Ellon & District councillor Gillian Owen has revealed her highlights of 2016 and plans for the year ahead.
She said: “Ellon and its surrounding villages are blessed with organisations who do so much; from the Community Councils, Ellon Civic Pride, Nicer Newburgh Gardeners, Church Groups, Boys & Girls Brigade, the Scouts and Guides, the Sports Clubs and many others who make a difference to our towns and villages and I would like to thank them all for what they do.
“The highlight for 2016 for me was the end of a long running issue, it was a case of jumping for joy at Balmacassie!
“We finally have the potholes filled and the Council are now responsible for the maintenance and with the work having started on the new recycling centre, and it will not be too long before we see completion of this crucial business park.
“The landscape of Ellon continues to change and in 2017 we shall see the demolition of both academy buildings completed, there will obviously be interest and debate about what will take their place.
“Many residents have indicated to me their views which range from a hotel to more sheltered/assisted living accommodation and a much needed Health Centre.
“This is a crucial decision, we must take account of how it will shape Ellon’s development in the years to come.
“I will continue in my endeavours to have the speed limit reduced on the A948 and can foresee this becoming another long running saga.
“The year has seen significant progress with the dualling of the route from Balmedie to Tipperty however at the end of 2016 we suffered a major disappointment, I was disturbed to hear that the completion date had changed, having challenged the ‘no delays’ at a meeting in November.
“The campaign to extend the dualling, ‘Why Stop at Ellon?’ continues to gather pace and NESTRANS continues to do its work on providing transports solutions from Ellon onwards.
We approach another year where Aberdeenshire faces challenges with its grant, which has again been cut.
“I as Chairman of the Scrutiny & Audit Committee along with my colleagues have been focused on doing our bit to help the Council achieve best value in our services and spending.
“The Council has to provide all sorts of services, some of which are statutory.
“We have to ensure that all services delivered are offered at the best value and looking at alternative ways can help to assist with this process.”