Well that’s been an eventful day. The headline news must be the delay to the opening of the new Hillside primary school. Instead of opening as planned in August next year, the scheduled date is now October 2016. The news was shared with Portlethen Community Council tonight by Cllr Carl Nelson, as chairman of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee.
Today the committee took a paper in private that set out the reasons for the delay – over access – and agreed which company would be awarded the contract. The meeting was in private for various reasons (financial affairs, terms of acquisition, tenderer for contract, and legal proceedings).
After a meeting in private the chairman is the only person who can discuss what was decided. Carl told the meeting that a tender had been accepted and the contract will be awarded subject to land acquisition. The successful bid is within budget. The work will also include drainage, grassing and fencing for community pitches. However, he said, there are access issues with a third party. Nonetheless this is close to resolution. He added that Stewart Milne road works might take until September which could delay the building of the school. That was resulting in an October opening.
As you would expect, community councillors were not pleased. Many blamed the council, though Carl advised that a judgement should not be made without being in possession of all the facts. Community councillors wanted to know what the consequences would be for the children of the new school, and for the pupils of Portlethen primary school. The council’s education director is being invited to attend the next meeting.
Unfortunately there is little more I can say, which is one of the consequences of having meetings in private.
A reporter from the Evening Express was present so no doubt we will be able to read more in due course.
Tonight’s meeting also discussed the changes to local bus services and the lack of timetables; plans for a recycling centre at Badentoy; the empty General George store; a local community plan; the Portlethen gala including a “wonderful” grant of £1000 from the local Rotary club; the lack of a police report again; progress with the allotments campaign; and a £500 grant towards the Bourtee pre-school garden.
At area committee earlier today, councillors agreed that £8000 would be spent on drainage in Nicol Park, Stonehaven; and £25,000 on purchasing land for the cemetery at Maryculter, amongst other landscape services projects. I also made the point that landscape services staff should liaise with communities before undertaking significant work, such as the many bushes and trees planted in the park beside Newtonhill Road, in Newtonhill.
Planning permission in principle was granted for four houses at Stripeside, Netherley, replacing existing buildings. And finally full planning permission for a vehicle inspection facility