Chair’s Report for Kingswells Community Council 2011- 12

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

AGM Monday 13th August 2012 @ 8:00pm

Overview

At present, Kingswells Community Council (KCC) has a full complement of 12 members. In 2012 we warmly welcomed a new member, Ivan, who was co-opted on to KCC.

Office Bearers

My thanks again this year, go to Colleen for all her support, common sense and wisdom in the role of Vice Chair.

In April, Colleen kindly offered to take over the role of Minute Secretary from Ian. Thanks to both as it is not an easy task to present agendas and minutes for each meeting and I appreciate that these are always prepared and presented with such a high degree of clarity, accuracy and professionalism.

My sincere gratitude goes to Ian for undertaking both Treasurer and Secretary role again this year. This is an enormous workload and Ian’s considerable dedication towards KCC is very much appreciated and valued.

2011/12 yearly accounts will be presented first to KCC for approval before being externally audited and then presented to ACC.

Members

The majority of KCC members have continued, this year, to be involved in many diverse aspects which affect our community and city. These members give up their valuable time to strive to make a positive difference, and are committed to do their best for our community and their effort is much appreciated. Most members on KCC work well together as a team, are effective and strive to maintain the highest level of good working practice and adhere to the Code of Conduct throughout all proceedings.

Members of Kingswells public reported to the Chair incidents of unacceptable behaviour by one Kingswells Community Councillor. These details were conveyed to ACC and the Police. The member has not offered his resignation, and has subsequently been removed from the mailing list and any involvement with KCC business pending a police investigation. It is with regret that this one KCC member has tried to bring the good name of KCC into disrepute.

Communication

Through the following mediums, we try to disseminate local information, ascertain the views of Kingswells residents and encourage the public to participate in any referenda and consultations.

  • Kingswells Community News

Thanks go to Colleen who produces the excellent Kingswells Community News, local advertisers who fund the newsletter and to all Kingswells residents who help with many aspects of the production and delivery of the Kingswells Community News. KCC is so grateful for this vital bi-monthly newsletter which allows us to communicate with every Kingswells resident.

Grateful thanks to Ian who upgraded KCC’s website for 2012. It is now easier to navigate, fresh and always regularly updated with recent news. We receive feedback from the community through emails and our web page forums.

  • Non- computer users

For those in our community without a computer, we have two notice boards and a dedicated KCC post box (within the village centre.)

Community Council Forum

Designated KCC members, Alex, John, Ian and myself regularly attend and are actively involved with the city-wide Community Council Forum and report back proceedings to the rest of the committee.

Civic Forum

KCC is represented by Ian who is active on the Civic Forum Lead Group.

Interaction with Kingswells Primary School

Thanks to Sam, who attends School Parent Council meetings, encouraging interaction and communication between the two councils.

Public meetings/ training events /workshops

KCC members actively attend events and report back gained knowledge and expertise to the rest of the committee.

Community Council Liaison Officer

Thanks go to ACC’s Community Council Liaison Officer for her advice, help and support over the last year. We appreciate all the work involved in producing the “New Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils incorporating Community Council Area Descriptions, Model Constitution and Code of Conduct”. The draft document is now out for public consultation and we await the results.

Lord Provost Peter Stephen

On behalf of the residents in the constituency and members of Kingswells Community Council, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Lord Provost Peter Stephen, for the many years he has tirelessly and selflessly dedicated to duty and to our community. We have been very proud that Peter, always the gentleman, represented not only Kingswells – but our city – with the epitome of grace, dignity and diligence. Now that Peter and Sandra have retired from office, we wish them both much peace, relaxation and some well-deserved time to themselves!

Planning

Planning Applications

We scrutinize ACC’s weekly planning applications lists and if a response is required, it is written honourably and without prejudice.

ACC website

In recent weeks, there has been a marked improvement in quantity, quality and the speed which information is uploaded onto ACC’s planning application website. This upgrade of service is much appreciated.

Aberdeen Local Development Plan

The Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2012 was adopted in February 2012. Since then, KCC members have been heavily involved with masterplanning on the following sites…

  • Prime 4 Business Park adjacent to Kingswells
  • 120 homes at Huxterstone in Kingswells
  • 750 homes in neighbouring Maidencraig
  • (And in the near future) 3000 homes and new community at Countesswells.

