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Life centre vision in focus

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					                                                                       ONLY   50p                  Issue 6, Spring 2004



             Building business in Inverurie

     Page 5            Page 6            Page 7               Page 8   Page 13      Page 13   Page 15           Page 15
 The people above have something in common. They’re all building new, non-traditional
 businesses in Inverurie. Some are in the information technology (IT) sector while oth-
 ers illustrate the wide diversification within Inverurie’s business community. Together
 they, and many others, show that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving in the town.


                                                                                                   Inverurie
                                                                                                     lags in
                                                                                                 broadband
                                                                                                     uptake
                                                                                               Latest figures from BT indicate
                                                                                               that despite the ADSL enable-
                                                                                               ment of the Inverurie exchange,
                                                                                               the take-up of broadband serv-
                                                                                               ices by business and domestic
                                                                                               users is still quite low at 6.78%.
                                                                                                     Only 4.5% of businesses



Life centre vision
The Garioch Life Centre proposed to replace
                                                                                               have adopted the service com-
                                                                                               pared to a Scottish average of
                                                                                               5.66%.
                                                                                                     “Much of this may be due
                                                                                               to the fact that many business-
                                                                                               es are still unclear of the bene-



          in focus
Inverurie’s out-dated Health Centre will be a unique
first for the town.                                                                            fits of broadband and how to
                                                                                               connect in a way that is suitable
      The blend, of health and lifestyle facilities linking
                                                                                               for them,” said Neil Fraser,
with retail outlets and community space, in a single
                                                                                               development manager with
complex will be a first in Scotland.
                                                                                               Scottish Enterprise Grampian
      The plans are expected to be submitted for plan-
                                                                                               (SEG).
ning approval in February. Connect invited Dr James
Beattie and Ian Tannock, Carden Developments, to                 See pages 10 & 11             See pages 12-17
explain the thinking behind the project.
connect                                                                                                                                     Page two
Spring 2004


Contact                              The new Garioch Rural Area Partnership will offer a
                                     different approach to the development of the area

Inverurie
                                     that we hope will be positive for all the residents.
                                           This new partnership will fill in the missing part
                                     of the jigsaw in Aberdeenshire, as the Garioch was
                                                                                                      New action
Business                             the only area yet to have one.


Association
                                           It has taken almost two years of building sup-
                                     port for the Partnership. It has been my pleasure to
                                     be part of this as Chairperson of the Steering
                                                                                                      group has
The IBA now has a series of e-mail
addresses to allow speedier
response to queries.
                                     Group.
                                           The main aim of the partnership will be to help
                                     develop self-help projects, which will enhance
                                                                                                      agenda to
                                     opportunities for leisure activities, education and
General enquiries:
admin@inveruriebusiness.com
                                     social development.
                                           The new group will cover the whole of the
                                     Garioch and is really for groups and individuals to
                                                                                                      improve
Membership:
                                     work together on certain issues.
membership@inveruriebusiness.com
Connect magazine:
connect@inveruriebusiness.com
                                           It is about empowering communities and shar-
                                     ing information about how to get certain projects off
                                     the ground. People often have great ideas but do
                                                                                                      Garioch life
                                     not know how to get them started or how to fund
Individual committee members         them; that is what this new partnership is for.                    John Sangster, Chairperson of the recently
may be contacted on the num-               Initially it is hoped to provide opportunities for           formed Garioch Area Partnership Group,
bers listed.                         the youth of our area, but that will not be the part-              writes of his vision for the Group’s future
                                     nerships total function.                                           development.
Committee                                  It is open to groups of people of all ages and
                                     will undertake a variety of community based initia-
            John Glover                                                                              money and until it is established Gordon Rural
                                     tives.
            (chairman)                                                                               Action will provide administration support.
                                           The Garioch area has a fantastic reputation for
            JH Connon Ltd                                                                                  The new partnership will develop over a period
                                     community projects, people from other areas are
            621406                                                                                   of time and by the Summer will have come up with
                                     always asking me how we manage and I always
                                                                                                     a three year plan but first we, as a community, have
                                     answer that there is a great community spirit in the
            Colin Hepburn                                                                            to agree what these plans will be so I appeal to
                                     area and that makes the variety of projects possi-
            (vice-chairman)                                                                          every group in the area to come and get involved.
                                     ble.
            DM Hall                                                                                        It is no use sniping from the sidelines, if you
                                           The new partnership is also keen to learn
            624393                                                                                   have a point of view or an idea for improving the
                                     about other organisations in the area and the issues
                                                                                                     community then come and tell us.
                                     affecting young people.
            Heather Cameron                                                                                This is an exciting new development in the
                                           Sometimes there are people doing great work
            (treasurer/secretary)                                                                    area and I hope that the people of Garioch will take
                                     in the community but no one ever hears of it, this is
            Cassie & Co.                                                                             advantage of this opportunity to share ideas and
                                     an opportunity for them to come and tell us and for
            623311                                                                                   bring forward a whole host of initiatives which can
                                     us to learn from them.
                                                                                                     only benefit the area and enhance even further its
                                           The new partnership has secured start up                  reputation as being a great place to live.
            Ranald Allan

