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Kingswells Community Council Newsletter

Updated: 23 March 2003

KCC Newsletter - March 2003 Edition

Police Report (February 11th - March 3rd)

Thankfully, the crime figures for Kingswells continue to be low in comparison with other areas of the policing sub division. The figures for this reporting period are as follows;

∑ Theft - 3 Bikes at Village centre(2 recovered)

∑ Theft by Housebreaking - 0

∑ Theft by OLP (e.g. car break-in's) - 0

∑ Youth Annoyance complaints - 1

∑ Vandalism - 2 (bend aerial of car &endash;Aberdeen Considine incident)

∑ Underage Drinking - 1

There have been several calls relating to road traffic offences (6), mostly on the A944. Also one assault (domestic incident), and three calls received regarding Miscellaneous information.

In light of the recent events of vandalism in the village centres, patrols will increase frequency of visits to the Village Centre.

The Community Police Officers have enlisted the help of Kingswells Primary School to design a poster to help get across the message of "No Littering". The winner of this competition will be decided on April 2nd. The Grampian Police Graphics Dept has agreed to print the winning posters, which will be used in a local campaign to increase awareness of this anti-social behaviour.

New School

No new progress to report on the School Build this month.

Keeping up appearances

Maintenance of public areas alongside our roads- Good progress continues to be made by the maintenance crews from ACC in pruning and tidying the public areas around our village. Hopefully you are noticing the difference!!. As we mentioned before this work should be complete by the end of April, at which time we will be doing a close out review with ACC to make sure all areas have been covered

REMINDER: Clean up day - Another Clean-up Day has been planned for April 6th, and we hope as many people as possible will turn up to clean up the litter and broken glass that plague our paths and bushes. Gloves and litter pickers will be supplied. Details on where and when to meet will be posted in the Community Centre and Local Shops, nearer the time.

Kingswells Councillor &endash; Mr Peter Stephen

KCC is pleased to be working closely with our new Cllr, who is progressing a number of issues which have been of importance to Kingswells residents for some time. KCC is fully supportive of Cllr Stephens efforts. In particular we are pleased to see progress on the following issues;

∑ Work to improve the appearance of the shopping centre and plans should be available soon on the re-modelling,

∑ A number of traffic calming measures around the village are being pursued with the traffic dept of ACC

∑ Improvements to the bus shelters and reviews of the bus timetables.

∑ New speed limit signs at the Kingswells Crescent entrance to Kingswells.

Cllr Stephen will report more on these in the next edition of his newsletter.

Scouts : An update &endash; Progress is being made

We are pleased to report that since our last newsletter we have had one more volunteer come forward to help with running the Beaver section. Plans are now progressing to get the two volunteer leaders of this section warranted. More details will follow on when the group will restart.

We are still looking for volunteers to keep the Cub and Scout section open.

If you are interested in leading or helping with one of these sections, then please contact Mike Oxley (743368) or Richard Tanner (743928). If no further volunteers come forward a decision will be taken at Easter to close the sections that have no support.

Broadband: The final word

If you live in a house in Kingswells whose telephone service is provided through a new fibre line, then you will not be able to get a broadband service.

For the techies out there, the fibre connection is known as a TPON line (Telephony over Passive Optical Network) BT is using this technology to improve the quality and lower the cost of supplying telecoms to the home. However they have no plans at present to provide broadband over TPON.

Mobile Library Service

Aberdeen City Council is currently considering which additional areas of the city could be covered by a mobile library service. If we wish to be included, Kingswells will have to justify that a need exists for the service so it would demonstrated to be run as a cost effective service. The vehicle is currently 3 years old, a single decker, 27foot-bus type, with a disabled access. If you would like Kingswells to be considered for this service, please email info@kingswells.com for a questionnaire and send it to us c/o the Community Centre.

KCC Quiz Winner

Congratulations to Mr A Findlay, Kingswells the winner of the £25 prize for the KCC - Great Numbers Quiz. Our thanks to all the participants for their support.


KCC Newsletter - February 2003 Edition

Police Report:
The crime figures for Kingswells continue to be low in comparison to other areas in Aberdeen. Between January 6th and February 10th, the following crimes were reported

∑ Theft - 1 (Shoplifting)

∑ Youth Annoyance complaints - 4 (3 snowball and 1 egg throwing)

∑ Vandalism - 1 (run over top of car)

During this period there have been patrols in Kingswells, especially at weekends in the area of the primary school and Community Centre, and it is especially satisfying to see the low number of youth annoyance complaints.

