Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...
Plans for a new community centre in Carnoustie have received a conditional £300,000 boost from Angus Council. Land at the former Kinloch Primary School site, valued at £160,000, will be leased to the Carnoustie Centre Action Group for a peppercorn rent. The council has also pledged a £140,000 cash commitment on the basis of a positive project feasibility outcome. Support for the project was agreed at a meeting of the corporate services committee. Mark Salmond, the council's finance spokesman, said, "The council and the Carnoustie Centre Action Group have been working together for some time to identify possible sites for a community facility. "I am delighted that the council has agreed to donate a part of the former Kinloch Primary School site for a new centre which, along with a substantial cash pledge, will assist the community to take this project forward. "I now look forward to continuing our partnership with the action group to develop and deliver this project which will greatly enhance the quality of life in Carnoustie." The council's funding is subject to the planning consents and a full financial package being in place by the end of June 2013. Carnoustie Centre Action Group (CCAG) has been liaising with council officers over a number of years to identify a suitable site.
‘Put up our council tax’ supporters say they would pay more to save ‘godsend’ services like Carnoustie’s Panmure Centre
A rallying cry has gone out to Carnoustie residents amid fears of council plans to close the Panmure Centre. In less than a week a group of women who use the centre have raised around 700 signatories for a petition to keep it open. But independent councillor Bill Bowles said the local authority’s hands might be tied because of the policy to freeze council tax. Three women who attend the centre’s computer classes have received support for their campaign to keep the building open and available for community use. Cecilia Slater, 54, said: “Nobody has said it is shutting, but we have heard rumours. We’re not stupid we know it is an older building that needs work on it, but we really don’t want it to close.” Mr Bowles said their efforts are inspirational and supports their cause, but he said the council is fighting a losing battle as long as there is a freeze on any council tax increases. He said: “Nothing has been decided, but it (the Panmure Centre) is under threat. “As a local independent councillor, I want to make sure that if we do lose what we have we are able to replace it with as good, if not better, elsewhere. The big issue is that councils are running very, very efficiently and Angus Council has got to the stage where all the fat has been trimmed and we are now cutting into the meat and bone of our services. That is unacceptable. “This council tax freeze cannot continue. I have spoken with many people locally and they tell me that they don’t want to lose their local community facilities. “People are saying ‘look, put up our council tax so we can continue to do the things that we want to do’. “People are prepared to pay another couple of quid a week on their council tax to ensure their facilities are saved and not lost for good.” Objectors argue any closure would hurt Carnoustie, the town’s west end in particular. The building hosts a pre-school group and nursery, as well as a mother and toddler group, young adults group and various education and life skills classes. Many other groups use the building on an ad hoc basis. At the computer class yesterday, they were creating their own Facebook page to support the campaign. Joan Ramsay, 88, said the class rescued her from isolation at home. She said: “I saw the advert, I came along and they just accepted me. I hadn’t worked a computer before. Let’s face it, at my age it’s a godsend.” They are appalled at the thought of the centre closing, as they believe it provides a lifeline of services and support to so many in the community. The nursery and pre-school group, a council-funded charitable organisation, has operated out of the former Panmure Works Institute for more than a generation. It has a register of 42 two to five-year-olds. The group’s manager, Vicky Gallacher, places great stock in the nursery’s role within the community. She said: “We feel they can’t close us down unless we have somewhere else to go. Children can come to this building as toddlers and continue to use it up until the age of 18 and thereafter. “We want to be part of a community centre and not a nursery on its own.” Mr Bowles worries about further services being removed from the town, particularly if it only serves to boost the local housing stock. He said: “The petition shows the depth of feeling of the people of Carnoustie. We need guarantees before any decision is taken about the loss of community facilities.” A council spokesman said: “While we are exploring options for the building, we are not looking to withdraw services from Carnoustie. “We will work with the current users to find an alternative venue if we do move out of the building.”