We value the masterplanning process and take our responsibilities seriously and with integrity. KCC has encouraged Kingswells residents to participate in all the public consultations on the future planning of our village. Our involvement in master planning has intensified this year, and thanks go to Ian, John and Alex and others, for all the time and effort they have spent and expertise shared. Thanks also to Tom for his expert knowledge and input on all environmental matters.

Developer Contribution/Planning Gain

We have seen some positive improvements in communications from the Planning Gain Team this year. However, we would like greater opportunities to propose suggestions and be more involved in how contributions could deliver improvements to Kingswells.  Our village has some local community facilities and projects which would benefit significantly from further financial support.

Planning Protocol

Working within a subgroup of the Community Council Forum, Ian and I have been heavily involved in mediation sessions and progressing a planning process protocol between Community Councils and ACC. Positive and productive discussions are on-going.

Community projects

Floral displays

Meg has, once again, secured funding for the purchase of a profusion of hanging baskets for the village centre. This year we are very grateful to Drum Property Group for their very generous donation. We look forward to another summer when Kingswells village centre will look cheerful and colourful!

We are grateful to Meg who distributes and co-ordinates bulb planting throughout the village and continues to encourage and support individual streets in Kingswells to participate in their own projects as part of “Aberdeen in Bloom”. Meg also tends the flower beds and tubs so the village centre looks good – whatever the season!

Upgrade of paths

Our thanks go to Aberdeen Greenspace Volunteer Group for all their hard work to transform Core Path 46 to a more pleasant and useable condition. A member of public has now requested our support to improve Core Path 42 from Kingswells Crescent to connect the village to Core Path 33 up to Brimmond Hill. KCC are waiting feedback from the public on this proposal before we proceed.

Community Christmas tree

We are indebted to Stan for once again organising the village Christmas tree last year which was a lovely, bright festive sight! Thanks go to Peterson SBS for collecting the tree, to “The Four Mile Inn” for sponsoring such a magnificent tree and to all the kind Kingswells residents who volunteered their services helping Stan put the tree up and decorate it.

“Welcome to Kingswells” signs

Thanks to all community councillors and members of the public involved in digging over the ground beneath the three signs then planting shrubs and plants. These will soon become established and be a colourful, welcoming sight.

Improving Kingswells Village

Aberdeen City Council

KCC would like to thank some very efficient, conscientious, helpful and hardworking ACC officers and Local Elected Members who have assisted us in the past year to help make Kingswells such a pleasant place to live and to work.

Residents’ Associations and Neighbourhood Watch scheme

Thanks go to Colleen who, again, organised the yearly meeting of all Resident Association’s committee members and Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators. The informal evening is a chance to get-together to share experiences, advice and tips as well as offering support for each other. This network aims to standardise the quality of grounds maintenance throughout the village between all the housing developments and encourage community spirit.

Ground maintenance

There are still a few areas of Kingswells where residents’ associations are still required. KCC members are very willing to give guidance, impart knowledge and support to anyone wishing to set up a Residents’ Association.

Poor broadband speed

Many residents complain bitterly that parts of Kingswells village, which are served by Westhill exchange, receive very poor broadband speed compared to other areas which are served by fibre optic cable. KCC continue to campaign for better broadband provision.

Shops and village centre – maintenance

After 5 years of sterling service to the community, Kingswells Litter Warden, Bill, retired from litter picking duties in Sept 2011. With no replacement to be found, KCC have actively encouraged landlords and tenants to work together to arrange for the collection of fallen leaves, snow clearing, litter collection and general maintenance of all buildings and car parks. Although these concerns are wholly their responsibility, only some owners and tenants accept suggested proposals for a way forward. Thanks to Stan and Alex for their hard work and perseverance to try and resolve this on-going problem.

Dog mess

We have received an increase in complaints from members of the public about inconsiderate dog owners who leave dog mess round the village – especially when snow is on the ground. We have been working with ACC to get the affected areas cleaned, dog wardens to patrol the area and we have requested lamppost signage. We have written articles in the community newsletter to try and halt this anti-social behaviour. We have also contacted Planning Gain Department to request that they include new ‘doggy bins’ in all future housing developments.

