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First meeting on Ballater’s future a success

6th April 2009

The first Ballater Blether on Saturday (April 4) was well supported and gave those who dropped in a chance to share their thoughts and ideas for the village’s future.

Public agencies and local organizations including the Fire Service, Police, Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA), Aberdeenshire Council, Waste Aware, SCARF, the YES Project, MAP, Local Community Planning, Community Development Group, The Prince’s Foundation and Deeside Access Panel were on hand to allow further discussion and provide information.

The Ballater One Voice Our Future (BOVOF) Working Group, which organised the event, wishes to thank all those who participated for sparing the time and effort which has added so much value to this project.

Later on in the day young people in the village provided their ideas at the “Sound Off” Youth Café, where the events proved popular especially a game of Bingo and a video questionnaire.

Fiona Munro, the CNPA’s Housing Policy Officer, said: “It was fantastic to get so many ideas on what was good about Ballater and what could be improved. These will be analysed along with household, business and community survey data to produce a list of potential actions for the area.”

A second Ballater Blether will be held at the Victoria Hall on Saturday May 2 at 10am for updates on the surveys. On this occasion also, members of the Ballater community are invited to participate in the all important setting of long, medium and short term priorities for the action plan.

The BOVOF project follows the setting up of a pilot scheme for the communities of Grantown, Cromdale, Dulnain and Advie by the CNPA 18 months ago. It devised a “toolkit” for the best way for the organisers to get local feedback and this method has been adopted in Ballater.

The BOVOF Working Group was instigated to oversee the project by the Ballater and Crathie Community Council supported by the CNPA and its partners. It includes representatives from Ballater and Crathie Community Council, the CNPA, Aberdeenshire Council, the Association of Cairngorms Communities, Ballater (RD) Limited, The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, Save Cash Reduce Fuel (SCARF), and Ballater residents.