There have been several calls relating to road traffic accidents, 4 reports of animal related calls, alarm calls, 3 domestic disturbances and other miscellaneous calls.

Road Traffic Matters - The results of the marksman survey on the roads in and around Kingswells indicates that there are occasional speeding violations on Kingswells Crescent. Speeding drivers are endangering their own lives and those of the local community. PC Watson will be carrying out further speed checks in the area, so be warned. If you are caught speeding you could face a fine AND penalty points on your license

PC Murray has arrangements in hand with the local school to organize a competition for poster design to get the 'No Littering' message across. The Grampian Police graphics department has agreed to print the posters when we have a winner.

Broadband:
According to the BT website, the trigger level for the Kingswells Exchange has now been reached. BT is now in the process of performing a final technical check on the exchange in preparation for installing Broadband ADSL.

However if you line in a house which has a fibre phone line supplying the telephone services then you will not be able to upgrade to Broadband. To check if you can receive broadband, go to this website and insert your telephone number in the query box.

http://www.bt.com/broadband/

New School:
The Education and Leisure Committee met on the 14th January. Extracts from the report on Kingswells School included the following details-

Finance: The Non-Housing Capital Plan approved by Council on 18 December 2002 includes a sum of £3.25m for the development of Kingswells School. This is currently phased on the basis of costs of £1.25m by 2003/4 and £2m in 2004/5.

Property: The school site is in the ownership of the Council. The proposed playground area is in the process of being transferred to the Council. Legal & Democratic Services are endeavouring to conclude with solicitors ownership matters of the space behind Kingswells school intended to create a new playground area. Provided there are no unusual conditions prior to registering title in the Council's name, it is suggested that the end of June 2003 would be the appropriate backstop date for this to be formally concluded. Once title is in the Council's name, the necessary consents can then be sought.

A draft set of 2002-based school roll forecasts indicates that the roll in 2006 will be in the region of 488 excluding the nursery which provides for a further 80 places - 40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon sessions.

For the draft projected roll of 488 in 2006, which rises to 528 to include nursery pupils, accommodation required is as follows:

∑ 18 classroom areas

∑ 2 Nursery areas

∑ 5 GP rooms*

∑ 1 Special Educational Needs Base for 7 pupils

∑ Parents'/Meeting Room

*One GP room will be equipped to house a flexible number of computers. This room may be available for Community use possibly as an Internet Café, or for access by Senior Citizens as well as for use by school pupils.

*The existing hall, which is classified as large GP, might require to be extended in order to accommodate as large a number of pupils as possible at one time.

Senior Management, Teaching, Administrative, Janitorial and Cleaning Staff office, work, storage, rest and toilet facilities will be upgraded, altered or re-located in accordance with the increased size of the school (capacity of 496). Reception, Disabled access, including toilet facilities, and Medical Room will be upgraded, altered or re-located in accordance with the development. The kitchen facilities will be upgraded in accordance with the increased number of pupils on the one site.

External: Playground and vehicle access will be altered, upgraded as required. The upgrade will include a full range of appropriate security and safety measures.

The Building Programme Team has also identified as priorities some areas of concern, which will require to be resolved in course of the development:

∑ Drop-off points for children being taken to school by car

∑ Parking areas around the school

∑ Footpath access to the school

∑ Security &endash; fencing, lighting, CCTV system, internal fire alarm and intruder system, access and egress points.

∑ Playground areas

∑ A School Travel Plan"

Maintenance of open areas in your developement:
History: Many areas of Kingswells have a house builder who designed their estates with large open spaces… parks, flowerbeds; children's play areas with play equipment. When the homes are being built, and for a short time after, the building company maintain these areas. Some house builders then pay ACC a 'one off' payment per house (in the region of £3000) to adopt the areas, ACC will then maintain these areas. If ACC does not receive this payment, they will not adopt the areas.

However, more usually, the house builders hand over the care of these public spaces to a Maintenance Management Company (a "Factor"). Shortly after this handover, each householder will have to contribute to the maintenance of the public areas in their estate.

Problem: Problems can then arise when, for example, the fee is felt to be too much, houses are sold and bought and the new owners refuse to pay the contribution. The title deeds of your property will determine the obligations of the house owner, but it is likely that all the house owners are legally responsible for their area. If a child gets hurt on a poorly maintained piece of equipment, you could be sued. Also you may have difficulty selling your house, and you may get problems in your home with 'wildlife'… field mice etc.

