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17 July 2013

MSP and Councillor Welcome Clerkhill Shops Progress

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson and Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stuart Pratt have welcomed commitments from national chains Ladbrokes and The Co-operative that they will take action to help resolve the long-running issue of the common area in front of the Clerkhill shops.

Stewart Stevenson wrote to the companies recently asking them to engage in attempts to resolve the repair and maintenance of the area and is delighted they have responded positively to his request. Both Ladbrokes and The Co-operative have said they will contribute a share of the costs of any upgrade carried out.

The area in front of the Clerkhill shops has been deteriorating for several years now. The pavement and cobbled area is privately-owned so is not the responsibility of Aberdeenshire Council. Efforts to locate the landowner have proved unsuccessful.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“This represents considerable progress on what has been the position in recent years and I am grateful to these businesses for stepping up to the mark.

“It’s unfortunate that a historical legal foible has left this area as a sort of “no-man’s land” but there is a willingness on the part of the local councillors to get a workable scheme together and I hope that the businesses, council and local community can work together to get this fixed.

“These are not easy times for small businesses, of whom there are several in Clerkhill, but I hope that this is the first step in making the area more attractive to customers.”

Local councillor Stuart Pratt, who has made several attempts in recent years to get agreement to get the area upgraded said:

“The problem here has been that the land is privately-owned and it is not the council’s responsibility to spend council-taxpayers’ money looking after other people’s property.

“I hope that now we have the two multi-national businesses on board that we can work together with the other businesses and the council and come up with a scheme which can take this project forward.”
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