Aboyne community councillors put Bell Wood under spotlight

Community councillors, councillors and residents were present at Tuesday’s (March 13) meeting of Mid-Deeside Community Council at Aboyne Academy.

Fifteen were counted at the meeting in room five including residents of the Bell wood estate keen to hear their car park concerns addressed by Mid Deeside Ltd (MDL) chair and Aboyne Councillor Peter Argyle.

The meeting began with a police report from Ballater constable PC Fiona Brown who told the meeting of vandalism at an unnamed Aboyne Hotel.

She added that two men were in custody relating to the offence.

She also reported the theft of high-value pedal cycles which were stolen from an insecure garage locally.

Community councillor Cathy Parkinson expressed concerns over a recent under-18s disco in the village which she said had “a lot of alcohol and drugs” involved.

PC Brown said that she would investigate.

Issues regarding the CAP and community fields were also discussed.

Cllr Katrina Farquhar raised concerns of how to attract more pupils from Aboyne Academy to take part and volunteer in a new consultation process.

The hot topic of evening was item six, an update regarding the situation at the Bell Wood car park after asbestos and other hazardous materials had been found.

Community councillor Bryan Kinkhead said to the meeting: “You wouldn’t believe how many people have come to me and raised their concerns about this.”

Cllr Argyle had previously stated that MDL would prepare a written statement answering questions regarding the discovery.

Mr Kinkhead questioned Cllr Argyle about why it took a full week to cordon off the area after council offers had ordered it, adding: “What’s been done is pretty poor. The tape that’s up won’t stop dogs or kids going there. We are dealing with hazardous waste.

“You’d pay wet paint more respect by at least having a sign saying ‘wet paint’. It doesn’t even say ‘keep out’ or describe the hazard.”

Cllr Argyle replied that MDL had had trouble locating proper signage but that “MDL intend to do whatever SEPA require us to do.”

Community councillor Wilson Forbes said: “I’m not sure you were taking the issue seriously.

‘‘Anything could have been there. People were saying to me that the chances of not finding asbestos at the site were almost nil.

“I think that there are some difficult questions to answer here and I’d like to see full transparency.”

Cllr Argyle responded: “I am taking this very seriously. I haven’t slept much in the past few nights with worry. Please don’t tell me I am not taking this seriously.”

He added that the issue had become “quite personal”.

Community council secretary Keith Bennet said that he hoped that MDL’s statement, when released, would be written in “plain English.”

Following the debate the tension in the room considerably lifted and the issue of the Aboyne skate park was discussed.