Solution: The formation of a Residents Association is the best way to address this problem and to get the Factor to meet his maintenance obligations. You are also able to change your factor if you don't think he is giving you value for money. Kingswells Community Council has written a step-by-step action plan to enable anyone to set up a Residents Association. The pack is available from our notice board in the Kingswells Community Centre, or it can be downloaded from www.kingswells.com , or ask a member of KCC for a copy.

KCC will be actively campaigning to ACC to prevent private housing developers in Aberdeen City having the choice of whether or not to pay for ground adoption.

Western Peripheral Route (WPR):
Following the public consultation road show for the Northern End of the WPR in Bucksburn, we would like to give you an update on the current plans for the WPR as we understand them.

The section of the WPR that passes Kingswells is considered by ACC to have been approved after the last round of public consultation in the 1990s. When questioned about this approval, ACC's Mr Murray assured KCC that the decision was widely advertised at the time in the local press.

ACC's position is therefore that the current consultation is only for the northern leg of the WPR and everything south of the cemetery has been approved. When the current consultation is over then the corridor for the whole route will be approved by ACC and details will be sent to the Scottish Executive for approval and funding. If everything goes to schedule then construction will be completed in 2010.

ACC wants funding for the whole route and will not start if only partial funding is guaranteed. This is because the Northern end of the WPR would not be financially viable on its own.

The plan for the WPR is to allow traffic to travel 29km from Bridge of Don to Charleston in 15 minutes at 70mph. To achieve this there will only be seven junctions as the WPR crosses the major roads in the area. All junctions will have 'flyovers' to allow the traffic on all roads to flow unimpeded. The cost of introducing slip-road access for other junctions is said to be prohibitive.

When asked about the results of the traffic surveys, Mr Murray reported that about 20% of traffic using the WPR would be through traffic.

The local road network would be unaffected by WPR, so the choice could be made to use the (hopefully) quieter local roads or to travel to the nearest junction of the WPR.

The next phase of the planning for the WPR is to look more closely at the junctions and to finalise the road alignment within the corridor that has been approved. When asked how wide the corridor was, Mr Murray said 'not wide'.

We are currently trying to determine from ACC the exact location of the WPR corridor as it passes Kingswells, and when we have this information we will update you.

There will be a another round of consultation once the final location of the junctions is known; but it will only allow minor tweaks to be made within the approved corridor.

KCC would like to know what the people of Kingswells feel about this proposal, and the fact that the views we expressed at the consultation in the early 1990's have NOT been taken into account. If you have a view on this then please write to your local councillor - Cllr Peter Stephen

Keeping up appearances:
Maintenance of public areas alongside our roads- We are pleased to report that after a meeting between KCC and officials from ACC, a maintenance schedule has been agreed for all of the shrubs in our public areas. As you will have noticed work is currently on going to prune and tidy up the shrubberies and this work should be finished by late April.

Clean up day - Another Clean-up Day has been planned for April 6th , and we hope as many people as possible will turn up to clean up the litter and broken glass that plague our paths and bushes. Gloves and litter pickers will be supplied.

We currently hold two clean up days a year, which does help keep Kingswells looking good, though unfortunately only for a short period. So we are proposing another scheme to replace the clean up days.

"Adopt-a-Street" &endash; If you are upset about the volume of litter in your street , then through the ACC 'clean and green scheme' you can be supplied with bags and gloves to collect litter in your area. Any interested persons for the "Adopt a Street Scheme" should in the first instance contact Meg Sands (744549)

A Plea From The Community Council:
Over the last year KCC has worked hard to help improve the appearance of our village. We have:-

∑ Lobbied for the installation of steps at the shopping centre, and maintenance of the surrounding shrubs

∑ Agreed with ACC a maintenance program for the shrubberies in our village

∑ Held several "clean-up" days

∑ Lobbied ACC for installation of more "doggie bins"

Despite all these attempts to improve the environment in which we live, there are still people who live in Kingswells who appear to have no respect for our environment.

∑ We still see people walking through the shrubs to get to the shops

∑ People still drop litter

∑ People still allow their dogs to foul the footpaths

Please, can we all be 'Good Neighbours' and take a pride in our local community.

Remember that dropping litter is a criminal offence and is socially unacceptable.

Scouts &endash; An update:
Following a meeting on January 22nd to discuss the future of the various Scout Groups in Kingswells, it was decided to postpone until Easter a decision on whether to disband the various sections of the Kingswells Scout Group. The current situation is

∑ Beaver Section &endash; no current leader. However one parent has volunteered to lead the pack providing a Deputy Leader can be found

∑ Cub Section &endash; no current leader, but one person available on part time basis due to work commitments

∑ Scout Section &endash; one leader who wants to move onto Explorer Scouts. (This section is still currently active)

If you are interested in leading or helping with one of these sections, then please contact Mike Oxley (743368) or Richard Tanner (743928). If no further volunteers come forward a decision will be taken at Easter to close the sections that have no support.

