FRAE OOR COONCILLOR
The year is rolling on and by the time you read this Autumn will have gone and Winter will be upon us bringing different challenges and opportunities. Since the last edition of the Crier I am sure we are all pleased that Tayside Contracts have been busy resurfacing roads in our area. Great to have roads resurfaced and no pot holes and the good news is another section of the A913, at the traffic lights, will be resurfaced in February. This may be inconvenient for a short time; remember that in February severe weather may delay the work programme. The exact date for the start of work has not been confirmed at the time of writing. The road maintenance budget was increased to £14m this year to allow more roads to be resurfaced rather than patched and we have had our fair share in Almond and Earn. The Conservative Administration are pleased that many roads have been improved this financial year.
Some say Abernethy is the forgotten village with regard to road maintenance etc. but I think that the village and surrounding area are looking good bearing in mind Council services have been severely disrupted for 18 months due to COVID. There has been a lot of investment over the last few years. Lighting installed at the car park above the Williamson Hall, which must be great for those who have lock-ups and also for those who attend events in the hall. Additional car parking for residents at Hall Park has been created and I know that this has been wanted for many years! New walking/cycling path from Aberargie to Glenfoot, new pavement on Station Road, two Puffin Crossings, VAS signs at Aberargie & Abernethy, a section of road resurfaced on the A913 to the Fife boundary, green cycle route for the Glenfoot road and patching on Glenfoot Road . I hope you will agree that this has been much needed investment locally on roads but more resurfacing is required and I do agree Main Street is in in need of resurfacing. Not all of the funding has been directly from Perth & Kinross Council. The Housing Revenue Fund was responsible for Hallpark car park and contributed towards the lighting at the lock-ups, and Sustrans for the path at Aberargie (the issue with weeds on path will be addressed).
Aberargie is looking smart with their new seating area, a great place for Aberargie residents to meet, chat and enjoy a cuppa as well as for walkers and cyclists to sit and have their snack. Almond & Earn Action Partnership were happy to support the community with some funding. Almond & Earn Action Partnership have also supported Abernethy pavilion with their application to continue with their upgrade to the pavilion.
At a recent Almond & Earn Action Partnership meeting we allocated from the Community Investment Funding £43k to organisations throughout Almond & Earn (Abernethy, Bridge of Earn, Oudenarde, Forgandenny, and Methven) for projects required either to meet one or more of the priority areas of the PK Offer Economy, Education, Environment, Equalities, Empowerment and Fairness or some of the priorities of the Action Partnership Improvement plan which are Poverty, Skills, Physical and Mental Wellbeing, Employability Digital Participation and Rural Isolation. We had a variety of applications this year, and hopefully similar funding will be available in 2022. Information about Funding opportunities can be found on the Perth & Kinross Council website.
Community organisations, to be successful, rely on volunteers and Abernethy can be proud of the volunteers who throughout the year give freely of their time, willingly and without thought of reward. This has been another hard year for organisations, trying to open up with COVID guidelines changing as the pandemic continues to be part of our everyday life. I know there are many organisations in the village who would welcome a few more volunteers. If you have never volunteered or are feeling a bit lonely and have some spare time I am sure there is an opportunity to give some of your time and talent to to the village. Organisations don’t always need money. Volunteers are the best resource, and to thrive organisations need members. For the past 18 months most of us have become used to staying at home and perhaps some members of the community are reluctant to return to the organisations they enjoyed before COVID.
Perth & Kinross Council also values volunteers groups such as Abernethy in Bloom who not only enhance the village for residents and visitors but whose volunteers enjoy the camaraderie of working together. Abernethy is fortunate to have volunteers who litter pick, and we are all very grateful that they are willing to pick up litter dropped by individuals who do not care about the environment .
As winter approaches volunteers are needed to help Councils throughout the land keep traffic and people moving. Locally we are fortunate to have ordinary folk who suddenly become volunteers clearing pavements (we should have at least two pavement barrow gritters available this winter). The grit bins are filled at the beginning of winter, and remember this is for public roads not private drives. Rural routes, if necessary, may get a ton bag of grit dropped at suitable locations for residents to use. If the grit bin is empty use my.pkc.gov.uk to have it replenished. Rural areas are grateful to farmers who after they have cleared their own road and sometimes fed their cattle and sheep are more than happy to help clear roads around the village. All information regarding gritting and snow clearing can be found on PKC website www.pkc.gritting.pkc.gov.uk
We are drawing to the end of another year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our unsung heroes who throughout the year are good caring neighbours who keep an eye on their neighbour quietly, and not forgetting Abernethy Community Transport who have had a busy year driving clients to various appointments. A big thank you to all of the Abernethy in Bloom team who have worked throughout the year maintaining Nurse Peattie’s garden, filling tubs, and now the Christmas Tree is shining brightly in the garden. Thanks must also go to the leaders of youth organisations who give freely of their time to give youngsters wonderful opportunities and memories. I personally look back on my own Brownie & Guide experiences and remember my first Brownie pack holiday and first Guide Camp!! Some Abernethy Scouts recently spent their first night of camping in October. Their verdict? It was good!! Thanks to all the staff in schools who have worked under difficult circumstances to keep our children safe and will be all looking forward to a well earned holiday. Lastly thank you to the “Crier” editorial team, and to all who deliver the Crier throughout the area.
