News from Your Community Planning Group

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Briefing Note from the November Meeting

  1. Opening of Laurencekirk Police Station
  2. Gourdon Placemaking Project
  3. Newtonhill Community Action Plan



1) Laurencekirk Police Station Opening

The new Police Station in Laurencekirk was officially opened on 19th November by Mark McLaren, Local Police Commander.  It is located within the Mearns Academy Community Campus, and provides modern accommodation for the 10 staff allocated to work from there within the heart of the community.   

Stuart Ednie, Local Inspector says “Strong and visible community policing is at the heart of what we do and having this resource within the Mearns Academy Community Campus will allow my staff to continue to be accessible to the people of the Mearns”.

2) Gourdon Placemaking Project


Placemaking is a popular phrase at the moment but not always easy to understand.  However, there has been some joint work with the Gourdon community that really celebrates the word.

Partners from Community Learning & Development, Arts Development, Environmental Planning, Public Health & Employability services all worked together with community members in Gourdon to engage the wider community in exploring what it is that makes Gourdon special, deciding what they loved about it and what they would like to see improved.

Often when communities and partners are brought together it throws up challenges, different perspectives and past disappointments.  This case was no exception and the journey had its bumps.  However, the resounding success has been that Gourdon have put their village back on the map and they are engaging and working confidently to improve the lives of people who live and work there.  They lead the decision-making, gained skills throughout the three year process and have delivered, for example, harbour improvements, a village gateway feature, a boat-building project, a community website and much more.

What We Are Going To Do:

  • Gourdon Placemaking Project has successfully gone through the first stage for COSLA award, it has been nominated for the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Event and we will continue to share the good practice and success as encouragement for others to work in this way.

What Can You Do?

 3) Newtonhill Community Action Plan

 A Community Action Plan is when a local community asks itself what its priorities are and what improvements it would like to see happen.  It is often a community council or village association that takes the process forward.  Some of the improvements can be tackled by the community itself while others will need the support of larger Community Planning Partners like the Council, Police or NHS.

Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership has agreed that Community Action Plans (CAPs) are one of their preferred ways of working with communities.  This is because it involves a recognised and accountable process demonstrating engagement with community members.  (The forthcoming Community Empowerment Bill will strengthen the role of community organisations who wish to be involved in improving services in their area in other ways).

Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council has been developing and updating Community Action Plans for the last 3 years.  Their latest CAP is for Newtonhill and was based on a survey undertaken by post and online through the Survey Monkey account, which the K&M Community Planning Group makes available to community organisations – info available here.

The findings of their survey support the voice of the community council and include:

  • A desire that no more development take place in Newtonhil and that any unused land in the village be taken out of the Local Development Plan
  • A mixed response about whether residents would like to see Newtonhill Station re-open
  • A dissatisfaction with the bus service to and from the village
  • High praise for Newtonhill Village Association, Newtonhill Environmental Action Team, The Bettridge Centre & the Newsey Newsletter

 Contact us at

Twiter: @kmcommunities

Tel: Emma Kidd or Lesley Robertson on 01569 768323


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