Good Neighbour:
Two good neighbours were nominated last month and they have kindly agreed to have their good work acknowledged.

Gill McKenzie has been the driving force behind the 'Save Countesswells Woods' campaign and has devoted a great deal of time and energy to informing the public about the issues involved with the Local Plan and the Football Stadium. Thanks to Gill for all her good works.

Dave King, the school caretaker, regularly exceeds his job description when he has to clean up after youths who litter the school playground in the evenings. All the broken glass, cans and other more unpleasant 'rubbish' are cleaned up before the children arrive at school in the morning. Thanks Dave for keeping our children safe and the school clean.

The community council are always looking for nominations for the Good Neighbour scheme. So, if you know of someone who deserves a special mention then please contact KCC. The winning nomination will receive a voucher for two Carvery meals at the Four Mile House, Kingswells. Shy or bashful? Don't worry! Advertising the Good Neighbour can be anonymous if required.
(Posted 22.2.2003)


KCC - December 2002 Edition

Welcome

Firstly we would like to extend a warm welcome our new councillor, Mr Peter Stephens. Congratulations on your victory. We look forward to working closely with you in the coming months on issues that are important to the people of Kingswells.

Police Consultation

A very successful Police Consultation session took place in the School Hall on November 13th. Superintendent Maureen Brown, Allan Ross and Jim Davidson were in attendance, along with many people from the community. Thanks to all of you who came along to support this event and to ask questions of Grampian Police.

Following requests from members of the public KCC request Grampian Police to conduct speed checks in and around Kingswells, and as you will read in the Grampian Police update, these checks have confirmed that there are issues with speeding, especially around mid-day. More checks are planned as a result of this survey.

Crime Report

In the month of October and November, nine crimes were reported in the Kingswells area. One act of vandalism was reported when a window at the Kingswells Parish Church was broken. The other crimes relate to a domestic assault, five road traffic incidents, a person urinating in a public place, and a drive off without paying for petrol.

The problem with motorists failing to obey the one way system at the shopping centre is being monitored. The traffic wardens have added this location to the list of sites being monitored by their mobile unit.
For more information read the (Police Newsletter November 2002)

New School Build

On November 5th, the Learning and Leisure Committee heard a report from the Education Department that Option 3 was deemed to be most favourable. (ie: Extend the existing building on the main site and locate the playground on the public open space to the south of the tree belt). Committee Conveyor Jurgen Thomaneck recommended that a report on all the building and land aspects surrounding the project be compiled and presented to the Committee in January.

The Community Council objectives for this project are as follows: &endash;

School Build -

  • Ensure planning stage and then construction work commences as soon as possible.
  • Ensure safety of children during construction. Planning timetable to incorporate best use of holidays.
  • Minimise disruption to the children and village as a whole.
  • Ensure build design is flexible for future adaption to accommodate changing needs of the community e g. Community facilities, adult learning, library, and activities for youths (e. g. Internet café)
  • Ensure design takes into account anti vandalism considerations and protection from detrimental anti social behaviour.(e.g. badly lit, hidden corners) Encourage police consultation during planning.
  • Plan to alleviate parking problems around school, which will only get worse with expansion of building and school roll numbers. Suggestion of walking busses/trains and supervised 'drop-off' turning circle facilities.

New Playground -

Propose solutions to problems arising from a detached playground.

1. How children will travel from school building to detached playground through narrow opening due to trees (which have a Tree Protection Order) and conservation protected Dry Stane Dykes.

2. Emergency evacuation of school to playground through previously described 'bottleneck'.

3. Transport and supervision of children back to school building for First Aid and toilet facilities.

4. Protection, safety and supervision of children while playing in an exposed area.

5. Emergency vehicle access to playground.

6. Ensure new playground surface and equipment is suitable for varied community use, out with school hours.

7. Take the opportunity to install adequate drainage at playing field / football pitch to allow year round use.

If you have any comments on the New School Build, the Community Council, would be delighted to hear from you.