This has been a really tough year for many, but no-one need suffer alone, there are many organisation willing to give advice and support.
I hope that we can all celebrate Christmas with family and friends. I wish you all a peaceful happy Christmas and a healthy 2022.
Councillor Kathleen Baird firstname.lastname@example.org 07584206839
REPORT FROM COUNCILLOR DAVID ILLINGWORTH
The Wall. Abernethy is blessed to have three excellent play parks in the village - behind the Williamson Hall, in Powrie Park and just off Brandywell Drive. There are also at least two rope swings for children to play on and there is “The Wall”. “The Wall” outside the Williamson Hall has probably been used by Abernethy children to play on since the hall was built in the 1880s. Children build their confidence by walking along the top of the wall and enjoy climbing down the old cast iron lamp post from gas light days.
Schools in Perth and Kinross are now being encouraged to provide more outdoor play areas where children are allowed to take more risks for themselves when outside. Personally I think that children seem to spend too much time inside in front of screens when it would be better for them to be having fun outside. The old adage, “if children don’t pick up the odd small scrape and bruise here and there, then they aren’t having enough fun”, is definitely true.
The Good Side Effect. A very nice lady was telling me while out on a walk that one of the good side-effects of continued lock-down regulations is that people are more likely to talk to each other. It’s like when during snowy weather everyone stops for a chat. When we talk to people in the street it makes people feel appreciated, it makes people feel they belong here. When you have that sense of community, all sorts of fantastic things happen as if by magic. This is what makes Abernethy such a fantastic place to live.
Four great reasons not to overtake on the Baiglie Straight.
1. Your poor car won’t like the stresses and strains placed on the engine and transmission by revving hard to overtake.
2. Fuel consumption is also increased and that isn’t good for your wallet or for the environment.
3. Normally, you probably won’t get home much quicker. There will almost always be some other vehicle or obstruction to slow you down.
4. Being charged with Dangerous Driving (or worse!) will definitely spoil your day.
So take it easy when you’re out driving and make sure you and everyone else gets home safely.
Promises The whole of the council met recently to agree a new Capital budget. On your behalf, we made a lot of large promises to borrow money to invest in important infrastructure.
Against a background of substantial construction price inflation, we promised continued additional support of £35.4m for the following major projects:
Perth High School £8.3m
Blairgowrie Recreation Centre £8.9m
Harris Academy/Invergowrie Pupils £4.2m
Investment in Information Technology/Digital Capacity £10.5m
North Muirton/Balhousie Primary School £3.5m.
We also promised to continue to work on building a strong business case for replacing the ageing, and expensive to run, Perth Leisure Pool and Dewars Ice Rink. Currently, the rough estimate for this huge project is £70m and this is likely to increase with inflation. It’s important that the Council does not make promises to go ahead with any project of this size unless there is a strong business case. It would not be fair on you to spend your money without making sure it was going to be well spent.
A local resident pointed out that a V.I.G. (Very Important Guide Dog) had nearly fallen through a hole in the small bridge into the Powrie Park from Cordon Farm Road. I asked the Council to see what could be done and to the delight of the V.I.G. the council made an excellent temporary repair and have promised to put in a concrete replacement in due course, despite the fact the bridge is not on Council land. This is a small example of what Councillors can do to help. Now, we won’t make promises we can’t keep, but we will do our best to help if there is something you think we can help with. My contact details are below.
PS. I’m very sorry to the young lady who thought her childhood had been taken away when this repair was made.
My top tip for Christmas. If you are lucky enough to have small children with you at Christmas and they are lucky enough to get lots of presents, then spread out the present opening over a number of days. That way, they’ll give each present the attention it deserves and you will have an opportunity to encourage good behaviour by suggesting that if they don’t behave, presents will be delayed.
A Very Merry Christmas to one and all.With what Tesco are now calling “The Present Giving Season” almost upon us, I’d like to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and New Year. Hopefully, next year will see the complete end to all the lock-down restrictions.
If you think I can be of any help then please let me know and I’ll do my best to help. Email email@example.com or call 07767006275.