Fiona Cooper re-elected as community council chair
Traditionally Kintore and District Community Council has had its annual general meeting in September. But, to tie in with changes across Aberdeenshire’s community council network, this year’s AGM took place in June.
Re-elected as chairperson, was Fiona Cooper who is well known for her work in the Kintore community and more widely across the Garioch area. Her re-election came immediately after Fiona was announced as ‘Citizen of the Year’ by the Rotary Club of Kintore, Kemnay and District, receiving her award from Rachel Lewis, last year’s Citizen of the Year.
I know everyone will join with me in wishing Fiona a speedy return to the usual vigour, dynamism and enthusiasm that she brings to the community council and her other community work.
Leaving office with the community council this year is Joan Thomson, who has had to resign as Treasurer, for health reasons, after many years overseeing the council’s finances. We are sorry to lose Joan on the council, but thank her for many years of sterling work in that role. We’re delighted that Kenny Thomson, Joan’s husband and former community council chairman, will be keeping the treasurer’s books in the family by assuming the Treasurer role.
The other key posts remain unchanged with myself, Ken McEwen, re-elected as vice-chairman and Drew Cullinane elected as secretary. Get ready for rail station
Most people will be aware of the huge amount of work being carried out in and around Kintore to re-establish a dual track railway into Aberdeen and to re-establish a rail station in our town.
Those of us who “live on the wrong side of the track” have had to put up with 11 weeks where Kintore was no longer on our doorstep, but a 15-mile round trip. Hopefully, but the time you read this our long drives into Kintore will be history and the golf course will be busier once more!
Unfortunately a project of this complexity and scale inevitably means disruption and noise. Hopefully, though, the end is in sight. The twin tracks are mostly in place, the new railway crossing is looking near to completion and progress on the station is impressive.
That said, it remains a disappointment that the station may not open this year and – along with our councillors – we are disappointed that the opening date from Transport Scotland is May next year.
However, it is exciting to think that we will have a direct link to the rail network and also a regular service from Kintore station direct into Aberdeen. We’re sure that will be much appreciated by commuters, shoppers and those wanting to enjoy the leisure facilities in the city.
It is great to hear that there will be some reminders of the original Kintore station, with Aberdeenshire Council having acquired an original Kintore station bench and moves afoot to get one of the original Kintore station signs. Community council representation on A96 dualling
Kintore and District Community Council has submitted a response to the A96 Dualling consultation.
Our response highlighted concerns about the two options put forward by Transport Scotland. The violet option would take the 60-metre wide A96 dual carriageway to the north of Inverurie with a wide sweep round Keithhall and down through Balbithan to Tavelty in Kintore.
One of the big sources of concern is that this option would require a 500 to 600-metre bridge built on the River Don flood plain, in an area where flooding is so prevalent that there are permanent “flood” signs on the B977 road. With memories of the 2016 floods still vivid in many minds, the idea of construction work taking place on the flood plain raises very real concerns.
This violet option would also change the setting of Kintore quite dramatically. Instead of simply having a busy dual carriageway to the west of our town, we would have a busy road on two sides – west and north.
With the orange route, there are concerns about the impact of a huge cutting through Shaw Hill and the implications of the new road for Thainstone and the local road network.
You can see the full community council representation on the ‘News’ section of www.kintore.org.uk. Defibrillators save lives
It is now several years since the community council had a defibrillator installed in The Square.
Some years ago I was involved with the Evening Express ‘Heart Start’ campaign and, since then, I have been a firm believer in automated defibrillators being as widely available as possible – not just inside buildings, but outside and instantly accessible, like the one in The Square.
In event of a cardiac arrest you only have minutes to restart the victim’s heart. So, having a working defibrillator readily to hand, really can save a life. Being automatic, they can be operated by anyone following the instructions.
At our last community council meeting it was pointed out that there is just the one defibrillator that is publicly available 24 hours a day. We should be working with local community to get publicly-accessible defibrillators around our town. They are proven life-savers and – with prices between £750 and £1,300 – they are not hugely expensive. Get involved
Anyone who has been involved in community matters, knows how difficult it can be to get people involved.
We all have lots of demands on our time. So it is easy to sit on our hands and not volunteer for community initiatives. But, it was so refreshing that – when we were told by the council that we needed volunteers to maintain the newly-refurbished fountain in good fettle (by checking it and feeding it chlorine tablets), an appeal on the Kintore Facebook page yielded such a positive response.
If only we could get a similarly positive response for other matters!
Kintore Summer Festival is looking for people to get involved to ensure that the event continues in 2020. Why not find out more about this opportunity? Check out the Kintore Summer Festival Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t have to commit to anything. Just keep an open mind!
Similarly there’s Kintore’s community charity Action Kintore and The Bothie. They are always looking for people to get involved in their excellent work. Take a look at The Bothie Facebook Page and get in touch.
Finally, for the moment, there is the community council itself. We need more people to come along and give their views and their ideas for our community. Why not put Tuesday, September 17 in your diary and come along to Kintore Primary School at 7pm (just ask for directions to the community council meeting at the door) and find out what goes on and how you could help.