Lottery Funding

In our last newsletter we asked for your ideas on what projects we should consider that would be of benefit to the community at large. We now have three suggestions;

a) Marked network of cycle trails / jogging trails around the village : the village of Kingswells has numerous walkways and paths that weave between the various housing developments. The plan would be to mark out various routes with direction signs and points of interest. The routes could be used by walkers, joggers and cyclists. Sign posts would also be erected to help teach young children on bikes the Highway Code. Also at various points along the route exercise stations would be located to provide a circuit training route. A map would be produced showing the different routes and the distance of the various circuits.

b) Additional seating and benches : provide new seating at certain locations in the village in order to take advantage of the path network.

c) Youth Shelters : in many village and town centres youth shelters are being provided as a focal point for young people to meet. This idea would locate a youth shelter in the village centre which would serve as a meeting place for our young people.

If you have other ideas please let us know, we plan to make our selection early in the New Year.

Lord Provost's Charitable Trust

Through Councillor Peter Stephen we have been asked to consider submitting an application for funding from this charitable trust. The ACC Youth Action Committee is working on behalf of the Lord Provost Charitable Trust to access proposed projects on the theme of "active citizenship by young people in the city". They are particularly interested in applications that demonstrate the active involvement of young adults in decision making and in taking action on issues of concern to them. Please contact a member of the Community Council if you are interested in working with us to apply for this grant.

The Trust has decided that it will fund work that helps young adults improve their skills as active citizens of Aberdeen. Suitable projects would be those that encourage young adults to get involved with local issues and decision-making. The funding is open to groups and individuals, existing and new projects, that will help to raise the profile of young people and give them a voice that can be heard in decision-making processes.

The Trust's funding is aimed at young people aged between 16 and 25 and it is intended that they will be actively involved both in the preparation of a grant application and in the organisation of the project which is the subject of the funding.

Proposals should be driven by issues, which could include those issues relevant to young adults in their communities or nationally. Proposals should also develop skills amongst young people, which could include debating, writing, negotiating, presenting information, decision-making, and working with others - skills useful in community and democratic participation.

Kingswells Community Council Funding

The Community Council receives £337 p.a. from the City Council, this equates to 11 p per electorate. The outgoings of the Community Council are primarily connected with administration costs for our Secretary, attendance at various council and municipal meetings, and promotions and publications. The level of central funding that Community Councils get is currently under review by Aberdeen City Council, but in the meantime the members of the KCC have volunteered their time to deliver copies of "the blether" to the houses in the village. In return for their time KCC will receive a donation from the editor of this magazine for services rendered. This increase in our funding will give us more scope to improve the services we provide to the community.

Shopping Centre &endash; Landscaping

Despite our efforts to improve the appearance of the shrubberies around the shopping centre by having steps built we are still getting people walking through the shrubs to get to the shops. Please use the steps and help keep the centre of Kingswells a pleasant place to visit !

On-going communication

As a Community Council it is vital for us to have two way communications with the people of Kingswells. We do this in a variety of ways.

- We hold monthly Community Council meetings in the Community Centre that are open to the public. This is an opportunity for you to come and ask specific question of the Community Councillors, of Councillor Stephens, or of the Community Police Officer.

- The minutes and the agenda from these monthly meeting are posted in the Community Centre, and on the websiite run by Clare Burt at kingswells.com

- You can also join in discussions on the website at the online bulletin board.

- You can send us an email at communitycouncil@kingswells.com We will acknowledge your email and again if required take up your issue with the appropriate authorities.

- You can send us a letter at Kingswells Community Council, Kingswells Community Centre, Kingswells, Aberdeen, AB15 8TG

 

If you don't know what is going on &endash; ask us, and if you have a view or a concern &endash; tell us. We can't promise to fix everything but we will listen and we will make sure that your views get represented to the appropriate authorities or people.

Calling all Kingswells Youths

  • Don't have anything to do in the evenings?
  • Wish you had ?
  • Wish you had your own place to hang out?

Kingswells Community Council would like to hear from you.

We want to hear what you have to say, and we can work with you to help you get things that you want for your village.

Please contact us via www.kingswells.com or call 749487

Update on Stadium_ Public Inquiry

Scottish Ministers have appointed Michael J Culshaw MA (Cantab) MA MRTPI as the reporter to hold the public inquiry into the Kingswells stadium proposal. There is a pre-inquiry meeting planned for January 15th 2003 in Aberdeen. Everyone who sent in objection letters will receive a letter from the Scottish Executive with more details on this meeting. Further information is also available on the KIFG website.

New Facilities &endash; All weather pitch

We have received several emails asking us how to get access to the new all weather pitch at the Derbeth end of the village. This pitch along with the other facilities will be managed by the Community Centre, so please get in touch with them for more details.