A winning building design has been selected in the bid to establish a community hub for Carnoustie on the site of the former Kinloch School. The Carnoustie Centre Action Group has taken a significant step in making the project a reality. Eight architects from as far afield as Ireland tendered for the chance to design a concept for the hub, and Broughty Ferry firm Nicoll Russell Studios was chosen after a closely-fought contest. Group chairwoman Alison Paget said, "All the designs were exciting and involved an enormous amount of work far beyond what had been asked for. However, we felt that Broughty Ferry architects Nicoll Russell Studios best met the criteria we had set. "They have long experience in working with charities such as ourselves and have been of great assistance in helping with funding arrangements for similar projects elsewhere." She added, "Not only are they a prestigious local firm, they have also designed comparable buildings as far apart as Stornoway and the south of England and countless places in between. "The concept design is a starting point and will be altered by other considerations as we move towards fruition." The project is expected to begin by next spring and features several facilities for locals. Group secretary Jim Simpson is urging locals to attend a presentation by the architects at their annual meeting on March 27, at 7.30pm in the Royal British Legion Hall. The designs, along with the other short-listed proposals, are on display in the town and the public will be able to make their views known at the meeting. Angus Council has agreed in principle to pledge £300,000 towards the cost of the new community hub.Follow progress at www.carnoustiecentreactiongroup.org
The “sad” death of an Angus community project has been announced after 10 years and thousands of volunteer hours. The Kinloch Centre promised a social hub in the heart of Carnoustie, on one of the town centre’s last undeveloped pieces of land. But the Carnoustie Centre Action Group has decided to call it a day due to the economic downturn creating the “worst time” for fundraising in years. And a “charrette” consultation revealed residents wanted shops on the site of the former Kinloch School, instead of a cinema or community centre. Chairman Richard Fenwick said: “The charity known as Carnoustie Centre Action Group, or the Kinloch Centre Project, has reluctantly decided after nearly 10 years of existence and thousands of hours of volunteers’ time and effort that it should disband and the group be wound up.” Local councillor Brian Boyd was involved in project meetings and said it is “very sad” to see it fold. “It’s disappointing to see the group disband after so many years,” he said. “I think the writing was on the wall following the charrette. “The overriding message from members of the public is that they wanted some sort of retail in there. “The Carnoustie Development Group and community council would welcome this positive energy on board, so it’s not a total loss.” Mr Fenwick added: “The recession of 2008 and beyond saw corporate charitable giving almost dry up, and when the National Lottery was busy funding the Olympics, then the Commonwealth Games, Carnoustie was considered too prosperous with insufficient social problems or deprivation to merit support.” Angus Council had originally offered £140,000 to a previous development on the site but this had not been guaranteed for the centre project. A spokesman said: “The funding was earmarked from Angus Council’s unallocated reserves for the specific site and not to any specific project. “There was no discussion or agreement for the funding to be attached to interchangeable sites or projects.” The council has offered to meet the project organisers over any further proposals. A winding-up process has begun and any money left will be distributed among causes in the town.
An 81-year-old former Dundee teacher and depute provost of Angus is to dust off his running shoes and take on the Edinburgh Marathon. Peter Murphy, who taught at Logie and Whitfield high schools in Dundee, will run the marathon next year as part of the ongoing fundraising campaign for the Kinloch Centre in Carnoustie. The site for the proposed community hub was recently transformed into a green space while efforts to accumulate the required cash for the project continue. Members of the Carnoustie Centre Action Group (CCAG) are hopeful it will be used as a focal point for the town during next year’s Commonwealth Games shooting at the nearby Barry Buddon military base. Mr Murphy, who is chairman of the group and has lived in Carnoustie for 50 years, said he is looking forward to the challenge and to organising events to boost the cause at the new grassy area. “I still keep myself fit but I haven’t done a marathon since 1985,” he said. “I’m aiming to take four-and-a-quarter hours which will be slightly slower than the last time.” CCAG have released a new survey to garner views on what should be included at the centre once it opens. Information gathered will assist the group’s business plan with a view to accessing grant funding. Mr Murphy, a former Angus councillor, said it can be difficult to attract money to Carnoustie as the town doesn’t suffer high levels of deprivation and, as such, fails to qualify for many streams. He added: “The site was recently rendered fit for outdoor events such as farmers’ markets and car boot sales through work undertaken voluntarily by DJ Laing as a gesture of goodwill. “It can now provide an ‘income’ for the project that can go towards the building of a community hub, which is being designed to be built in phases.” A public meeting is to be held at the town’s British Legion Hall next Monday at 7.15pm. To take part in the survey visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/NGN7RQ9.
