LETTING OUR TOWN DOWN

EYESORE: Shops To Let in the town centre
EYESORE: Shops To Let in the town centre

PETERHEAD has ‘To Let’ signs cropping up all over the town centre.

Many windows are boarded up and some shops have been empty for months or even years. David Fashion Sports in Peterhead is up for let after rumours the owner is set to retire and with Clinton Cards and others closing down in the centre it begs the question, what can be done?

Councillors across the area seem to agree that something needs to be done soon.

Peterhead North and Rattray councillor Alan Gardiner said: “As all the independents have come together to form an alliance we have been discussing various issues. The Alliance’s pledge during the election to help regenerate the towns and villages in the area is still high on our agenda. We have had consultation within our group already and over the next two months we will continue to come up with a further agenda.

“We have spoken to some of the private landlords in Chapel Street and Marischal Street to see if they can make their rents more attractive. We need to support people who are wanting to set up shops in the town. We do have small business rates in place already but we need to go even further.

“We need to do an in-depth public consultation and we need to carefully consider that we plan this properly. We don’t want to just dive in, we want to make sure we have businesses that compliment each other and are what the people of Peterhead want. I am really confident that it can be turned around.

“It’s time to say what is passed is passed and draw a line under it. We need to work out what can we do now to turn round the corner.”

Peterhead North and Rattray SNP councillor Fiona McRae said: “It would be good if we could get a system together that would show everyone who owns what property in the town centre. There is an idea that the council own a lot of the properties but they don’t.”

Councillor McRae was keen to point out that there is a more positive feeling in the town.

She said: “There is a turning point, a change of the feeling in the town. There is a lot of community spirit with things like the litter picking. The new prison coming to the town will mean more people and more new people coming into the town.”