And finally

Don't forget to register your interest in broadband at BT's website www.bt.com/broadband/

Kingswells Community Council wish all the people of Kingswells and safe and happy festive season

(Editor for KCC : Martin Varco)


KCC - November Edition

A year in reflection

It is now one year since the Kingswells Community Council (KCC) was re-formed.

The first year has been very busy and we are proud of what has been achieved in our first year. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the various action groups that were setup to deal with the issues that affect us all. The list below shows some of the activities with which KCC has been involved. The list is in no particular order.

  • Stopped proposed change of bus route through Derberth.
  • After years of village clock broken- now fixed.
  • Questionnaire and Poll
  • Achieved steps, railings and landscaping in front of Alldays .
  • Two litter clean up days
  • Police Communication
  • School Board Communication
  • Local Plan and Save Counteswells Woods
  • Communication with other Community Councils and Attendance at Forum Meetings
  • Stadium
  • Working with Conservation Groups eg Consumption Dykes
  • Communication with Public by website and Kingswells News and notice board
  • Incinerator and ACC Draft North east Area Waste Plan
  • Youth Action Group
  • Bird Boxes
  • Good Neighbour scheme
  • Wine and Cheese evening
  • One Way System
  • Speeding problems through village
  • Reporting damaged street signs
  • Youth 'mischief'
  • Consumption dykes
  • Communication with Neighbourhood watch areas
  • Maintenance of open spaces
  • Derberth Pond
  • All Planning Applications
  • Trees beside Fairley Road School chopped as they were dangerous
  • Park and Ride &endash; boy racers, lights, security matters.

Contacting KCC

To be effective we need your feed back and input. You can contact us using the following methods:

  • Post boxes in the community centre and post office
  • Email CommunityCouncil@kingswells.com
  • Using the bulletin board on www.kingswells.com also see web for phone numbers.

House installation

Recent satellite pictures show Kingswells has some of the worst insulated houses in Aberdeen. We are considering holding a meeting where advice can be obtained. If you are interested in attending such a meeting could you please register your interest on the poll on www.kingswells.com or any of the above methods of contacting KCC.

Crime Report

In the last month no crime has been reported in the Kingswells area.

Free trees for Kingswells residents

Aberdeen Countryside Project (ACP) is running a project in conjunction with Pinewood Park Nurseries, which encourages residents to plant native species of trees in their gardens. ACP will give away up to four native trees per house. The species on offer are: Silver Birch, Rowan, Guelder Rose, and Bird Cherry.

In order to claim your free trees write to Aberdeen Countryside Project at Doug Scott Buidling, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9YA, or use the coupon on page 5 of this months edition of "Bon Accord"

Lottery Funding Application

The Lottery Fund provides grants to communities under several different programs, Sport, Cultural, and Community. We would like to apply for a grant for the people of Kingswells and use this to provide a project that would be of benefit to the whole community.

We would like to hear from you if you have an idea for a suitable project. Some ideas under consideration:

  • Marked cycle trails around Kingswells, possible including a jogging and exercise path
  • Additional seating and benches

Public land maintenance

The policy the City Council adopted this year for pruning / weeding public areas was to tackle one third of the area this year. The other two thirds were to be tackled in each of the following two years. We understand that this policy has been reviewed and the whole of the area for which the CC is responsible will be 'processed' next year. We will have to wait and see what actually happens.

One of the projects that the Community Council is working on is to improve the upkeep of the public areas around Kingswells. We are working to build up a map of the area showing who is responsible for the upkeep of these areas. In the course of doing this we are writing to the people responsible for the worst kept areas and asking them to improve the standard to which they maintain the areas.

If you have areas that you would like to see tackled then please get in touch with the Community Council.

Good Neighbour

The Good Neighbour Scheme was devised to allow KCC to acknowledge some of the good deeds that are being carried out by local people, and to try to encourage neighbourly acts.

The first award will go to one of the 28 volunteers who helped with the clean-up day. We will announce this award when Meg, who organised the event, returns from a long holiday.

The award for November goes to Wilma because she has been an excellent neighbour to June for several years, never failing to lend a hand when required. Wilma was very helpful when June's cat was seriously ill. Well done Wilma. You will receive a voucher for a 'Carvery for Two' at the Four Mile House, Kingswells.

If you want to nominate a 'good neighbour' then please contact KCC. Full details of the scheme are available on the web.

Stadium

We would like to thank all of the people who wrote to the Scottish Executive calling for a public inquiry into the stadium application. Hopefully many of you found the template letter that we distributed useful.

WINTER HOME SECURITY - LIGHTS OUT, YOU'RE OUT!