Transport Issues

No 14 Bus service

We continue to get complaints from the public about the poor frequency of busses serving Kingswells. Kingswells village relies on a half hourly day service and an hourly evening service. KCC will continue to campaign for a better bus service and a reinstatement of the late night bus.

Disabled Access 

Well done to Stan who spotted the need for a dropped kerb to help wheelchair users access Fairley Road from Huxterstone /Broaddykes area. After he contacted ACC they assessed there was a need and carried out the work.

Parking

KCC have received an increased number of complaints this year about selfish, inconsiderate parking all around the village centre at drop off and collecting times for the primary school and, also, when football events are held at the playing fields. Residents complain of roads being blocked, cars being parked across drives and on pavements. We are grateful for the support of the police and city wardens to try and manage all these parking and road safety problems and we have highlighted these issues in Kingswells Community News.

Lang Stracht

Residents of the Lang Stracht often report that vehicles drive dangerously along this stretch of road and through the bus gates. KCC have, over the years, tried to support measures to strengthen sanctions against this behaviour. We are pleased to hear ACC have applied this year for this stretch of road to become a designated “bus lane” with applicable notices and power of enforcement. We hope ACC is successful in their bid to receive further funding for upgrading of current cameras, some additional cameras and up-to-date monitoring technology.

Policing matters and Crime Prevention

Police presence

We are pleased that Kingswells remains a relatively low crime area – a safe community. However, following the re-organisation of Grampian Police in 2011 and subsequent loss of one specific local officer for Kingswells – we were given assurances that we would have dedicated police officers who would be aware of all that was happening in the village. Although police officers often do try and attend our monthly meetings, it tends to be different officers each time. This results in a lack of continuity and poor communication. Thanks to Alan for taking the lead in this matter and corresponding with the police to try and resolve the problem.

Antisocial behaviour

There have been reported incidents of underage drinking with associated noise, litter and campfires etc. KCC continue to campaign for support and youth facilities within the village.

Speeding

KCC have voiced concerns over speeding and are now pleased that speed checks are regularly carried out within the village and on the outer periphery roads. KCC have also actively campaigned for a reduction in speed limits around some of the roads on the outskirts of the village.

Village CCTV

The village centre CCTV system has continued to be useful for the police – not only as a preventative measure but also on occasions when recordings are required for support and evidence. Thanks to Ian for his many hours of hard work and for taking constant responsibility for this on-going scheme. Grateful thanks to Alan for his continued role as data protection officer who ensures that KCC adhere strictly to the Data Protection Code of Practice when dealing with the CCTV system – and in all other areas of our work.

School and Young people

Bucksburn Academy

KCC were delighted that Bucksburn Academy pupils with teaching staff attended KCC meetings to present their alternative sustainable energy project to us. Thanks to Tom who represented KCC at Re-thinking Energy Conference and we look forward to working with this enthusiastic and knowledgeable group on a community project in the future.

The year ahead

We look forward to fostering a good working relationship with our newly elected Local Councillors and with a restructured Aberdeen City Council.

Kingswells Community Council will also go to formal election in October 2012 and at the inaugural meeting of the new council, it will adopt a constitution, a code of conduct and vote for office bearers for the next three year term. Newly elected Kingswells Community Councillors should continue to be active and effective in ascertaining, co-ordinating and expressing to the local and public authorities, the views of the Kingswells community.

As the city develops and changes over the next few years, the associated impact on Kingswells Village will unfold. A regenerated and reenergised Community Council should embrace the challenge to maintain, improve and promote Kingswells as an attractive, safe and pleasant village to live, within the city of Aberdeen.

 

Barrie Buchan (Mrs)

Chair of Kingswells Community Council

For presentation to KCC on the 13th August 2012

 

2 comments

  1. Improving Kingswells Village image
    “Aberdeen in Bloom” “Floral displays village centre”
    Take a look at the village clock; I think that’s grass growing out of the gutter. Not a pretty sight?

  2. Upgrade of paths – please keep us all posted regarding feedback from the public on this proposal.
    I suggest another mention in the community news letter.

    Our local developers are keen to support our community needs.

Leave a Reply