Pressure to reform community council

Councillor Hamish Partridge.
Councillor Hamish Partridge.

Moves are afoot to re-establish a community council serving Sandhaven and Pitullie after a previous group was dissolved last year.

Councillor Hamish Partridge has this week spoken to the Herald about his hopes of getting local volunteers to come forward to form a new community council to serve the two villages.

Community councils comprise local residents meet ingmonthly to discuss issues with other members of the public, representatives from outside groups, and the elected councillors.

Fraserburgh’s own community council, which met on Tuesday, is regularly attended by Police Scotland at the council chambers, Saltoun Square.

Speaking on the situation at Sandhaven and Pitullie, Councillor Partridge said: “I would like to appeal to the communities of Sandhaven and Pittulie for local volunteers to come forward with a view to reform a community council for the villages.

“This is a very important body within the the structure of Aberdeenshire Council and, due to not having a community council to represent the views of the two communities, both Sandhaven and Pittulie are missing out on very important funding opportunities.

He added that, as well as this, the villages were also missing out on providing opinions and suggestions to many local consultation events being held by Aberdeenshire Council.

He continues: “To allow this process to move forward and reform a community council, I would like to appeal for 12 people from Sandhaven and Pittulie to come forward, allowing Aberdeenshire Council to arrange an election within the village.

“This can be done by contacting the Area Managers office: St Leonard’s, Sandyhill Road, Banff, AB45 1BH.”

The Banff and Buchan Area Manager, Margaret-Jane Cardno, explained that, by 12 people from the electoral roll of Sandhaven and Pitullie coming forward with an interest in seeing a community council reformed, the process of arranging elections can begin.

She added: “This is quite a formal process, and under the Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils, should no fewer than 12 electors in the Sandhaven and Pitullie Community Council area make written application for the establishment of a Community Council in the area, the Council shall, within six weeks from the date of the petition, invite nominations and, thereafter, if necessary, organise an election for the establishment of a Community Council for that area.

“Community Councils are the most local tier of statutory representation in Aberdeenshire. They bridge the gap between the Local Authority and communities, and help to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent.

“Their primary purpose is to gather and express the views of the community to the Local Authority and other public bodies. However, across Banff and Buchan many Community Councils also involve themselves in a wide range of other activities including fundraising, organising community events, undertaking environmental and educational projects and much more.”