Every winter Grampian Police see an increase in the number of domestic housebreakings throughout the Force area. This is undoubtedly due to the onset of darker nights and, as Christmas approaches, the fact that many of us will have bought our Christmas presents. So as a result, our homes are even more vulnerable.

We have enlisted the help of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators who will walk round their scheme during 2 weeks, commencing Monday 4th November and then Monday 11th November and note the houses in darkness and deliver some information leaflets.

Here are the main points from the information distributed.

  • ENSURE YOU HAVE GOOD OUTDOOR LIGHTING &endash; INSTALL PIR LIGHTS
  • MAKE YOUR HOME APPEAR AS IF SOMEONE IS IN BY USING TIMER SWITCHES.
  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOOD WINDOW AND DOOR LOCKS
  • POSTCODE YOUR VALUABLES WITH AN ULTRA VIOLET PROPERTY MARKING PEN


KCC - June Edition.

Bus route Action Group

Kingswells Community Council representatives met with the Derberth Grange Action Group on the 5th June. We discussed a number of issues, which KCC are now acting upon.

The use of Derberth Grange as a bus route and for turning.

KCC wrote to First Aberdeen and who replied " The present route is not ideal but the Bus Company has no intention of amending the present route in the future." Although SMG have refused to give First Aberdeen permission to use Derberth Grange, concerns were voiced at the meeting, that when the road was 'taken over' by ACC, (possibly at the end of this year) this problem would, again, be raised. We wrote to the ACC (Public Transport Unit) who replied " …should FirstAberdeen intimate that they wish to use Derbeth Grange as a turning area for the 14/15 bus route I would arrange that an independent safety audit is carried out as I have concerns over the road width in that area. With regards to the provision of a turning circle, there currently is no funding for the provision of such works and as we discussed, at this time I have no intention of pursuing the matter further but your suggestions have been duly noted."

The present bus route and position of bus stops.

KCC wrote to ACC Planning Dept. to suggest that bus routes are part of the planning process of each new housing development, to avoid similar problems elsewhere, in the future.

The Public Transport Unit met with KCC representatives to examine the present bus route allowing KCC to gain better understanding of this chosen route. Perhaps not ideal, the route does cover all the community and allows everyone access to the village centre.

KCC have suggested adding a stop at Kingswells Avenue, to serve Bethlin Mews, and an area of hardstanding to be placed at the existing stop on Kingswells Avenue at Midmar Crescent. These suggestions are now being further investigated. If you have any further suggestions or comments, on any aspect of the bus route, please contact us by writing to &endash;

Kingswells Community Council
C/o Kingswells Community Centre
Kingswells Village Centre
Kingswells

New School Build

The public consultation document for future Primary provision in Kingswells is now in the public domain. There are copies locally, in Kingswells Community Centre, Kingswells Primary school, and it can be downloaded from Aberdeen City Councils website &endash;www.aberdeencity.gov.uk (or from this web site www.kingswells.com from the home page)

The document covers the pros and cons of nine options, for our careful consideration.

The educational needs of the children are, of course, of paramount importance to us all. However, this is not just a matter for present and future parents. It is an extremely important document for all residents of Kingswells. On wider community issues, for example, do the youths of Kingswells, need somewhere to go in an evening &endash; perhaps access to computers for an 'Internet café'? What about facilities for evening classes? A small library to serve the community? We are a young community at present, but demographics do change. So, we should all be interested in the thoughts of the present retired people of Kingswells, on where they want, and what they want from, this new facility.

So, we need to plan for our immediate and long-term future for our children and for the village as a whole. It is not often that we are asked to participate in our community's destiny. Let's make sure we grasp the opportunity. It only takes a letter.

Kingswells Community Council has campaigned for public involvement in this decision making process. We will not be issuing a response with a "1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice" but feel our role is to encourage all Kingswells residents, to read the document, make up your own mind, and then respond to -

Mr John Stodter
Director of Education (Corporate Director Designate-Learning and Leisure)
(Public Consultation Response)
Aberdeen City Council
Stronsay Drive
Aberdeen
AB15 6JA


May NewsLetter

Next Kingswells Community Council meeting

The next meeting of the Kingswells Community Council (KCC) is on May 27th in the Community Centre, at 8:00pm. All of the KCC meetings are open to the public so if you have a point of view that you want heard, or you just want to know what is going on, come along. The minutes of our meetings are posted in the Community Centre and on the web at www.kingswells.com

Successful Volunteers Evening

As a result of the poll we ran at the beginning of the year, over 70 Kingswells residents said they would be willing to help in some capacity with the work of the KCC. On March 25th these volunteers were invited to a Cheese and Wine evening in the Community Centre to meet the members of the KCC and to discuss the plans of the various action groups. Many of the people who attended the evening signed up to help on one of the action groups,

Changes to Bus Route

Following a planned change to the no. 14 bus route by First Group, the residents of Derbeth Grange, contacted the KCC and asked us to assist in discussions with First Group. A meeting was arranged with the General Manager of First Group, and at this meeting it was agreed to suspend the implementation of the new route pending further consultation. The KCC is now facilitating discussions between the residents of Derbeth Grange and First Group.

