Minute of Public Meeting - Friends of the Grove Nursery, Walker Dam.
CRAIGIEBUCKLER AND SEAFIELD COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minute of Public Meeting which commenced at 7.00 pm on Tuesday 24 March in Craigiebuckler Church.
Community Councillors:- Allan Davidson, Joe MacCallan, Karen Reilly, Aileen Brown, Brian
Bryce, Robert Frost, Ainsley Mitchell, William Sell.
27 residents attended.
Christine Boylan, Vice-Chair who was on Community Council business.
The meeting was convened and chaired by Allan Davidson who introduced himself and colleagues to the residents.
Allan explained that the meeting would be divided into two discussion sessions as follows:-
First Session:- Friends of the Grove Nursery.
Second Session:- Friends of Walker Dam.
Allan stated that this is an introductory meeting and that others would follow concerning what is to go ahead in respect of the allotted ground. A letter from Aberdeen City Council was then read out by Allan which detailed how the Community Council and the City council would work together to give the community an area of the Grove Nursery. How this is progressed is up to the community and there are a variety of activities which they must collectively identify as projects and activities. Allan invited the residents to come to the Community Council and relay what they want to happen. He also explained that the available ground would be divided into 8 football pitch sized areas. Examples of ideas for use could be a wildlife pond; a woodland garden. Allan also pointed out that activities such as bee keeping were already taking place and that some of the buildings were back in use for horticulture.
He informed the residents that council finance was available for their chosen projects and that the Council would also clear and manure the area for anyone who is willing to take it on. The Community Council will help residents to liaise with Aberdeen City Council.
Detailed maps of the Grove Nursery were available for the residents to peruse.
Allan then invited questions from the residents.
Resident: “There are lots of available experience of erecting gardens. If plans are available, get something done professionally.”
Allan: “A Beechgrove Garden team member has already been spoken to by a member of Aberdeen City Council. The initiative has to come by setting up a community garden group.”
Resident: “How much money will it cost?”
Allan: “There is a possibility of grants. It is up to you what you do. The Council are not saying what you should do.”
Resident: “It's a complex undertaking.”
Allan: “Yes, but Aberdeen City Council will help you with how to do it.”
Resident: “Will it be maintained by us?”
Allan suggested that a meadow could be created, which would help bees, with an area in the middle for picnics. He urged the residents to think about ideas and feedback to the Community Council. “We are the conduit for relaying information.”
Resident: “Who is the link person in the Council?”
Allan: “Steven Shaw, Environmental Manager.”
Resident: “There is no point in planning something without detail.”
Allan: “The Council would take the lead.”
Resident: “Is there an official letter from the Council confirming it as a community area?”
Allan responded by reading out a letter to that effect from Steven Shaw.
Allan informed the residents that the project could be as ambitious as the group wants.
A resident asked if it is zoned for leisure and recreation. Allan responded by informing him that it is greenspace.
Another resident commented, “We need someone from the Council to tell us where we stand.”
Examples of what could be built on the land were cited by Allan who also said that the Council have a lot of finance to put into the projects in the Grove Nursery.
Further questions followed about the security of the site, which were given positive answers by Allan.
This project has been led by Allan as “Friends of Walker Dam”. This has been on-going. A website will be ready in two weeks' time.
Allan read out the mission statement and explained the details of the objectives and the community benefits.
A university study group already use the Walker Dam and there is a lot of other community interest in it.
Allan hopes to get a committee set up.
Resident: “Is there a timescale on when improvements can start?”
Allan: “The Council have already looked at it. There is no timescale.”
Resident: “Will Dandara contribute?”
Allan: “I don't know.”
Resident: “The Dam is silting up quickly. They should be looking at Dandara.”
Residents made numerous complaints about the condition Dam's environment.
A resident commented to the effect that a volunteer group should be formed to clean it up.
Allan said that Steven Shaw stated that he would provide a skip for the clean-up.
A resident commented that a major contact in the Council should be identified to deal with issues. We must ask Aberdeen City Council what exactly their responsibilities towards Walker Dam are.
Residents also feel that the link person from the Council must be present at the meeting following the feedback.
Allan thanked the residents for attending and the meeting was concluded.