The Oldmeldrum Future Visions event this morning (27th May 2017) was busy with Meldrum folk giving their reaction to feedback from the Community survey.

“The Legion Hall in the town had a buzz about it as people enthusiastically contributed their views and choices to the Oldmeldrum Visions team led by Meldrum and Bourtie Community Council.” said local Aberdeenshire Councillor Paul Johnston.

“I was here for the full duration of the event as it was chock full of ideas and comments. The Community Council and the local Community Planning Partnership should be complimented on a well organised and effective event”

The Future Visions event has gathered more information and reactions to the initial questionnaire done by the group. At the end of the process will be a community action plan that will be able to inform Aberdeenshire Council, Fire, Police and NHS about what is needed for the Community.

A similar, scaled plan is being done for Daviot.

“What I hope will be delivered is something my fellow Aberdeenshire Councillors and the decision makers can use. They will have a well researched and clear statement from our community about our priorities. They cannot say we have not told them. We have weighed up sometimes contrary opinions and even if there are no clear views we are informing the powers that be to help them take the best decisions. ” said Paul.

Community engagement in full swing.



The proposed service reductions in the 292 from Tarves to Ellon and back is to be reversed. This follows a meeting between Cllr Paul Johnston, Cllr Martin Ford and Aberdeenshire Director Stephen Archer. Mr Archer accepted the Councillors’ concerns that the the approved council budget did not agree to bus service reductions and that there were resources for the 292 and other services.

Councillor Paul Johnston said:

“There were changes, last minute, to Aberdeenshire Council’s budget. We were pleased that one proposed saving on public transport was not accepted by the Council. We appreciate that this may not have been recognised by some services involved. We were pleased to note that they have respected the political will of the Council as expressed in the financial terms of its budget.”

Take a look at @CllrPJohnston’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/CllrPJohnston/status/867367008903548932?s=09


Oldmeldrum folk are being asked to come to a special public event being held in the Oldmeldrum Royal British legion this coming Saturday 27 May from 9.30am to midday. This is your chance to have an input to help Oldmeldrum will develop over the next many years.  Any major survey went to everyone in the community and you can’t find out the results at this event.

This will form the basis of further questions and consultation. AND a final plan. The Community Council wants your feedback.

Click on and watch the video below, and then find out more below that.

Why do this consultation?

Many people feel that organizations like Aberdeenshire Council do not listen to local people.  What a council often hears is a myriad of different voices, often competing, with little knowledge of what are the real views out there.  Sometimes some groups can shout louder than others, but that does not make it right only to listen to the loudest or best organised.

That is why Meldrum Community Council, encouraged by myself as a local councillor, are doing a ‘Visions’ project.  It’s based on a survey which leads to a plan for our locality.

This locality plan, can be kept refreshed by the community and should inform anyone from Aberdeenshire Council, the NHS, police and fire and rescue, who care to look, what the local priorities are.  For my part as a local councillor, this will help in getting these organisations to deliver what people want for our community.  It will have been properly consulted and democratically constructed.

Please come along and make this an effective ‘VISION’ for the future of Oldmeldrum.


A local Aberdeenshire Councillor Paul Johnston has urged residents in the Udny and Pitmedden community to get involved in the feedback meetings being held by Udny Community Trust and the Udny Community Council on the 24th and 26th of May.

” The community council and the Udny Community Trust have been doing great work in a survey to find out the community’s needs and wishes. This feedback session works towards our community’s locality plan. This in turn helps Aberdeenshire Council and all the other agencies understand what our community’s priorities are. They can see in a document evidence of our commitment to develop our places and they can plan what help they can give to meet our objectives.” Said Councillor Paul Johnston.

The meetings take place on Wednesday 24 May at Pitmedden Hall and a gain on Friday 26 May in Udny Green Hall. Both meetings are drop in sessions from any time between 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Please see the poster below for contact details.


You can follow the interests and work of Councillor Paul Johnston on Twitter.  Paul’s Twitter feed is at:


Paul said:

“All re-tweets are not endorsements or my views, unless I make that clear in my own words.”

Paul tweets regularly on Fairtrade, Social Enterprise & Community development, Waste, environment and sustainability and of course, issues of importance to his work as an Aberdeenshire Councillor.

Paul Johnston – An effective advocate


For the last few weeks I have been asking people to think about local issues when it comes to this Aberdeenshire Council election on May 4th.

