Councillor has plan for town centre improvement

Councillor Ian Tait.
Councillor Ian Tait.

Banff and Buchan councillors will meet next week to discuss plans to improve town centres in their wards at a meeting of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.

However, Councillor Ian Tait has in mind already ideas which, he hopes, could help Fraserburgh.

Talking to us this week, the independent councillor revealed that he has a sixteen point plan that he would be suggesting.

This plan included renovating the Council Chambers building for proper use as part of the town’s heritage, and bringing the old John Trails bookstore back into use.

Other points of the plan include: “The council’s compulsory purchase powers to acquire boarded up town centre properties from town centre property owners who have shown clearly that they have no intention of putting their boarded up properties on the market at market rates,” and “use the brilliant, colourful mosaic design produced by the North School pupils and the artist in residence as a theme; this should include improved seating designed in such a way as to stop people sitting on the backs and putting their feet on the seat which is a deplorable habit and should be stopped.”

The full list is as follows:

1. Renovating Council Chambers and develop the building for a proper use as part of our heritage.

2. Using the Council’s compulsory purchase powers to acquire boarded up town centre properties from town centre property owners who have shown clearly that they have no intention of putting their boarded up properties on the market at market rates. Do this one by one and then do them up and rent or sell to create new businesses.

3. Bringing the old John Trail building in Mid Street back into use.

4. Using a colourful mosaic design produced by the North School pupils and the artist in residence as a theme throughout the town, including on new seating which is designed to prevent people mistreating it.

5. Replacing the metal flower boxes in town centre with better quality planters brightened up by using the mosaic design, and the creation of more green space.

6. Making better use of the net statue by artist David Annand - possibly raising it up with seating beneath and relocating the old drinking fountain and creating areas of improved pavement around points of interest such as these.

7. Setting aside an area for a dedicated ‘blackening’ pole so that it is easier cleaned.

8. A deep clean of the whole area.

9. Setting up a scheme to improve the frontage of buildings, improving the look of guttering and downpipes of businesses.

10. Businesses asking applicants for jobs to attend a training course at the college.

11. Interpretation boards and information points created such as on Puddle Street, near the bus station, for points of interest around the town, numbered and leading to one another.

12. The acquisition of a motorised train for tours around the town and beach, starting and finishing at the town centre.

13. Continuing to strive to get the Visitor Information Centre back in the town centre.

14. Setting up a ‘fun’ or ‘quirky’ way of getting visitors to and from the harbour to the town centre, a lift or chair.

15. An interpretive trail on the roads/ piers from the beach up to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and Heritage Centre with viewing points.

16. A computerised shopping information system in the town centre, where a shopper keys in the item they want to buy and the system gives them directions to the shop selling those goods.