Councillors in Close Vote on Vaccine Centre

By Jane Cruickshank / February 8, 2022
shot of the resource centre and its large bay window area

COUNCILLORS were split today on a vote to finance the conversion of the Invercarron Resource Centre into a vaccine clinic – some willing to accept the move on the condition it was reviewed, while others said they had no confidence in the report before them. The casting vote of the committee chair saw the necessary spend refused.

Today’s refusal is likely to be only a stay of execution for hopes for the Invercarron Resource Centre. Councillors learned the paper will now be presented to the chair and vice chair of the Community Committee who have the authority to grant the procurement request.

Cllr Ian Mollison perhaps summed up the feelings of many.

He said: ”It appears this has been done unto Stonehaven instead of with them, and this is most regrettable.”

No good option on the table

There was clear dismay expressed by councillors who found themselves faced with a dilemma – approve the Β£75,000 spending needed to convert the Invercarron or face the possibilty of having no vaccine facility in the town. And according to the report, Aberdeenshire Council were legally obliged to implement a decision taken by another body. The Integration Joint Board (IJB) has representatives from both the council and NHS Grampian and oversees Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

But Cllr Wendy Agnew spoke to the role of councillors in the process.

”We are after all the people who were elected by the constituents to look after what they want looked after,” she said.

Mrs Agnew said the Invercarron was used by the community at times of crisis such as flooding – and she pushed for greater consideration of the Forest View Centre as a location for the vaccination centre. She proposed deferring the decision until a site visit could be made.

Cllr Dennis Robertson said he supported there being a vaccine centre in Stonehaven for people in the Kincardine and Mearns Area. But, he said, in the long term the Invercarron might not be the best site.

He said: ”What I would ask going ahead with this project, is that everything is under review.”

Mr Robertson went on to propose approving the procurement on the basis of an annual review of the location of the vaccine centre.

Little confidence in the last minute report

AHSCP learned they would be responsible for delivering vaccines back in 2018. Today, they presented the procurement paper using emergency powers saying funding would be lost if not used by the end of the financial year.

Cllr Sarah Dickinson criticised the last-minute approach. She said there was time for this to be done without using the special emergency powers. And she criticised the report for inaccuracies – Dunnottar was spelt incorrectly throughout.

”Spelling mistakes undermine confidence in who wrote the report and their knowledge of the area, ” she said. ”An error like that should not be possible.”

And Cllr Sandy Wallace said his original intention was to support the procurement request but he condemned the report as not being in a state he could support. He moved to refuse the necessary approval.

Casting vote decides

After a lengthy discussion, councillors were asked to vote either for Mr Robertson’s motion to approve the procurement request with the condition the vaccine centre location is reviewed. Or, they could support Mr Wallace’s ammendment to refuse the procurement.

Voting for the motion were: Cllrs Alison Evison, Ian Mollison, Dennis Robertson, Sarah Dickinson and Provost Bill Howatson.

Voting for the amendment were: Cllrs Wendy Agnew, George Carr, Jeff Hutchison, Colin Pike and Sandy Wallace.

The chair did not hesitate in uttering the one word that refused the procurement plan, ‘amendment’.

Vera coull - February 13, 2022

It goes on and on and these old folks are still stuck indoors feeling very depressed and no future to look forward to with pals they made at Invercarron – no more skittles ,,ball games entertainment outings to Garlogie etc Highlight s of their week. SO UNFAIR β€”- bow your heads in shame πŸ’”πŸ’” so I’m not allowed another comment shows what a stitch up this is !

Vera coull - February 13, 2022

It goes on and on and these old folks are still stuck indoors feeling very depressed and no future to look forward to with pals they made at Invercarron – no more skittles ,,ball games entertainment outings to Garlogie etc Highlight s of their week. SO UNFAIR β€”- bow your heads in shame πŸ’”πŸ’”

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