REPORT FROM (COUNCILLOR) DAVID ILLINGWORTH
On behalf of Councillor Frank Smith and myself, I’d like to say that we are both humbled and honoured to have been re-elected as councillors in the Almond and Earn Ward in the recent local government elections. Whichever way you voted, we are here to work for you. We don’t have magic wands and we won’t make promises we can’t keep but we will do our best. We’d also like to congratulate Councillor Michelle Frampton on her election. We look forward to working with Michelle for the benefit of everyone in the ward and we aim to do as much as we can to help her settle into the job of being a councillor.
Good Job Jill!
Well done to Jill Young for organising a fantastic rock night in the Williamson Hall on the 22nd of April. Brocks Den played a blinder of a set with well-known hits designed to get us all up on the dance floor. We got into the groove, we rocked around the clock and bopped until we dropped. The band even played the Thin Lizzy song with the lyric voted one of the worst in rock history – “There’s gonna be a jailbreak somewhere in this town”. Mmmm, wonder where? The whole night had the glorious atmosphere of an end of term disco, except without the smoochy last dance. (Ed’s Note – Awwwww!). It was fabulous to be back in the hall, at last, partying our hearts out. So, well done Jill for organising the event and thank you to Brocks Den for playing for free. In addition to being a great evening, the amazing sum of £660 was raised for DEC Ukraine relief. Good job everybody.
The Lady In The Van.
Did you know that once a fortnight Culture Perth and Kinross send one of their mobile libraries out to Abernethy to lend out books and other library things. It’s a great pleasure to visit the van, have a wee natter and it’s an opportunity to help children to engage with reading. The van parks somewhere on Main Street every other Tuesday between 2.30pm and 3.30pm before it trundles off to Forgandenny and Dunning. By the way, the mobile library can be staffed by male or female staff, it’s just that “The Lady In The Van” sounds more dramatic.
Councillor Kathleen Baird was first elected to Perth and Kinross Council in 1999 and has served in various wards over 23 years and sat on many committees and boards. That sentence is factually correct but it does nothing to describe Kathleen’s service to our community, not only as our councillor, but in the Church, the Guides - where she was County Commissioner - the Williamson Hall Committee and many other community activities in Abernethy. I first met her in 1999 when she came to help the playgroup that we, as parents, were involved with at the time. Her latest project is to help with sending goods for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
But, it is as a hard-working, highly effective councillor that she will be best remembered. As a local councillor, she was extremely good at dealing sensitively with people’s concerns and diligently seeing them through to a satisfactory completion. Many people who did not share her political views voted for her because she had such a strong reputation for getting things done. We called these voters Kathleen Baird Conservatives or KBCs for short.
The part of being a councillor that most people don’t see is the important role that councillors play in the running of the council. Perth and Kinross Council has an annual turnover of £400,000,000, employs 5,500 people and plays a massive part in all of our lives. Kathleen was at the heart of the council and was respected by everyone for her down-to-earth common sense approach and her aptitude for hard work. She is skilled at chairing meetings and this skill was fully used when, as Deputy Provost, she chaired large parts of difficult, contentious, full Council meetings and she took great care to make sure that everyone had their say.
Kathleen leaves huge shoes to fill and a large legacy of successful projects in her portfolio. She is looking forward to spending more time in her retirement from public life with her husband, David, and her children and grand-children and getting some much deserved me-time. Everyone wishes her well in her retirement.