A motion has been lodged to congratulate Banchory and its people in parliament after the town was crowned one of the best places to live in Scotland.
The burgh is one of 12 locations in Scotland that have been named as the top locations to live in the country in a new guide published by a popular Sunday newspaper.
Alexander Burnett, Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, has tabled a motion, which reads: “That the Parliament congratulates everyone in Banchory in Aberdeenshire on it being named by The Sunday Times in its list, Best Places to Live; notes that 12 towns across the Scotland were listed, and understands that the criteria used to determine this guide to the definitive top locations included the judges’ personal experience and the quality of each town’s jobs, exam results, broadband speed, culture, community spirit and shops.”
Mr Burnett said: “The Sunday Times has only confirmed what people in Banchory already know - that it is indeed one of the best places in Scotland to live.
“I have tabled a motion at parliament to congratulate everyone in the town.
“This is a credit to the performance and reputation of our local schools, sports clubs, businesses and shops as well as our cultural attractions and ,of course, the amazing scenery in the wider Deeside area.”
Topping the list of the Best Places to Live 2017 in Scotland is North Berwick in East Lothian with Dundee, Orkney and Dunblane also featuring.
The guide quotes the river, its scenery and the Cairngorms, as well as the town’s proximity to Aberdeen, its excellent schools - including Banchory Academy which gets some of the best results in Scotland - and the thrill of watching salmon leap up the Falls of Feugh as reasons why Banchory was chosen.
Tim Palmer, who compiled the list, said: “Simply, we think it’s one of the best places to live in Scotland.
“It’s a thriving town surrounded by fantastic scenery.
“You’re not too far from Aberdeen but not too near either.
“You’ve got fantastic schools, and there’s lots going on as well.”
All three Mid Deeside and Banchory councillors welcomed the news.
Councillor Karen Clark said: “To my mind, it’s the people who make Banchory the special place it is.
“In my role as a councillor for the last 10 years I see every day the hard work and efforts that so many local people put in voluntarily to keep our community spirit alive.
“It is this spirit and perhaps these ‘old fashioned’ values of caring and generosity that go to make this town a great place to live and bring up your family.
“There’s no doubt that the natural landscape, hills and river also make it so attractive to live in.
“We are very privileged to live here and those who do, recognise how lucky they are.”
Councillor Linda Clark said: “It is not surprising to me that people would wish to come here either to live or visit.
“I did that with my family some 29 years and have never regretted that decision.
“We rub along with people fae a’ the airts.
“Our children are educated at an excellent school, we are looked after by a brilliant medical team and we enjoy a lovely climate looking out on a scenery difficult to beat.”
Councillor Jill Webster added: “To those of us who live here that will come as no surprise as the quality of life is second to none and it really is the most wonderful place to bring up a family.
“Our situation on the banks of the Dee and close to dramatic Scottish mountains means we have wonderful outdoor activities on our doorstep but the town also has a great offering of services, shops and restaurants as well as a fantastic arts scene in the form of the Woodend Barn and there’s a great community spirit.
“Our schools are consistently ranked amongst the top performing in Scotland and our crime rates are very low indeed.
“Even our weather is good compared to elsewhere in Scotland - so what more could you want?”
In selecting the list, judges assessed a wide range of factors, from jobs, exam results and broadband speed to culture, community spirit and local shops to compile the guide to the “definitive top locations”.
They also took into account their own experience of the villages, towns and cities, such as local pubs, ease of transport and the range of attractive property to “ensure the chosen locations truly are places where readers and their families can thrive”.
Statistics on crime and education were also considered.