Community projects get top up budget cash

A PROJECT which will enable staff from the Stonehaven Maritime Rescue Institute to receive training in dealing with swift water rescue and flooding situations was supported by members of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee this week.

Members unanimously approved a grant of £5,000 from the Kincardine and Mearns top up budget to help towards the cost of the project, which would enable MRI crew to gain training to respond to flod rescue situations in and around Stonehaven, as well as to purchase specific equipment in dealing with swift water rescue and flood situations.

The estimated cost of the project is £10,000, with £2,500 donated by MRI and a further £2,560 given in kind to enable the appropriate training for crew to undertake the necessary exam.

Stonehaven and Lower Deeside Councillor Peter Bellarby commented: “The community of Stonehaven owes the MRI a lage amount of gratitude for the huge amount of work they did during the flooding in November of 2009.

Arbuthnott Community Assoication had asked the committee to help them make up a shortfall of £3500 in a £50,000 project which will offer homes and businesses in the parish of Arbuthnott improved broadband speed access.

Aberdeenshire Council has already committed over £45,000 to the Arbuthnott Community Broadband Project through Rural Aberdeenshire LEADER Programme funding, and Aberdeenshire Local Community Palnning Group has also contributed £460.

Area Chair Paul Melling suggested that the committee meet half of the shortfall and contribute £1,750, leaving the community to raise the remainder. He was supported by Councillor Ian Mollison, who said that Aberdeenshire Council had already been “very generous” in supporting the project.

But Mearns Councillor George Carr said that he thought it would be difficult for a small community like Arbuthnott to find the funding for thid type of project. He said: “This is not the type of project where you can rasie money through coffee mornings. The effort the residents have made with regards to this project is commendable and the funding they have already secured illustrates that.”

Cllr Carr added that he would like to see the committee award the full £3,500. He was seconded by fellow Mearns Councillor Tom Fleming.

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said that he had originally been sceptical about awarding the full amount, as he believed that the community should try to raise the money themselves, but he believed that as a pilot scheme it should be supported, and added that it would be good to get the scheme up and running.

The Provost added the stipulation that funding would be given only once it has been confirmed that all 38 premises mentioned will benefit from it.

Cancer charity CLAN were awarded £5000 from the top up budget to support the complementary therapies and counselling sessions run in the Stonehaven centre, which covers all of the southern part of Aberdeenshire. They had applied for £3990 towards a total cost of £24,646.

Provost Bill Howatson proposed increasing the amount to £5,000, which is the maximum sum which can be awarded from the top up budget. He was unanimously supported by councillors.