                                     Parking for Don anglers & walkers
            Media Solutions
            621146 or
            07802 471705             Anglers and walkers on the River Don will soon have a new
                                     carpark sited beyond Inverurie Hospital. The public car park
            Neil Connell             is part of the plan for redeveloping the old Upperboat Farm.
            Tesco                         Outline planning permission has been granted to demol-
            667500/667562            ish the former pig farm buildings and develop sites for 16
                                     houses.
            Jackie Allen                  A new access road, running parallel to Burnhervie Road,
            B’s Knees                will provide access to the houses and the new carpark.
            629400 or
                                                                                                                       Behind every successful person
            01651 873270
                                                                                                                         there is someone listening,
                                            CONTACT CONNECT                                                              encouraging, motivating...
            Kenny Middler
            Garioch Blinds            CONNECT is written, edited, designed and printed in                             ...for business and individuals who are
            625494                    Inverurie. Advertising enquiries, editorial contributions                                 committed to results.
                                      and letters should be sent to: CONNECT, c/o Media                                Jackson Carmichael specialise in
                                      Solutions (Scotland), PO Box 97, Inverurie AB51 3WW                             Business Development - Motivational
            Nigel Cattanach
            Clydesdale Bank PLC       or by e-mail: scotmedia@btinternet.com Tel: 621146.                             Training - Goal Setting - Business &
            625061                                                                                                             Personal Coaching
                                      Designed and edited by Ranald Allan, Media
                                      Solutions (Scotland), Inverurie. Printed by Minto
            Lesley Eaton              Design & Print, Inverurie Published by Inverurie &
            ANM Group Ltd             District Business Association with support from
            623700                    ATP.
                                      Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily
            George Burr               reflect the views of the IBA. All content is copyright of the contributors
            Computer SOS              and the IBA. Material should not be used in other publications without
            622766                    permission.
connect                                                                                                                                   Page three
Spring 2004

Margaret receives                                                                                                          Wanted: Office
IBA Community award                                                                                                       & worker for IBA
Margaret Lee, of St James Place, was the                                                                          Inverurie’s growing business association (IBA)
winner of this year’s Inverurie Business                                                                          is looking for a small central office.
Association Community Award. Margaret                                                                                   The IBA also has a vacancy for a part-
won the award for her efforts over a num-                                                                         time worker. “We’re looking for someone who
                                                                                                                  is comfortable meeting business people and
ber of years to raise funds for a renal dial-
                                                                                                                  who can work on their own initiative,”
ysis unit at Inverurie Hospital.                                                                                  explained Jackie Allen, IBA committee mem-
Right: IBA chairman, John Glover, pres-                                                                           ber.
ents Margaret with her citation and a fund                                                                              Any business with a spare room and any-
                                                                                                                  one interested in the vacancy should contact
contribution of £200.
                                                                                                                  Jackie on 07984 176222


 Overtime? Not likely, we’re volunteers
One of the challenges that face                                                          When the Help Light-up                Clearly,   Help       Light-up
local groups or organisations            By Mike Hebenton                          Inverurie group were erecting the     Inverurie was not communicating
wishing to publicise themselves or      Chairman of Inverurie Community            lights one Saturday during the        as successfully is it thought.
their activities is how to reach as    Council and Help Light-up Inverurie         past festive period, a Town Centre          These recent experiences
many people as possible.                                                           businessman asked us “getting         have made me wonder if we tend
     The Community Council             more time consuming.                        double time?”                         to rely on 'media' style methods of
tends to use the press for this pur-         In November, I was advised                  When advised those present      communication and forget to talk
pose.      Help Light-up Inverurie     that some of the feedback from              were volunteers, he said he           to others about what we do.
does the same, and also uses           the Inverurie Town Team session             assumed           they        were          I'm not suggesting that we
posters and more recently, the         on Sharing The Roles raised the             Aberdeenshire Council employ-         abandon the press, radio, posters,
radio.                                 issue       of     communication.           ees.                                  etc, but I do think that all of us,
     I had thought these generally     Respondents had indicated that                    On another occasion, a          involved in various local groups,
worked well, however, recent           they often did not know what local          member of the public claimed          need to get better at telling people
comments and feedback have             bodies were doing.                          never to have heard of the group      what our organisations do, when
caused me to reconsider my view              Over the past three years the         or of Paddy's Market, one of our      they do it and how to get involved.
and question, "What is the best        Help Light-up Inverurie group has           major, and very public, fundraising         There are benefits in talking
way to communicate successful-         organised the Christmas lighting            efforts, which is advertised in the   to each other even if just to set the
ly?"                                   in Inverurie. For a couple of years         press and on the radio.               record straight.
     In 2003, the Community            prior to that, the Business
Council mounted a significant          Association had done so.
campaign against the Uryside                 Aberdeenshire Council used
housing proposals and this fea-        to provide the lighting, but due to
tured heavily in the press.            financial constraints, was unable
     However, when going house         to continue to do so, therefore,
to house to raise awareness of the     local groups had to take over, or
development in areas liable to be      Inverurie would have ceased to
affected by traffic increase, we       have a display at Christmas.
found many householders had                  Although this change has
never heard of the potential           been publicised by various
scheme or the fight against it.        means, including in the press,
     The method of communica-          many local people still assume
tion employed had generally failed     Aberdeenshire Council organises
to reach those it was intended to.     the Christmas lighting display,
The doorstep conversation was          something that is quite frustrating
more successful, though much           for the volunteers involved.


