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North-east councillors kept in the dark about regeneration efforts

Councillor Stephen Calder at Drummers Corner in Peterhead where efforts to enforce the pedestrian zone will be stepped up.
Councillor Stephen Calder at Drummers Corner in Peterhead where efforts to enforce the pedestrian zone will be stepped up.

Councillors are being kept in the dark about regeneration efforts because a local authority has fallen behind with producing a report.

Aberdeenshire Council assured elected members in Peterhead they would be given updates every six months about efforts to rejuvenate the town centre.

However, there has been no report on any progress handed to the Buchan area committee since September.

When asked last night about the delay, the authority declined to answer.

It has resulted in one councillor lodging a formal motion to the area committee next week for the matter to be dealt with as a “matter of urgency”.

However, the council spokeswoman said: “We wouldn’t comment before it goes to committee.

“It would seem counter-productive if we answer the questions which an officer is going to committee next week to answer.

“Whatever the officer says to committee will be our position.”

The motion has been submitted by Stephen Calder, who first raised concerns about the lack of movement on efforts to create a new-look Drummers Corner last year.

“The third six-monthly report was due in March,” he said.

“The committee requests that the third update report is produced and presented as a matter of urgency.”

There have been efforts to breathe new life into Peterhead since 2016, when the local authority pushed through its “developing excellence in our north coast communities” initiative.

This aims to create local partnerships in the region’s four coastal towns – Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Banff and Macduff – to bolster the local economy.

In Peterhead it also hopes to bring the community together and create a vision for the town centre.

It hit a stumbling block last year, however, when a project to redesign the town’s main thoroughfare, Drummers Corner, came back three times over budget.

The plan was pushed back until August this year, when work is hoped to finally begin.

The port’s Theatre Modo group, alongside interested parties including residents and local councillors, has been pushing forward the agenda.

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