Festive messages from the local councillors

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North Kincardine, Stonehaven and Mearns councillors pass on their season greetings.

Cllr Ian Mollison - North Kincardine

The last 12 months have been eventful to say the least. The rise of a new terrorist threat, war spreading, and refugees flooding into Europe. Who knows what will happen next. It puts our local worries into context.

And local concerns, well, there have been a few. The start on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been a mixed blessing. The country roads have taken a hammering. And talking of “hammering” the noise cause by the construction teams has been none too welcome. There are great concerns for the burns and rivers with silt smothering plants and wildlife.

Work finally started on building Hillside primary school (with sports facilities to follow). That has been a long-running saga. As has the construction of a household waste and recycling centre at Badentoy. Contractors were due to start on site recently, but this has been delayed until January.

Without doubt 2016 will be a difficult one for Aberdeenshire Council. Government funding cuts and a continuing council tax freeze mean that budgets will have to be cut. The council is already highly efficient (though not perfect!), so I suspect there will be painful decisions to be taken. Another eventful year lies ahead.

Cllr Raymond Christie - Stonehaven and Lower Deeside

I always find it difficult to start a Christmas message, but this year it’s easy as I attended the Mackie Academy Concert.

It was a fabulous evening with all the students putting on a great show. My favourites were the Concert Band and the Ceilidh Band. I wish the Concert Band good luck for the Scottish Finals in Perth and the Ceilidh Band played a favourite of mine, the Pogues “Fairy tale of New York” in their Christmas Medley.

In Drumoak it was pleasing to note that they have Christmas lights for the first time this year which was financed from the Area Committee Budget. This growing village will see the completion of a new primary school next year which will be used by the community.

I’m pleased to see that the new 106 Stonehaven Town Bus Service has commenced with up to nine services a day with a stop at the Medical Centre on Robert Street. This will be of great benefit to patients and I’m grateful to the Patients Participation Group at the Medical Centre for their help in getting this service started.

I will close with best wishes for Christmas and 2016.

Cllr Carl Nelson - North Kincardine

December is a month like no other - a very special month. For some it is a sad time with the loss of a loved one. My thoughts are with them. For others, particularly children, it is a joyous time, with school plays and parties, and looking forward to Santa calling with presents. It is a particularly busy month for the ladies, with writing cards, putting up decorations, and shopping for food and presents. Then there is preparing the special meal on Christmas Day. All these things and many others is what my wife Rhoda does. God bless her!

It has also been a busy time at St. Ternan’s Church, Muchalls. The highlight was the Carol Service, where the children played in the musical group and sang carols.

All my family will be together for our Christmas meal. Where ever you are, I wish you a Very Happy Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2016.

Cllr George Carr - Mearns

2015 has been an interesting year in Mearns.

Inverbervie has been in the spotlight with a visit from BBC Beechgrove Garden to assist and highlight the tremendous work taking place. The new crown art work which was also unveiled at the beach in early summer puts the finishing touches to the refurbished car park. Dave Ramsay also deserves our credit for organising events to commemorate Hercules Linton and the Cutty Sark as well as piloting the Maggie Law museum in Gourdon, run by the community. This compliments the Lifeboat Shed in Johnshaven which opened in early summer to showcase artefacts and depict life in the village of old.

Catterline have been working hard to stabilise their braes which have a history of instability and land slips. Through community effort and working with Glasgow University and others, they have reinstated drains and added new ones.

Building an extension at Laurencekirk Primary is now imminent and has been welcomed by the After School Club and local pensioners who meet for their lunch club at the community centre. These activities will ultimately move to the new build.

I take this opportunity to wish all readers seasons greetings and a prosperous 2015.