Owen: my plans for the New Year

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ELLON and District Conservative Councillor has outlined her plans for the New Year, citing major infrastructure projects and developing the local economy as priorities.

Speaking to the Times, Cllr Owen said: “I would firstly like to thank the many voluntary groups and organisations across the area that do so much to add to our community from the Ellon Civic Pride, the many Church Groups, The Boys & Girls Brigade, the Scouts and Guides and many others. This year could I also pay tribute to Ellon Community Council for another splendid Christmas Lights show and a wonderful launch day.

“2012 saw the local Council Elections and I was delighted that many of you felt I had done a good enough job to re-elect me. The Scottish Conservatives now run the Alliance on Aberdeenshire Council and I became Chairman of the Scrutiny & Audit Committee, a job which reviews much of the Councils activity making sure we do things in the best way and cost effectively. The Council still faces tough challenges.”

Cllr Owen went on to say that one of her priorities in the new year would include the promotion of a controversial traveller site at Balmacassie, as a means to stopping repeated vandalism at both the Industrial Estate and the town’s Park and Ride.

“The travelling community continue to visit our part of the world and in some cases, leave what can only be described as, ‘a disgraceful mess’. I am all for live and let live but that goes for all not just certain sections of the community.

“The Park & Ride was a victim on a couple of occasions but I am pleased to see that with the changes that have been agreed this should put a stop these unwelcome visits. I know that Transit Sites are unpopular but, if we had one locally the council would be in a better position to move Travellers on quickly.”

She stressed that the council’s agenda would be dominated by infrastructure projects including the new Ellon Academy, and Tipperty-Balmedie dualling

“These projects are much needed by us all and will have a great effect on our lives, the local economy and our future prosperity.

We must also ensure that we have secure and safe routes to the new Academy and that the right infrastructure is in place for our children. A second bridge over the Ythan is a priority.

“Developing our local economy further, in particular encouraging more retail into Ellon, is a priority, and I believe that we should look at the leisure side, particularly to allow families and teenagers the opportunity to enjoy activities locally.

Speeding traffic is still a problem in all our towns and villages .I am hopeful that the new roads will help alleviate some of this as people take a more direct route to the city. The Ellon Health Centre continues to bulge at the sides and I think we are all keen to see this project move further up the NHS Grampian’s budget.

“So here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.”