of big brother, but why not, if we are to get no action from Aberdeenshire Council?

I have never seen myself as a vigilante, but in this case I feel strongly enough to take such action, as the situation merits such a response. But perhaps my action will not be necessary if the powers that be face up to the fact that we need a new health centre, notwithstanding the cost, and not on its present site.

What would be wrong with the site of Haldanes, or indeed the the location currently housing Ellon Academy, which is due to be relocated out near the Meadows in just over four or so years? In the meantime let’s at least be having discussions before it is too late.

Finally, we have been consulted on most developments in the area, though not always listened to, but on this issue I believe there would be general support for such a scheme, particularly in the run up to the local elections on May 3.

Any candidate who runs with this one is on to a good thing, and will at least be sure of my vote, and those, I suspect, of many others.