Working towards a Safer Scotland
                                           Inverurie journalist Ranald Allan was
                                           Media Coordinator for the recent
                                           national Safer Scotland Campaign.
                                           Ranald, of Inverurie-based Media
                                           Solutions (Scotland), worked with a
                                           small Grampian Police task force set
                                           up to plan and monitor the month long         Book our fully equipped Marchfield Suite for
                                           campaign.                                          business meetings or seminars
                                           “The total media coverage during the
                                           Campaign would have filled a 48
                                           page taloid newspaper and then
                                           some,” said Ranald.
                                           Left: Grampian Police Assistant
                                           Chief Constable Patrick Shearer
                                           (left) presents Ranald with a
                                           memento of his time with the
                                           Force.
connect                                                                                                                                Page four
Spring 2004


Extended Town Hall is first choice                                                                               WARNING ON
An extension to the west side of Inverurie Town
Hall was the chosen option following a well-
attended public meeting on the building’s future.
                                                         This option, while providing for essential dis-
                                                    abled access to the first floor will largely retain the
                                                    existing balcony seating in the hall, which was
                                                                                                                     SALE OF
      At the November public meeting, a range of
proposals, prepared by consultants, was present-
ed and explained.
                                                    strongly supported at the public meeting.
                                                         The chosen option also allows a one-door
                                                    entry to all the improved areas from the existing
                                                                                                                  FIREWORKS
     After lively discussion, all those attending   front door access.
were given an “options sheet” to take away, con-         Further discussions are now ongoing with the         Bill Cassie, Aberdeenshire
sider, complete and return.                         consultants to flesh out the proposal, and to take
                                                    on board expressed concerns and suggestions.
                                                                                                              Council’s Head of Consumer
     Analysis of the completed returns showed a
large majority in favour of the option suggesting        Final realisation of the proposals will involve      Protection, warns about new
alterations which included an extension of the      significant capital and revenue funds, and broad          controls on firework sales
building to the west of the present library.        based community partnership.                              and entertainment contracts.

                                                                                                              Readers will probably have seen press
                                                                                                              reports in October and November last
                                                                                                              year highlighting an undercover survey
                                                                                                              into the sale of fireworks by
                                                                                                              Aberdeenshire's Trading Standards offi-
                                                                                                              cers.
                                                                                                                    The investigation revealed that two
                                                                                                              out of three shopkeepers in the North-
                                                                                                              east were prepared to break the law and
                                                                                                              sell fireworks to under-18s.
                                                                                                                      In total they made 65 visits to fire-
                                                                                                              work retailers and in 31 cases illegal
                                                                                                              sales were made. One retailer has
                                                                                                              been reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, the picture in
                                                                                                              Formartine and Garioch was just as
                                                                                                              depressing as the Aberdeenshire wide
                                                                                                              one. In these areas 17 visits were made
                                                                                                              and 11 illegal sales made.
                                                                                                                    Trading Standards officers are like-
                                                                                                              ly to be repeating this exercise later this
                                                                                                              year by which time there will be more
                                                                                                              stringent controls in place governing the
                                                                                                              storage, sale and use of fireworks.
                                                                                                                    These will almost certainly include
                                                                                                              powers to refuse or revoke licences if
                                                                                                              retailers have acted irresponsibly.


                                                                                                                   Clampdown on unfair
                                                                                                                   events contracts
                                                                                                              The Office of Fair Trading has published
                                                                                                              new guidance on the use of unfair terms
                                                                                                              in consumer contracts.
                                                                                                                     It clarifies terms that the OFT con-
                                                                                                              sider may be unfair in contracts for
                                                                                                              entertainment including concert tickets,
                                                                                                              sporting events and theatre, and leisure
                                                                                                              activities such as bungee jumping.
                                                                                                                   They are particularly concerned
                                                                                                              about terms that seek to:
                                                                                                                   a) Allow unrestricted changes to be
                                                                                                              made to the event/service
                                                                                                                   b) Give unfettered rights to refuse
                                                                                                              admission to events
                                                                                                                   c) Deny refunds or limit them unfairly
                                                                                                              even where a performance does not take
                                                                                                              place
                                                                                                                   d) Impose excessive cancellation
                                                                                                              charges
                                                                                                                   e) Exclude liability for death or per-
                                                                                                              sonal injury however caused.
                                                                                                                  The entertainment industry in the
                                                                                                              UK is worth over £8 billion a year.
                                                                                                                  The guidance can be downloaded
                                                                                                              from the publications section of the OFT
                                                                                                              website: www.oft.gov.uk
connect                                                                                                                             Page five
Spring 2004



