The new Aberdeenshire Council administration has released its manifesto for the next five-year term and dubbed it ‘Putting Aberdeenshire First’.
The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent coalition document has suggested a move away from council tax to a “fair system of local taxation” and confirmed it will campaign to reinstate the Dyce to Ellon railway line.
Other notable policies in the 23-page document include the campaigning to keep any Business Rates collected within Aberdeenshire and the promise to be “fully open and transparent” when looking at creating a new council headquarters.
Council leader, Jim Gifford, said: “This manifesto brings together the best ideas from our separate manifestos from the recent election into a detailed and carefully considered series of commitments.
“This document is a clear statement to the people of Aberdeenshire, whether we are of a political party or none.”
Other promises for the authority’s transport infrastructure include the continued campaign for the re-opening of Newtonhill railway station and early delivery of the new station at Kintore.
Access for Insch station will also be addressed, because “it is unacceptable for an important rural station to be inaccessible to so many”.
Having been closed after the notorious Beeching cuts in 1965, the reopening of the Dyce to Ellon line will be considered by the council and work carried out to examine whether “a sound business case can be developed” with Nestrans.
Councillor Peter Argyle, deputy leader of the council, added: “The manifesto demonstrates our commitment to work together to tackle the issues that Aberdeenshire is facing.
“It recognises that some things can only be achieved through partnership, through working with others.”
Looking beyond the next five years, the administration wants to give the people of Aberdeenshire “world class” education by continuing to invest in the school estate in the “right places to serve our growing school rolls” whilst trying to eliminate cyber-bullying and tackling mental health issues.
Councillor Norman Smith, Independent Group co-ordinator said: “We have been very clear we will work together without party politics intervening.
“This manifesto sets out what we will be aiming to achieve and all of us in the administration are completely committed to that.
“We know there will be challenges and difficulties in the next five years, but we have a strong and confident team.”