Infrastructure Group - Relocation of AFC to Kingswells

The third revision of the TIA and EIA studies has been published and as with previous versions the studies contain some fundamental flaws. The KCC has submitted its objections to the revised TIA and EIA. We understand over 5000 objections were received to this revised submission from AFC. We are now busy preparing for the Departure Hearing which is scheduled for June 27th.

Infrastructure Group &endash; Building of additional housing at Gillahill

The modified Local Plan has been issued and we are currently studying the proposal from ACC. Initial views are that it will erode significant areas of greenbelt between Kingswells and Cults. We will give you more information next month.

Infrastructure Group &endash; Building of new school

The KCC had a meeting with the Education Dept on April 25th to discuss progress of the Building Program Team (BPT). Funding for the first stage of the project (cost of surveys, planning process, and if needed purchase of land has been secured). ACC is now pursuing a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) for the remainder of the funding required. BPT have conducted a study of options for the new school and a report went before the Education and Leisure Committee on May 14th. It is likely that the favoured options will go to Public Hearing sometime in September.

Following lobbying by the KCC we have been invited onto the BPT to provide community input into the project. We will work closely with the Kingswells School Board to ensure the views of the community are fully represented. This is a good example of why Community Council's were formed - to work closely with local authorities in the early stages of projects, which have a significant impact on the people in the local area.

Contrary to what has been reported in the press recently, the KCC is NOT against the building of a new school in Kingswells. In fact we are one of the most enthusiastic supporters of such a plan.

Environment & Conservation Group

The clean up day organized by the KCC, on April 14th, was a great success with 28 people turning out to help clean up areas of our village. Thanks to all of you, who took time out to help, we collected 66 bags of rubbish. Another clean up day is planned for the autumn.

We are pleased to report that the steps at the shopping centre have now had the handrails installed, and the lines in the car park repainted. The shrubbery has been maintained, with the ground dug over and the shrubs pruned. We would urge all of you to keep this area looking its best, especially now this work has been done, by using the steps, and not walking through the shrubs. One of the major suggestions from the poll was to improve the area in front of the shops, we have had the steps installed and yet people are still not making the effort to look after this area. We all have a responsibility to respect the environs of the village in which we live, so that everyone can enjoy it.

We are working with the ACC Archaeological Dept to install plaques on the various Consumption Dykes in the village. These will be informative plaques that giving a brief history of when and why they were built. Unfortunately the Roughcairn Consumption Dyke in the Concraig development has been vandalised, with several stones removed. The repair of these dykes by ACC costs money and diverts funding which could otherwise be spent on other work in the village. A sign has been erected informing people that this dyke is of national importance and that the removal of stones is a criminal offence.

"Consumption" dykes, were built to "consume" stones from the fields during agricultural improvements, and are distinctive features of the NorthEast landscape. These dykes have long been a topic of interest, both locally and nationally, and two dykes at Kingswells were scheduled as early as 1933.

ACC is seeking input from KCC on the one way system. So if you have a view on how the system can be improved, please let us know.

Policing Group & Youth Section

KCC has made a request to ACC to have 20 mph speed restrictions imposed around the Nursery School and around the village centre. We will keep you informed of the response from ACC.

In co-ordination with the Community Police Officers we will be running a campaign to enlist areas not currently covered by Neighbourhood Watch schemes. This simple to operate scheme can greatly increase the security of your neighbourhood, plus get you a discount on your house insurance.

We have reviewed details of the range of Lottery Grants that are available for communities and we are currently in discussions with the various active groups in Kingswells as how to move forward with an application in a co-ordinated fashion.

Your Community needs you!!

If you have any views, suggestions or concerns, or if you are able to volunteer some time, get in touch with us via email at communitycouncil@kingswells.com or via post using the post boxes in the Community Centre or the Post Office.



If you can provide assistance or information with any of the above please contact me at: info@kingswells.com A credit will be given to anyone submitting articles and photos used on web site. Claire Burt Web mistress
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January 2002 Newsletter

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