Plans for a £21 million wind farm in Angus have gone on display, and seem to have been well received by community groups. Members of Arbroath Community Council attended the event alongside representatives of a range of other agencies for a first look at mock-ups of what the seven-turbine development could look like. A series of information displays were set up at the consultation in Angus College, providing views of the wind farm to be positioned 3km east of Carnoustie and 2.5km west of Arbroath. As part of the project from West Coast Energy, profits from a "community turbine" would be channelled into initiatives in both towns and the wider area surrounding the site off the A92 at Hatton Wastewater Treatment Works. Most of the community group members at Tuesday's launch agreed that an over-arching body would have to be set up to work with the firm to ensure the funding boost of up to £75,000 in year one went to the right places. Chairman of Arbroath Community Council Pat Millar said, "I will have to bring forward the proposals to our full meeting in August. It is nice to see area groups getting together with a common aim and, hopefully, if all goes well we can take a decision to look at the best way forward for all concerned. "Nothing needs to be rushed or decided quickly. The planning application hasn't gone in yet so there is plenty of time for us all to come together and talk." Roger Brunton of Carnoustie Community Centre Action Group said the key point to be decided would be who takes ultimate responsibility for where the funding is directed.DifficultyHe added, "The difficulty is going to be down the road, when it comes to asking who is going to decide what goes where. "So far in Carnoustie we really only have the community centre project coming forward, but in Arbroath you have around 10 different things that could be doing with support." West Coast's planning and development director Stephen Salt was on hand to field questions from the invited guests, who were given a preview of the plans an hour-and-a-half before they went on public display. He said, "What we want to do is engage the local community with a view to establishing a working group that can cover all areas around the wind farm. We want to make sure that what we do here is something that is going to benefit both Arbroath and Carnoustie over a long period of time." Morag McKenzie of Volunteer Centre Angus said she was keen to gauge how beneficial the project would be, adding, "I think it is a good way forward. When something like this comes around you have got to look at it properly." The vice-chairman of Arbroath's Timmergreens Action Group, Kevin Barthorpe, said that while he personally did not like wind farms, he could see the benefit for the wider community. "I think what is being proposed is very ambitious," he said. "Quite often investment goes Angus-wide but on this occasion it is being targeted into the local area to help local groups. That can only be a good thing."
Residents have said they would happily pay to visit the dump - if it meant the retention of local recycling centres. Results of a survey conducted by online community organisation Our Carnoustie have revealed that a majority of Angus people would be willing to pay between 50p and £2 per visit to the site. The survey generated almost 900 responses from across the district after the Carnoustie group took on the task of trying to gauge public opinion in the wake of controversial proposals to cut the number of burgh recycling centres from seven to three coming to light. But the divide over whether to pay or not was a narrow one, with 43% (375 people) declaring that they believe recycling centres should be free to use. A quarter of respondents (230) favoured a £1 charge per visit. The bulk of responses came from Carnoustie, but Brechin, Forfar and Monifieth residents also offered their views in decent numbers. Our Carnoustie's data revealed that once a month is the most regular frequency for a recycling centre visit (37%), with a quarter of people using the facilities one to three times per year. The survey also generated a significant number of comments from recycling centre users, highlighting issues including opening hours, examples of good practice from as far afield as Australia and concerns over a potential increase in fly-tipping if centres are closed. One Brechin respondent said: "It is unfair for the individual to pay fees on top of council tax. "If the council tax is not enough to maintain facilities it should be raised for everyone. I hardly ever go out at night - does this mean I should contribute less because I use less street lighting? "The job of the council is to run facilities. There are far too many cuts to services already, they need to raise the council tax, that's their job." Another commenter added: "Increase the council tax by £30 per year per household, that would cover cost of green bin and the recycling centres wouldn't it? You need to increase it to meet the needs of the towns, you cannot expect to run the towns on council tax that hasn't been increased in 10 years, it’s ludicrous."
