Nov 13 2012 by Perthshire Advertiser, Perthshire Advertiser
Community councillors reported an alleged ‘theft’ to a police officer - of part of their town’s common good.
The flippant remark was made to PC Bob Band when he attended the latest public meeting of Aberfeldy Community Council. It was a direct reference to Perth and Kinross Council having earlier agreed to invite potential tenants for the controversial Aberfeldy Caravan Park.
The community council in the Highland Perthshire town refute claims that the site is actually the property of the local authority.
The Aberfeldy-based people’s representatives had asked that the town’s common good committee be given time to analyse the issues better, but because PKC no longer regarded the site as belonging to the common good, its environment committee considered this to be unnecessary.
The recommendation to offer the caravan park for lease was passed before councillors last Wednesday by nine votes to three.
But community representatives in Aberfeldy yesterday insisted that the move was premature. Aberfeldy Community Council, supported by Cllr Ian Campbell, had asked for a deferment of the decision for several reasons.
Firstly, on the grounds that the community council and the common good committee had been given just one week’s notice that the council was about to recommend leasing out the caravan park.
Secondly they were contesting the PKC view that the site was ‘not common good’. Community councillors believe there is evidence still to be uncovered that it is historically the property of the community.
They argue the annual rent of £4500, that has gone to the common good fund since the ‘70s, was an indicator of it being a community, not council asset.
Community representatives argued for the decision to be deferred because the council does not agree that commercial use restrictions apply to the site, so a future tenant could open a shop.
Thus far no shop has been allowed at the park to compete with businesses in the town. Members also argue that the financial figures being bandied about were confusing and inaccurate.
But the council went ahead and agreed to invite potential tenants to come forward over the next nine months.
Secretary of Aberfeldy Community Council, Victor Clements told The PA: “We did not object to the principle of running the park in some other way.
“But we consider the decision to offer it has been made based on poor information. The community council has made it clear that the door is not closed on the matters, the jury’s still out on who owns the caravan park.”