Providing                                                                                            New development
                                                                                                     plans included in
cotton care
                                                                                                     traffic flow model
for babies’                                                                                          The traffic flow assessment of the one-way
                                                                                                     road system proposed for Inverurie town cen-


bottoms
                                                                                                     tre is expected to be complete by March.
                                                                                                           The computerised traffic model will
                                                                                                     include the effects of housing at Uryside and
                                                                                                     the associated link road between the B9170
                                                                                                     Oldmeldrum       Road      and    the    B9001
                                                                                                     Rothienorman Road.
  Jacqui and Colin Geddes with                                                                             The effect of closing the road in front of
       the Cotton Bottoms van                                                                        the Town Hall to accommodate a pedestri-
An unborn baby and their concern for the envi-     throughout Aberdeenshire.                         anised area is also being assessed.
ronment were the inspirations for Jacqui and            “We offer a door to door, supply and laun-         Both of these changes to the road net-
Colin Geddes to set up their own business.         dry service but with the Highlands and Islands    work will have a direct impact on the one-way
      The result is the couple’s thriving new      we can only provide nappy supplies at pres-       system.
venture, Cotton Bottoms, in Burghmuir Circle,      ent,” said Jacqui.                                      Negotiations have taken place on pur-
Inverurie.                                              The nappies are a square of cotton which     chasing land required for the one-way system
      “When I was pregnant I started thinking      is held in place by a “wrap”. The wraps are       and an offer has been made to the parties
about nappies,” explained Jacqui. “As an eco-      variable sized, pant-style covers which are       involved.
friendly person I was concerned about the dis-     held together with velcro.                              The extension to the car park at the
posable type of nappy which has become so               The nappies come with bio-degradable         Railway Station is now complete with an addi-
common in recent years.                            liners which can be flushed safely so all waste   tional 55 spaces available to the public.
      “These nappies are just dumped in landfill   goes down the toilet.
sites and they do not readily decompose. I              Cotton Bottoms supply a special bin for          Scam call could
had also read about issues of increased nappy      nappies waiting for collection to be recycled.
rash and extended toilet training with dispos-
able nappies.
                                                        All nappies taken back for recycling             cost up to £260
                                                   receive a “thermo disinfection wash to NHS
      “And then there is the issue of cost,” she   standards”.                                       Grampian Police have warned of a telephone
added.                                                                                               scam hitting work and home numbers.
                                                        “The specially designed wraps offer better
      The mum-to-be carried out extensive          lower back and hip support than traditional or            Your phone rings and you receive a
investigation into the nappy options and came      disposable nappies,” explained Jacqui.            recorded message; "Congratulations. We are
up with the answer - cotton nappies.                                                                 calling to advise you that you have won an all
                                                        These come in a wide range of bright,
      “Cotton nappies are soft, absorbent and                                                        expenses paid trip to an exotic destination.
                                                   colourful patterns and an Andy Pandy range is
can be washed and re-used. They are not                                                              Please press 9 now to hear further details."
                                                   due out this month.
disposed of, they are recycled,” she explained.                                                            Hang-up. Do not be temped to dial 9.
                                                        Marketing Cotton Bottoms has involved
      Jacqui’s enquiries led her to Cotton         Jacqui talking to nurseries and pre and post            If you press 9, you'll be connected to a
Bottoms, a company based in the South of           natal groups in the area and VIB (very impor-     premium line that bills in the region of £20 per
England.                                           tant baby) days are held every Thursday at the    minute. If you connect and hang-up immedi-
      Jacqui and Colin were so impressed with      Burghmuir Circle office.                          ately, the other end will stay connected for a
the products that they started making more                                                           minimum of 5 minutes and will cost you £100.
enquiries and learned that the company were        * Contact Cotton Bottoms on 01467 624634. Visit         The next part of the call lasts 11 minutes
looking to franchise out their prod-               the web site: www.cottonbottoms.co.uk             and will add a further £260 to your phone bill!
ucts.
      “We found that more and more
couples are looking to move away
from disposable nappies but have
difficulty finding a satisfactory alter-
native,” explained Jacqui.
      The couple decided to exam-
ine the feasibility of setting up their
own business and taking on a
frachise.
      This was a big decision with a
new baby on the way. Jacqui was
a fire control operator with
Grampian Fire Brigade and Colin
worked in IT with the oil industry.
      The couple now have the
Cotton Bottom franchise for the
northern half of Scotland.
      “We cover from Dundee includ-
ing the Highlands and Islands,”
explained Jacqui.
      The Cotton Bottoms van, with
Colin at the wheel, can be seen
travelling around Inverurie and
connect                                                                                                                         Page six
Spring 2004

Phil Moore walked away from a successful
career in retail management to satisfy a
long-held dream of working for himself.
      His cv boasts major household names -
PC World, Toys’r’us, Wickes - and B&Q
                                                          Phil helps
                                                          families
where he was a branch manager.
      Now he has set up Phil Moore
Photographic Memories and is fast develop-
ing a reputation as an exceptional family


                                                          capture
and wedding photographer.
      “I sort of fell into retail but I always kept
up my interest in photography and art,” he
explained.
      “This is something I always wanted to
do but it was a case of when the time is
right.”
                                                          memories
      And in autumn of last year the time was
right. Both Phil and his wife Gail decided to         other outside locations.
set up their own businesses.                                “Even when covering weddings I aim to
      As you would expect from someone                produce an album that is different. I’ll make
with a strong background in retail manage-            pictures with movement and expression in
ment, Phil had planned carefully for the              addition to the traditional formal group
move to self employment.                              shots,” he explained.
      “We had been saving for years for the                 The personal service is extended by
change because we knew the first few                  Phil taking his laptop computer to clients’
months would be the most difficult financial-         homes to show the pictures and make
ly until work started coming in,” he                  selections.
explained.                                                  Gail’s business is
      So what, exactly, is Photographic               built round complementary
Memories?                                             therapy.     She is a reiki
      “I’m not a typical professional photogra-       master and also provides
pher,” explained Phil. “I don’t have a studio.        Indian head massage.
I talk to my customers about the pictures
                                                                                                      The Moores: Both have recently set up
and take them to a particular location that           Contact Phil Moore
                                                                                                      their own businesses. Phil left the world
has meaning for them.”                                Photographic Memories on
                                                                                                      of retail to set up his own photographic
      Phil aims to produce a set of images            01467 625970 or e-mail:
                                                                                                      business. His wife, Gail, is a reiki mas-
which recreate memories. His portfolio of             phil@moore1967.fsbusi-
                                                                                                      ter and provides complementary therapy.
work features beaches, woods, gardens and             ness.co.uk
connect                                                                                                                              Page seven
Spring 2004




