New plan surfaces for Carnie pitch

After campaigning for almost six years for improvements to the Carnie pitch, I was delighted today when colleagues on the Garioch Area Committee agreed the recommendations in the options appraisal put forward by officers.

Local residents will know that this synthetic surface, built by developers and opened to the public in 2008, has seen much better days. The surface has lacked maintenance and been misused due to the open access of the facility, particularly by dog exercising and other inappropriate use.

We have worked with a number of interested parties over the years looking at ways in which a new 3G or similar surface could be made sustainable by using a booking system so that different groups could make best use of the space, and at the same time generate income for maintenance of the facility. Unfortunately at this time, no group has expressed an interest in taking financial or ownership responsibility for the facility.

The option recommended to committee and agreed today was to replace the existing surface with a tarmac surface which would include an acrylic two-colour top cover to enhance playing quality for a number of sports including tennis, basketball, mini-hockey etc. This is a basic but enduring surface and the most suitable for a public access facility. The appropriate infrastructures (e.g. goals) and line markings would be included in the works. The work will be commissioned this month, although of course completion will be weather-dependent with synthetic surfaces typically laid in the April-September period.

This is great news and will mean that the facility can once more be enjoyed by nearby residents and the wider community. I have asked that Landscape Services input to the programme of works by tidying up the area immediately surrounding the pitch too.

I really appreciate the work officers have done in bringing this options paper forward, and the speed in which our new Area Manager has matched funding to appropriate local projects. A perfect example of the right people, in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time!

Public consultation opens on charges for sports activities in Aberdeenshire


A public consultation on the cost of sports and physical activities offered by Aberdeenshire Council will open on Monday, August 29.

The consultation is taking place to allow the council to consider how best to keep services and facilities affordable for users while ensuring those services are sustainable in the long term.

In February, at a meeting of full council, Aberdeenshire councillors agreed to adopt a new charging framework to pave the way for greater consistency of charges levied by the council and make sure they are reviewed on a regular basis.

As part of the framework, councillors agreed the regular consideration of fees and charges should be supported by consultation.

As part of the consultation, an online survey has been created and everyone who completes it and wishes to be entered in the prize draw could be in with a chance of winning two three-month Active Aberdeenshire passes.

The online survey, which will be available for two weeks until Monday, September 12, can be found at

Since 2012 Aberdeenshire Council has invested in four major new facilities for sports and physical activities, with a further three due for completion by 2018.

The principle of generating more income for the council where appropriate has been included in the medium-term financial strategy.

During engagement on the council’s budget earlier this year, those proposals received public support with 60% of respondents agreeing with the statement: “I would be prepared to pay more for a service if it would prevent that service being reduced/discontinued. This may mean, for instance, paying more for services such as leisure activities and trade waste.”

AFC reveal new stadium plan consultation events

A series of public exhibitions in late July and early August will provide the first details of Aberdeen Football Club’s plans to develop a community and sports campus, football academy and stadium on land at Kingsford.

The consultation events at Westhill, Kingswells and in the city will enable members of the public to view and comment on the proposals before a planning application is submitted to Aberdeen City Council later in the year.


The main consultation events will be:

  • Tuesday 26 July 1pm to 8pm at Fourmile House, Old Skene Road, Kingswells
  • Friday 29 July 1pm to 8pm at Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, Westhill Drive, Westhill
  • Tuesday 2 August 1pm to 8pm at Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen

Further pop up exhibitions will also take place:

  • Wednesday 3 August 12 noon to 6pm at Trinity Shopping Centre, Union Street, Aberdeen
  • Friday 5 August 12 noon to 5pm at Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen
  • Monday 8 August 2pm to 8pm at Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen

The proposals will also be available to view via the Club’s website at from 26 July.

Comments in relation to the proposals will be accepted until Friday 26 August 2016. This will enable the Club to review responses to the consultation before a formal planning application for the project is submitted to the local authority later this year.

Carnie All Weather pitch update

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Further to my earlier posts about Carnie All Weather pitch, I am delighted that the Westhill Sports Hub have agreed to host a public meeting on Tuesday 9th February at 6pm in Holiday Inn to discuss the future of the facility at Carnie. I have had a few interested parties contact me about using the facility and any individual or group with an interest in Carnie AWP would be most welcome to attend the meeting. Please feel free to get in touch.

Westhill Swimming pool closure


Westhill Swimming Pool will be hosting the annual Westhill Invitational Swimming gala on the 9th & 10th May 2015.  We expect in excess of 400 adults to compete, predominantly from Aberdeenshire though some will be from further afield. Westhill Swimming Pool will therefore be shut to the public between the hours of 7.30am–9.00pm on Saturday 9th May and 7.30am– 7.00pm on Sunday 10th May.

Win free membership to leisure facilities!

Are you active in Aberdeenshire?

Members of the public are being asked about the amount of physical activity they currently take part in, and where, as part of a survey by Aberdeenshire Council with a chance to win free membership to use its leisure facilities up for grabs.

The questionnaire asks what people think of council facilities, if they are members, or if they might consider membership through the authority’s Active Aberdeenshire scheme.

The research forms part of the council’s Improving the Customer Experience (iCE) project that aims to improve customer service and satisfaction.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Isobel Davidson said: “The survey will look at how well the council responds to community needs and demand.

“There is a real intention to look at the responses with regard to opening times and programming and make changes if required and with a free membership up for grabs I encourage everyone to get involved.”

A prize of one year’s individual Active Aberdeenshire adult membership or six months family membership (whichever suits) could be won by those who wish to register their contact details at the end of the survey.

Enter the draw and fill in the survey here before the end of April.


Calling all clubs……

Westhill and District Community Sports & Leisure Hub is holding a funding workshop on Wednesday 25th March in the Westhill Academy Staff Room at 7pm.

It is being run by Sportscotland and the Garioch Partnership to give clubs an insight into what funding is available both locally and nationally, how best to apply and common pitfalls when applying. The course is free to all clubs and all are welcome. If you are interested, please leave a message on their Facebook page.