Gurudeo Saluja, OBE

I was saddened to hear of Gurudeo’s death at the age of 82. Gurudeo was the Liberal Democrat councillor for Westhill and District until he retired in 2012 having served since 1999.

I first met Gurudeo when he was my local councillor, then again as a Liberal Democrat colleague. Scottish party conferences were all the more fun when Gurudeo and his wife Patricia were there. We also met up regularly through our work on the board of Grampian Housing Association. Affordable housing was an issue close to his heart and he worked hard to champion this.

When he stood down as a councillor, he kept his interest in community issues, being a regular face at local meetings. Gurudeo had a great sense of humour. He was a gentleman and friend to many and he will be missed.

Do you know someone inspirational?


Inspiring Aberdeenshire is a celebration of the outstanding achievements and hard work of young people, staff and members of communities across Aberdeenshire.

Nominations are now open so put forward an inspirational resident or group today!

Now in its fifth year, Inspiring Aberdeenshire promises to be bigger and better than ever and will take place on Friday, 23 June 2017 at Haddo House.

The deadline for nominations is midday on Wednesday, 1 February 2017.

Nominate now!

or print off a nomination form here – inspiring-aberdeenshire-nomination-form


Ho Ho Adam!

Adam LonachOn a visit ‘home’ this weekend to the Lonach Gathering, I was so pleased to catch up with Westhill’s oldest resident, Adam Craigmile. Adam is 102 and still enjoys the Games. Adam’s family ran Strathdon’s Colquhonnie Hotel and farm many years ago. After moving from Strathdon to Towie in 1945 then later to Aberdeen, Adam moved back to Westhill where he had originally went to school and where his family farmed at Broadstraik.  I caught up with Adam in the games ring at yesterday’s 174th Lonach Highland Gathering and Games where he was, as always, surrounded by his proud and attentive family. Adam has some fascinating stories to tell about his life, and a few involving Lonach over the years too, I am sure!






Bikers gear up for Armed Forces Day

Bikers 3

With one month to go until Armed Forces Day, Provost of Aberdeenshire, Jill Webster, has welcomed a group of bikers to Aberdeenshire Council to congratulate them on their fundraising efforts for ex-servicemen and women.

The Provost welcomed the 10 bikers from Aberdeenshire and Moray to Aberdeenshire Council’s headquarters at Woodhill House on Thursday, May 28.

The bikers, who are members of Legion Scotland’s Riders’ Branch, held a number of events last month, raising over £2,000 for charities including Legion Scotland’s Voices for Veterans.

Riders’ Branch District Representative, Mike Barclay, described the fundraising events: “One of our members ran a charity shop for a week selling donations from members and from the public which raised around £700.

“We held our annual biker rally in Aboyne as well, which was a weekend of goodwill and which raised over £1,000.

“Another member grew his hair for a year before shaving it and his beard off for sponsorship, raising £800 although we’re thinking of sponsoring him to grow it back again as we’ve got so used to him with long hair!”

The week of Armed Forces Day begins on Monday, June 22 when the Armed Forces Day flag will be raised on buildings and famous landmarks across the UK.

The flag will be raised at Aberdeenshire Council’s Woodhill House headquarters that morning and the flag-raising ceremony will be attended by councillors, council staff and members of the public.

Provost Webster, said: “It was wonderful to welcome members of the Legion Scotland Riders’ Branch to Woodhill House in anticipation of Armed Forces Day.

“Over 100 events have been registered across the UK so far for the public to attend, including the flag-raising ceremony that will take place here.

“I hope Aberdeenshire residents are inspired by the extraordinary fundraising efforts of the bikers and that everyone takes this opportunity to support both current and former servicemen and women who do so much for our country.”

For more information on Legion Scotland’s Riders’ Branch please visit

War veteran lights up Westhill!

Bob Owen

I was delighted to meet with Westhill resident, Bob Owen, who switched on the tree lights in the town centre on Saturday. The event was organised by Westhill & Elrick Community Council along with members of Westhill Community Church.

Bob was one of the war veterans who took part in the perilous Arctic Convoys during the second world war. He was presented with the Ushakov Medal at a special ceremony last month along with 15 servicemen from across the north-east.

From 1941 to 1945, allied Naval ships sailed from Scotland and Iceland to Russia with vital food and weapons as part of efforts to fight the Nazi advance.

More than 3,000 seamen lost their lives in the freezing conditions, and attacks by German submarines. The convoys were considered suicide missions, and Winston Churchill described it as the “worst journey in the world”.

The Ushakov Medal, named after Russia’s most acclaimed Navy commander Fyodor Ushakov, is a state military award that was established in 1944 for those who demonstrated courage and prowess in sea warfare.

It is now awarded to veterans for the “personal courage and valour shown during World War II while participating in the Arctic Convoys.”

Overnight car park closure at Westhill Shopping Centre





Please note that there will be NO access to the shopping centre car park on the above dates/times. This is to allow reconfiguration of the entry/exit to the car park. When the car park re-opens on the Wednesday, there will be a new layout. Please see attached drawing (phase 3). Please note that the car park will remain open during the day on both of these dates.

Car Park Phasing