Councillor’s New Year message

Councillor Gillian Owen at the Patronal Flower Festival at St Mary's on the Rock
Councillor Gillian Owen at the Patronal Flower Festival at St Mary's on the Rock

A new decade 2020, like me you are probably wondering where the last ten years have gone.

My thoughts for this year’s message start in remembrance of those who we have lost in 2019, friends and acquaintances and in particular that great local character, Mary Stewart - many of us are very sad at her passing.

I have continued to hold surgeries throughout the year and the most rewarding are at the Farmers Market when I have the opportunity to meet many people and hear about the issues affecting Ellon and the surrounding villages.

2019 on a national scene was a difficult year however the General Election will have clarified things, yet I must admit to being disappointed about losing my colleague Colin Clark.

I had the privilege of helping him over the last two and a half years and again the common theme of both an MP’s office and being a Councillor is frustration and the time it takes to get things done. Patience is essential.

Issues such as potholes, speeding traffic and the South Road bottleneck continue to fill my inbox.

Speeding traffic appears to be more of an issue, so many of us are in a rush and perhaps we should all learn to slow down.

The predicted problem of the Balmedie bottleneck moving to Ellon is now a harsh reality that we all must endure, and I know we all find this frustrating.

I am still pressing for action on South Road, but I fear the long-term result maybe to dual Ellon onwards.

This leads me nicely onto my “Why Stop at Ellon?” campaign. I continue to write to the Minister about the need for dualling Ellon onwards and during 2019 was delighted that Peterhead Community Council launched “Dual Peterhead”.

In my role as Chairman of the Education & Children Services Committee I continue to be in awe of our young people and their achievements and I have been able to celebrate some of those achievements by show casing them at the start of each of my Committee meetings. However, the biggest concern facing my Committee is the budget.

Ellon and its surrounding villages are blessed with organisations who do so much for our communities and I would like to thank them all for what they do.

Finally, I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020 and should anyone wish to contact me call 07768 257392 or email cllr.g.owen@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.