New purpose to
a farm hillside
When Mark Strachan was a young lad he                Right: Mark demon-
learned to ski on a snow covered field at Mains      strates the mountain
of Balquhain, Inverurie.                             board technique.
      Now he can ski the same steep slope from       Below: Mark without his
Spring to Autumn on a mountain board without         safety helmet.
the need for snow.
      Mark launched Bennachie Mountainboard
Centre as a farming diversification project last
year and now the Scottish champions use it as
their training ground.
      The Inverurie centre is one of only three in
Scotland and the only facility north of Perth.
      “It all started when I saw an article in
Farmers Weekly about a centre on a farm in
Wales,” explained Mark.
      He phoned the Welsh farm to find out
more and then, following further investigation
and planning, he took on a franchise from
Maxtrack, an English company formed in 1997          pictures and gain the publicity.                     and they change direction by shifting their
to supply boards, clothing and safety equip-              “It’s like skiing. You can do it at any level   weight balance.
ment and encourage growth of the sport.              you choose.”                                               Mark has built a series of grass covered
       “Mountain boarding is sometimes called             Mark has turned a farm cottage into the         obstacles on the hillside to make the hill more
all-terrain boarding,” explained Mark. “You can      Bennachie Mountain Boarding base and                 challenging.
do anything on grass and tracks that you can         invested in a number of boards and a full range            Last summer boarders were taken up the
do on snow without the uncertainty of snow           of safety equipment.                                 hill in a 4x4 vehicle but Mark would like to
cover.”                                                   “The building is very basic but it provides     install a tow.
       The sport has a reputation for being an       a facility for people to change and for the                For those interested in trying this new
“extreme sport” but, as Mark points out, the         boards and safety equipment to be organised,”        sport Bennachie Mountainboard Centre have
reputation is not entirely fair.                     he explains.                                         qualified instructors and a full range of equip-
      “People can do boarding at any level.               The mountain boards are like snow               ment for hire.
There are competitions and the freestyle aero-       boards with wheels and suspension.             The   Contact Mark Strachan on 07766 817478. Visit the
batics of the experts are what make the best-        user’s feet are held in a fixed position by straps   web site: www.scottish-boarding.com

     Direct Grant success will
     create community jobs
A number of Inverurie based community and social enterprise projects
have made successful bids for Direct Grants so creating new jobs in the
town.
      The grants programme was set up to help small groups to promote
employability or develop new ideas to enhance community enterprise
and local networking in their area.
      Gordon Renal Dialysis bid for money to support "volunteering for
all" and hope to recruit someone to support the volunteers involved in
developing services for people needing dialysis including the groups
ongoing fundraising activity.
      Computers and Integration have just recruited a part-time worker.
They will be running computer classes for people who have no experi-
ence of using computers and will look at a training programme to help
people develop skills that will help them in work or volunteering.
      Grampian Employment Opportunities have been able to employ a
part-time worker to help "develop opportunities". It provides finance
and support to people disadvantaged in the labour market because of
disability or mental health problems.
      This may include funding to achieve a personal goal that will further
employment prospects for an individual or business advice at an organ-
isation level. GEO would particularly like to hear from anyone who feels
they can offer support in either of these area.

Contact Linda Singer for further information. Email:
linda@inveruriebusiness.com            Visit the website:
www.scvo.org.uk/direct_grants/default.htm
connect                                                                                                                              Page eight
Spring 2004



Mind over matter
boost for business
One of the most effective treatments to have emerged from the fast             said Dee who’s name
growing complementary therapy "industry" is Hypnotherapy, and Dee              comes from the river in
Buchanan has lost no time in re-establishing her successful private            her home city of
practice since taking time off last year to travel.                            Aberdeen.
     Dee specialises in tailored personal growth programmes. “It is a                She uses hyp-
great privilege to be in a position to help people restructure their lives,”   notherapy to treat a wide
                                                                                range of conditions,
                                                                                from breaking unwant-
                                                                                ed habits like smoking,
                                                                                obtaining relief and
                                                                                remission from depres-
                                                                                sion, migraine and
                                                                                other stress-related ill-
                                                                                nesses, to addressing
                                                                                weight control and
                                                                                modern day living prob-
                                                                                                              Dee Buchanan - hypnotherapist
                                                                                lems like high blood pres-
                                                                                sure.
                                                                                      Stress-related ailments are one of the greatest causes of absen-
                                                                                teeism in the workplace.
                                                                                      “Hypnotherapy as a business tool is extremely effective in facili-
                                                                                tating personal change, identifying and unleashing latent talents and
                                                                                creative energy, as well as helping focused goal-setting,” says Dee.
                                                                                      Since its endorsement by the British Medical Association for use
                                                                                in Medical School education, its use as a powerful therapeutic tool has
                                                                                made hypnotherapy an invaluable addition to conventional medical
                                                                                treatment.
                                                                                      With the government's commitment towards achieving a healthier
                                                                                workforce work/life balance, Dee is finding an increasing interest in her
                                                                                work from within the business community, for whom she offers in-com-
                                                                                pany programmes customised to suit specific corporate needs.
                                                                                      Deeside-based Company Director Dave Patrick commented, "I
                                                                                first came across Dee in the early 1990's when I was undergoing a
                                                                                stressful period at work closely followed by a marriage break-up.
                                                                                      “We often tend to think we can cope with these types of situations
                                                                                on our own, and when I eventually acknowledged I couldn't I found
                                                                                Dee's approach extremely beneficial in helping me turn my life around
                                                                                for the better."
                                                                                      Operating from her home base north of Inverurie, Dee qualified in
                                                                                Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis in 1988, and has since served as
                                                                                a Director and Examiner at the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
                                                                                Over the last 15 years she has written and lectured extensively on the
                                                                                benefits of hypnotherapy.
                                                                                      As well as operating from home, Dee also arranges to travel to
                                                                                                                      meet clients and holds twice-
                                                                                                                      weekly clinics at the Rosemount
                                                                                                                      Centre in Aberdeen.
                                                                                                                           She has recently joined forces
                                                                                                                      with another local business,
                                                                                                                      Jackson Carmichael, to offer an
                                                                                                                      enhanced package of services
                                                                                                                      including motivational training and
                                                                                                                      business and personal coaching.
                                                                                                                           Her travel break last year
                                                                                                                      allowed her to visit Australia and
                                                                                                                      the Philippines and indulge in one
                                                                                                                      of her favourite passions, scuba
                                                                                                                      diving.

                                                                                                                    To arrange an introductory
                                                                                                                    appointment or obtain further
                                                                                                                    information,    contact   Dee
                                                                                                                    Buchanan on tel. 01464 841135
                                                                                                                    or mobile 077927 87148.
connect                                                                                                                                 Page nine
Spring 2004



  ‘Wasting time & cash on dated plan’
The influence of the planning system may not                                                               to development within the area.
appear to affect you until you require consent                                                                   What has happened in our locality has
for a specific project.
                                                     Many people have
                                                                                                           been the late delivery of houses, late delivery
      This may be a domestic alteration to your      little contact with                                   of business land and this significant lack of
home (a conservatory or a garage) or it may be       the planning sys-                                     supply and high demand tends to increase
for your business - ranging from alterations to      tem but it can have                                   prices and values, and dramatically limits
existing premises, new offices, workshop facil-      a major impact on                                     opportunities to develop and grow business,
ity, shop frontage or signage.                       all our lives and                                     and the choice of housing stock available.
      However, whether you are aware of it or        businesses as                                               The system is further complicated by lack
not, the planning system ticking over in the         WILLIE LIPPE                                          of infrastructure, particularly water and sewage
background affects your future, your homes           explains.                                             with most recent problems arising in
and your business opportunities.                                                                           Oldmeldrum.
      It is the responsibility of the Local                                                                      The sewage treatment plant has capacity
                                                           You may have noted recently in the Press
Authorities (in our case Aberdeenshire                                                                     for only 200 houses. Wimpy themselves have
                                                     that the public inquiry relating to the
Council) to prepare a Local Plan and also in                                                               consent for 400 houses and have been allocat-
                                                     Aberdeenshire Local Plan has been delayed
conjunction with Aberdeen City a Structure                                                                 ed all the capacity. The treatment plant is to
                                                     due to Officers failing to advertise the plan cor-
Plan covering the north east area.                                                                         be upgraded by Wimpy around 2005/2006
                                                     rectly.
      These plans are prepared in a 5 year                                                                 which will allow more houses (the remaining
                                                           The affect of this is that the public inquiry
cycle, to decide how many houses and how                                                                   200) to be built.
                                                     will now be delayed until May 2004, be com-
much business land is to be made available                                                                       Meanwhile all other development with the
                                                     pleted by Autumn and have a Scottish
during each 5 year period and where these                                                                  exception of the Health Centre and Nursery is
                                                     Executive Reporter's decision to us by Spring
should be located.                                                                                         sterilised within Oldmeldrum.
                                                     2005, resulting in Aberdeenshire Council hav-
      The preparation period is an opportunity       ing a legal and adopted plan to which we can                So if you are in Oldmeldrum and want to
when we can all influence these decisions by         operate by Summer 2005.                               build some houses or a new business premis-
studying the plans, attending public meetings                                                              es, office or workshop it is unlikely to be
                                                           Regrettably we are discussing a plan
and submitting objections or promoting propos-                                                             achieved until 2006.
                                                     which operates from 2001 - 2005 and is there-
als for land zoning.                                                                                             So you can see that, in many not so obvi-
                                                     fore out of date by the time it is approved. This
      The Council also develop policies regard-      is equivalent to running your business on a           ous ways, the planning system has a signifi-
ing building uses, acceptable styles of devel-       business plan which is 5 years out of date.           cant influence on your lifestyle and your busi-
opment, extensions, alterations, and how                                                                   ness.
                                                           It is my opinion that they should abandon
brown field sites should be developed.                                                                     See letter: Page 20
                                                     their current plan and concentrate their effort
      They cover sustainability, alternative ener-   and expenses on the plan for 2006 - 2011
gy, what is acceptable within the countryside,                                                             Next issue: Willie looks at the Disability
                                                     which will have future land zoned for 2011 -          Discrimination Act and its implications for
general land use, agriculture, mining, excava-       2016, giving us a much more positive approach
tion, forestry etc.                                                                                        local business.


Sponsors wanted to                                                                     Inverurie’s only independent Builders Merchants
                                                                                             NEW TIMBER CENTRE NOW OPEN
add colour to town
Inverurie is set to have an even              “We want to hear what environ-
more colourful summer this year as       mental improvements other groups
hopes are high of more than 100          and individuals would like to see in
baskets and boxes of flowers             Inverurie,” explained Ranald.
through the town centre.                      In 2003, the IEI Group, with
      “The early response from busi-     assistance from The Rotary Club of
nesses has been superb,” said            Inverurie and many other volun-

                                                                                               BUILDERS MERCHANTS
Charlie Taylor of the Inverurie          teers, organised 70 floral displays in
Environmental Improvement Group          Inverurie.
Committee.                                    The Group also led a Clean-up
      “In addition to adding to the      Inverurie day in June; a beautiful                     Sand, Cement, Blocks, Gravel
basket display we hope to provide        garden competition in July and sup-
new plant holders on the lamp-           ported the Blythewood Victorian
                                                                                                       Slates & Slabs
posts around the Town Hall and           Garden Open Day in August.                               Head to Toe Safety Wear
Memorial Garden.”                             A team from Inverurie’s Harlaw
      The Group are holding a “thank     Centre were involved in watering                              Gas and Coal
you” reception in February for all       the baskets and boxes of plants
those volunteers and businesses          during the summer months.
                                                                                                  Dulux Decorator Centre
involved in supporting the environ-           This summer the Group plans                             Delivery service
mental initiaties in 2003.               to repeat the Clean-up Day and the
      “We applied for a Valuing          Garden Competition will be extend-
Volunteers grant and our bid was         ed to additional categories. Full
                                                                                        Visit our new Bradstone display area
successful,” explained IEI chairman      details will be in the local press.         GPH Builders Merchants, Harlaw Road, Inverurie AB51 4FH
Ranald Allan. “It allows us to spend
a little money without eating into
                                         Any businesses interested in                         Tel: (01467) 621926 Fax: (01467) 629098
                                         sponsoring a hanging basket or                               Opening soon at Westhill
improvement funds.”                      pole planter should contact
      IEI are planning a major public
consultation later in the year.
                                         Charlie Taylor on 623311 or
                                         Ranald Allan on 621146.
                                                                                               PART OF THE J H CONNON GROUP
connect                                                                                                                             Page ten                                     connect                                                                                                                            Page eleven
Spring 2004                                                                                                                                                                      Spring 2004


