Local Tories welcome community funding

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Local Scottish Conservative Councillors Gillian Owen and Jim Gifford have welcomed plans for major investment in the Formartine area, after the council announced funding for a raft of local projects.

Items set to receive funding include Collieston Community Centre, which will receive £40,000; Foveran Village Hall, which is set to be upgraded; £150 to replace the Newburgh footbridge which has long been a matter of concern for local residents; and improvements to both Tarves and Belhelvie Play Parks, which have both suffered drainage issues in the past. Balmedie Leisue Centre is also in line for £30,000 worth of additional funding.

Funding for the initiative will come from a £20 million underspend by the local authority, whcih had previously attracted criticism from the SNP opposition as evidence of inefficiency in the council’s spending priorities.

Commenting on the newly available funds, however, Cllr Owen told the Times that the chosen projects would benefit enormously from significant cash injections.

She said: “I am delighted that we have been able to put forward a whole host of projects and whilst not all will be selected they are very much now on the radar.”

The investment is part of a wider £3 million package aimed at towns and villages across the region to create better places to live and work. This comes after the Conservative led council managed to deliver a spending surplus of £21 million last year through efficiency savings and cutting waste.

The projects have been selected by identifying community needs and priorities with a major target being sustainable improvement to peoples’ day to day lives.”

Mid-Formartine Councillor Jim Gifford who leads the council added: “I welcome all the projects that have been put forward. The Area Committees together with local Community Partners have done a grand job selecting projects based on local priorities. The Policy + Resources Committee meet on Thursday and they are tasked with allocating the agreed funding to priorities.”