Coun­cil­lor’s con­cern town will miss out on gov­ern­ment fund­ing

Fears for area as town misses out on fund­ing to boost cy­cling and walk­ing op­tions once again

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Janet Thom­son

An An­gus coun­cil­lor is urg­ing the pub­lic to come for­ward with sug­ges­tions for new paths to en­sure her ward does not lose out on gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Julie Bell, SNP mem­ber for Kir­riemuir and Dean, has high­lighted the ben­e­fits to An­gus com­mu­ni­ties through the Cy­cling, Walk­ing and Safer Streets Fund.

Last month the coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ties com­mit­tee ap­proved seven ac­tive travel projects across var­i­ous An­gus burghs, fi­nanced by the fund, but none was in Kir­riemuir.

Ms Bell said: “I wel­come the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment in roads and paths for more ac­tive travel.

“I have been as­sured th­ese projects gen­er­ally go around the burghs, although this is the sec­ond year in a row Kir­riemuir and Dean has re­ceived no fund­ing.”

The allocation of the funds, to­talling £159,000, was queried by coun­cil­lors at last month’s meet­ing.

Carnoustie and Dis­trict in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor David Cheape suc­cess­fully got a pro­posed path­way in the grounds of Carnoustie House put on hold to al­low a wider pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion to take place.

“Cur­rently, it would ap­pear projects are cho­sen pri­mar­ily from com­plaints re­ceived by of­fi­cers

Mon­trose and Dis­trict SNP coun­cil­lor Bill Duff in­formed the meet­ing it seemed those who “made a noise” got things done.

Not­ing his com­ments Ms Bell con­tin­ued: “Cur­rently, it would ap­pear projects are cho­sen pri­mar­ily from com­plaints re­ceived by of­fi­cers.

“In my view, we should be much more par­tic­i­pa­tive and em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to make those de­ci­sions them­selves.

“Look­ing to the fu­ture to the 20192020 round of fund­ing, and tak­ing a much more pos­i­tive ap­proach, I am now seek­ing ideas from res­i­dents in Kir­riemuir and Dean which has an in­cred­i­bly ac­tive pop­u­la­tion.”

She is seek­ing sug­ges­tions for in­fra­struc­ture projects to help im­prove safety and ac­ces­si­bil­ity for cy­clists and walk­ers of all ages; and ideas to what im­prove­ments would make cy­cling, walk­ing and ac­cess in the com­mu­nity a safer op­tion.

She asked: “Where could we im­prove safety or ac­ces­si­bil­ity for bikes, wheel­chairs, prams and bug­gies to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple walk­ing or cy­cling for plea­sure, ex­er­cise or to get to work?”

She raised the fund­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties at Kir­riemuir Com­mu­nity Coun­cil and, with mem­bers of Ladies Leisurely Cy­clists in Kir­riemuir, is con­fi­dent there is no short­age of ideas.

“I be­lieve the peo­ple who know th­ese routes best are those who live near them and who use them reg­u­larly.

Ms Bell en­cour­aged all those in An­gus to iden­tify what their com­mu­nity needs.

Ideas can be emailed to Cll­r­bell@ an­gus.gov.uk

jath­om­son@the­courier.co.uk

Pic­ture: Paul Reid.

On the right path: Coun­cil­lor Julie Bell is urg­ing res­i­dents to pass on their ideas.

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