People were clearly thinking that the political messages were about independence, Brexit or national political issues.  Of course that is not what this election is actually about.

I have been clear that people should keep this election about what happens in Aberdeenshire rather than just a beauty contest between political parties.

So thank you for the very kind reception that I have had on the doorsteps.  When asked, people agreed that Aberdeenshire issues are important and agreed that we need local councillors dealing with the issues we have.  Electing councillors from political parties, or even some independents, on simple tribal issues about party politics does not by itself, deliver good local government.

I am glad of the messages of support for my record and campaigns for the future, but it was a long uphill struggle.

Now.  Apologies.  The message has to change because for whatever politically cynical or corrupt reason, we have a general election on June 8th.

All the national issues of which party should govern, what should happen about Brexit, or an independence referendum (or even if this is an independence referendum) can be decided at the June general election.  For all of these things, it is constitutionally the decision of Westminster MPs.  It will be your chance to choose. But not on May 4th.

So that brings us back to Aberdeenshire.  In Scotland there will be 32 separate elections.  Each election is to determine who sits as Councillors on the appropriate local authorities.

Aberdeenshire must elect 70 councillors and this ward of Mid Formartine will elect four members at out of seven candidates.

I hope that people can now re-focus and considered that there is no purpose in considering national issues for the election of local councillors.  The national issues can wait until June 8th and the national general election.

Let’s decide who will be best to represent Mid Formartine on Aberdeenshire Council.  What things do they propose here that are specific for our area.  Not just national political platitudes but practical things that are relevant for this local authority, Aberdeenshire Council.

So I go back to the doorstep hoping that people will ” keep it local” and support councillors that best represent our area.

I hope that my record of action will therefore count towards your choice of who will do the best job for you.  As I say on my leaflets, ” a record of action and a promise of more”

Thank you.


The two councillors in Aberdeenshire’s Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG) – Paul Johnston and Martin Ford – are both seeking re-election to Aberdeenshire Council on 4 May.

Cllr Johnston (Democratic Independent) is standing in and currently represents the Mid-Formartine ward. Cllr Ford (Green) is standing in and currently represents the East Garioch ward.
Both Paul Johnston and Martin Ford are experienced councillors. Cllr Johnston has been a member of Aberdeenshire Council since 1995 and before that served as a Grampian Region councillor. Cllr Ford has been a member of Aberdeenshire Council since 1999.
As the DIGG, Martin Ford and Paul Johnston have had a big influence on Aberdeenshire Council, punching well above their weight for a group of just two councillors.
The DIGG played a particularly crucial role when in 2015 changes in allegiance by other councillors meant neither of the two large councillor groupings on Aberdeenshire Council had enough councillors to form an administration that could run the Council. Rather than join either side, the DIGG reached an agreement to give limited support to the incoming minority administration, bringing stability to the Council. In return, the new administration committed to supporting a range of policies and other changes put forward by the DIGG.
Benefits and other changes secured by the DIGG since 2015 include: a new budget of £100,000 for youth work; for the first time, public consultation on specific budget proposals to inform the Council’s budget decisions; a new budget of £150,000 for ‘traffic calming and speeding reduction’; no cuts to community learning and development funding; additional investment by the Council in renewable energy generation by solar panels on Council building to reduce future energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions; additional funding for active travel (cycling and walking).
The DIGG also secured Council support for work to examine the feasibility of re-opening the Buchan railway to at least Ellon, and for the Council setting an annual carbon budget to help it meet climate change targets.
Cllr Martin Ford said: “It’s been an eventful five years since 2012 and the DIGG has made a real difference to what the Council has done.
“Particularly noteworthy locally has been the completion of the major extension to Kemnay Academy and the new Kintore Midmill School. And the Council gave important support to getting the Axis Centre built in Newmachar and The Bothie in Kintore. These are all welcome improvements.
“It has always been a privilege to represent the area where I live on the Council. I’m keen to continue working for the good of the area and so am standing for election again on 4 May.”
Cllr Paul Johnston said: “Thanks to all those who have encouraged me to run again and seek re-election to Aberdeenshire Council.

“I am happy to stand on local issues as this is not a national election. It’s not about brexit or indyref. It is about housing, roads and paths in our towns and villages. It’s about teacher shortages in our schools and protecting our environment and creating great places to live. It’s about improving how our Council engages with its community councils and citizens everywhere. I have fought for all that with some successes, but I recognise there is a lot more to do.”


%d bloggers like this: