ANOTHER day has passed with Live Life Abereenshire choosing to bury its head in the sand rather than answer valid questions about the process and outcome of last year’s participatory budgeting exercise.
The resounding silence can only be due to a disdain for a local news outlet – or because The Bellman has unearthed a can of worms the local authority does not want to acknowledge or address.
A reminder of where we are. Our Sports Scotland Sports Hub representative Jackie Bruce alerted us to the harsh reality of Stonehaven’s winning £1.4 million bid – in effect a Changing Places toilet, 54sqm of gym space and some windows.
The second winning bid was never possible to achieve as described as the planning department discounted the proposed site almost instantly – why on earth were they not involved prior to the bid selection?
None of our councillors have been able to say anything positive about the situation and are left themselves asking questions, especially about the leisure centre upgrade.
Cllr Alan Turner said: ”We will see what the council will come back with, as to what they are actually doing for that money.
”It is not clear what the break down is in the planning application.”
It has been done well elsewhere
Dundee City won a COSLA gold excellence award for the manner in which it conducted ‘Dundee Decides’ in 2017. At the time was the biggest participatory budgeting project undertaken by any Council in Scotland with residents empowered to make decisions about spending over £1 million on projects such as play areas, pedestrian crossings, pavements, lighting and planting.
With £1.8million aimed at making a difference to our leisure amenities, Stonehaven has had an even bigger opportunity. Or perhaps Stonehaven has just been had.
Cllr Alan Turner said: ”In terms of facilities, this is very little.”