The bid to establish a community hub in Carnoustie has received a double boost. The Morton Trust has donated £2000 to support the project, while pupils from Carnoustie High School have also given the project a vote of confidence. Rodger Brunton, the chairman of Carnoustie Centre Action Group, said, "This is a fantastic gesture of support. It's great that we are reaching out to decision makers of trusts and organisations. "I am so glad we are seen as worthy of this degree of support. It goes a long way to help us financially, as well as giving us encouragement that the project is being regarded seriously." The group previously completed a survey to gauge the response to the proposals from locals. However, it was light on responses from young people, ahead of a forthcoming Lottery funding bid. Ron Woomble, of CCAG, said, "This we had to address, so three of the group did a short presentation to the assemblies of every year group in Carnoustie High School. "We were very encouraged by the willingness in the school to support our project and we wish to thank all the staff who made our visit possible. "We will now have stated our case to about 800 pupils of the target age. The pupil council are to carry out a survey throughout the school and will get back to us with useful data of how the hub is viewed by the young folk." The Carnoustie Centre Action Group feels it has taken a significant step in making the project a reality. Eight architects from as far afield as Ireland tendered for the chance to design a concept for the hub, and Broughty Ferry firm Nicoll Russell Studios was chosen after a closely-fought contest. The project is expected to begin by next spring and features several facilities for local residents. Group vice-chairman Alison Paget is urging locals to attend a presentation by the architects at the group's annual meeting on March 23, at 7.30pm, in the Royal British Legion Hall. The designs, along with the other short-listed proposals, are on display in the town and the public will be able to make their views known at the meeting. She said, "The general public will be treated to a presentation by Nicoll Russell, giving details of how they arrived at their design and of their long experience of designing buildings for community use, followed by the agm. "So, come along and be informed of this prestigious new building, which will become a hub for the town."
Carnoustie citizens “from all walks of life” will be invited to shape the town’s future, it has emerged. The ball will start rolling on a number of schemes to “improve and enhance” life in the town centre and the burgh’s developing edges in the new year. Feedback from the Big Carnoustie Convo in March has been analysed at a community planning event for the town, Monifieth and Sidlaw areas. One of the outcomes is the formation of a Carnoustie Development Trust, which will take charge of projects to make the town better. Convener of the council’s communities committee, Donald Morrison, said the community had “embraced” the conversation this year. He added: “It helped us all to realise that any future aims must be carried forward as shared ambition and that we must all work together to deliver the aspirations arising from the design charrette. “Achievement will be realised over the short, medium and long term, but already our council services, partners and community organisations have been looking at what actions can be taken together to make progress and improvement.” The charrette was commissioned by Angus Council, with support from the Scottish Government, and was developed in collaboration with the Carnoustie Development Group (CDG) and Carnoustie Community Council. It included workshops at Carnoustie Golf Hotel, where residents worked with designers to prepare a vision, development framework and action plan for the town centre. CDG chairman Peter Burke said: “We have worked closely with both the council and the community council to establish ownership of the various identified projects and create a priority and timeline for each. “Most importantly, we wish to establish a Community Development Trust, a completely new way of delivering these projects, owned and directed by trustees, drawn from all walks of life within the town and nominated by all their fellow citizens, to further enhance the town once the CDG hands over these future developments. “We plan to launch this project during and immediately after the reconvening of the big conversation and urge everybody interested in the town’s future particularly younger members of the community to play their part.”