Regeneration plan ‘needs transparency’

Stephen Calder
Stephen Calder
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A former Aberdeenshire Council candidate has called for ‘good communication and trusting relationships’ between community, council official and elected members in the run-up to the regeneration of Peterhead town centre.

Stephen Calder, who stood for council in the 2012 election, said last week that there needed to be ‘more open and transparent ways of working together’ if the blueprint of the regneration of the Blue Toon is to be a success.

Mr Calder was making his views known just days before the long-awaited report into the future of Peterhead’s town centre was unveiled to residents in a series of public displays.

Proposals within the Aberdeenshire 4 Towns report include transforming Broad Street into an arcade-like area, redeveloping Arbuthnot House as a luxury hotel and changing the traffic flow in the town centre.

Mr Calder says now the report has been unveiled, a concrete timetable must be set out for forward planning sessions - inclusive, not exclusive, of Peterhead residents.

“All meetings should be open to the public, not held behind closed doors at ‘closed sessions’,” he said. “Never make the mistake of thinking the people of Peterhead are apathetic about their environment. They are not.

“We need good communication and trusting relationships between the whole community, council officials and elected members. Whenever there are complaints, it has come about because of the lack of genuine interation between the community and those who govern us.

“There needs to be more open and transparent ways of working together,” he said.

“Peterhead is a town with a rich culture, history and heritage. It should be celebrated.”