 Business
 opportunities
 in new Centre
                                         Life Centre is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Centre will
 The proposed new £9.5 million
 Garioch Life Centre offers a num-
 ber of business opportunities.
                                         more than a new                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         offer wide
                                         Health Centre                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            range of
 The developer, Carden
 Developments, is keen to
 encourage uptake by local peo-
 ple or businesses.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                facilities &
 For full details of availability of
 the retail units and other facilities
 contact Ian Tannock of Carden           The present health centre in Inverurie
 Developments on 01224 641078            is unfit for purpose. It was built in        By Dr James Beattie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  activities
 or email: ian.tannock@carden-           1971 to serve the health care needs
 developments.co.uk                      on the local population, to a maximum
                                         capacity of around 12,500 patients.             The new millennium primary
      Key Areas                                The registered practice popula-     care health partnership services are
                                         tion is now 17,500, and will rise to an   attempting to integrate traditional
      Med Pract        37,000 sq ft                                                general practice with social, commu-
                                         anticipated 20,000 within a few years.
      Offices          12,500 sq ft                                                nity, and voluntary services and to
                                               During its 30-year lifespan the                                                 Above: An aerial view     The proposed Life Centre is designed to incorporate                                                                     out the day and into the evening.
      Café              3,000 sq ft                                                involve the public directly in their exe-
      Gym               6,500 sq ft
                                         nature and scope of health care has
                                                                                   cution.                                     shows the size and        all the essential elements of a Healthy Living Centre.                      By Ian Tannock                                    The Medical Practice is planned as a number of
                                         changed dramatically and the range
      Retail           16,000 sq ft                                                                                            shape of the proposed            Within a unified physical structure organised                       Carden Developments                          discrete zones which house its different functions, but
                                         of medical activities and services that         The Garioch Life centre is an
      Atrium            5,500 sq ft                                                                                            new Garioch Life          around a large glazed public access atrium there will                                                                   all of which are connected using link bridges across
                                         can be provided locally has increased     ambitious and novel concept that is
                                                                                                                               Centre at the top of      be a café/restaurant, an exhibition or retail stall space,   cient and accessible to all, from the outset, it is        the atrium. This approach will make it easy for the
      Total            80,500 sq ft      exponentially.                            based on a belief that health of an
                                                                                                                                                         a commercially operated gym/fitness club with compli-        designed to be flexible.                                   building's users to orientate themselves in the space,
                                                                                   individual depends on more than NHS         Victoria Street.          mentary therapists and hydrotherapy.                              The building itself is planned around an open atri-   which in turn makes the Centre easy to use.
                                                                                   illness response services and health
                                                                                   promotion.                                                                   Retail units such as a pharmacy, optometrist and      um space with a glazed roof, which will giver a light            Constructed from high quality materials, such as
                                                                                                                               Architect: Michael        others sympathetic to the philosophy will be present         and airy feel to the Centre, and allow plants to thrive    natural stone, stainless steel and white render, the
                                                                                          The degree, to which an individ-
                                                                                                                               Gilmour, Michael          alongside a voluntary service and information centre         indoors throughout the year.                               building will be a contemporary addition to Inverurie.
                                                                                   ual has a positive belief about their
                                                                                                                                                         with a net café.                                                                                                              The landscaping surrounding the building is also
                                                                                   own health and their own ability to         Gilmour Associates,                                                                         This "atrium" will become a venue for exhibitions
                                                                                   influence it, is crucial to their use of                                     A conference/learning suite open to public use        and events, as well as a foyer from which to access        an important consideration, within this project there
                                                                                                                               Aberdeen.
                                                                                   services.                                                             will be on the second floor. A crèche and day nursery        the Centre's healthcare functions.                         will be large areas of quality landscaping leading to the
                                                                                                                                                         unit is also planned for patients, shoppers and the               The public portions of the Centre, such as the        Healing Garden which incorporate water features and
                                                                                         The presence of alternative
                                                                                                                               Below: An artist’s        general public.                                              gymnasium and meeting rooms, will be open through-         will be planted in a sympathetic manner to create a
                                                                                   options to self-care and the proximity
                                                                                                                               impression of part of            The Healthy Living Centre will be situated on the                                                                sheltered, contemplative space.
                                                                                   of informal social support in the form
                                                                                   of meeting places and eating-places         the public atrium area.   first floor with access by stairs and lifts.
                                                                                   is equally part of a healthy communi-                                        The Centre will be disabled-friendly, energy effi-
                                                                                   ty.                                                                                                                                                      FOR PERSONAL S E RVICE & PRICES
                                                                                         The GLC attempts to integrate                                                                                                                           YOU JUST CAN T BEAT !!
                                                                                   the formal healthy living centre servic-
                                                                                   es within an extended physical envi-                                                                                                                      FREE FLOOR PLANNING SERVICE
                                                                                   ronment that combines other positive
                                                                                   health elements such as a gymnasi-                                                                                                                                   Desking + Seating + Filing Cabinets
     In fact, they’ll be around for at least four years.                           um, information centre, and restau-                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Home & Office Computer Units + Rubber St m ps
          To arrange an appointment please call                                    rant.                                                                                                                                                        New & Second-hand + To Hire or Buy
         Frank W. L. Kreft, Relationship Manager
                                                                                         These are distributed around a                                                                                                                        Free Delivery or Cash & Carry Discounts
                       on 01467 620425
                                                                                   "Greek style" public forum that will                                                                                                                          40 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN OFFICE FURNISHING
                                                                                   afford both retail opportunities and
                                                                                   cultural display and performance
                                                                                   potential.
                                                                                         The design of the GLC will hon-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        B. MURRAY OFFICE PRODUCTS
                                                                                   our the person first, as an individual                                                                                                         We look after the seating & desking needs of offices, home offices, hotels and clubs
                                                                                   with choices, that will hopefully min-                                                                                                                                      throughout the North East
                                                                                   imise the need to medicalise their
                                                                                   issues.
                                                                                         If they require receiving formal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           01467 651547
                                                                                   medical or social care, the Healthy
                                                                                   Living Centre will have the resources                                                                                                 CALL into our showroom @ BLINDBURN, BLAIRDAFF                             Fax 01467 651217
                                                                                   to react efficiently to most of their                                                                                                                 OPEN 7 DAYS                                               Mobile 07836 213089
                                                                                   needs including minor surgery and                                                                                                       OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE @ www.bmurray.co.uk                                E-mail: info@bmurray.co.uk
                                                                                   home care services.                                                                                                                         BLINDBURN,                  B L A I R D A F F,         INVERURIE                 AB51 5LA
connect                                                                                                                     Page twelve
Spring 2004


Inverurie is developing
as an information tech-
                                 With a web site the world
                                 is your customer base
nology (IT) service
base.
In the following six
pages Connect spot-              “You should have a web site!”                                                   every budget and requirement.
                                 Does this statement send shiv-                                                  This should be quickly offset by
lights some of the indi-         ers down your spine?                   Jackie Allen,                            the increase in your customer
viduals, companies                     Is it that you’re terrified at   of Bees                                  base and markets that will open
and organisations                the thought; ignorant of the           Knees, gives                             up that were unthinkable before.
                                 potential or, perhaps, excited by                                                     If it helps, compare it to the
                                                                        tips on get-
involved in this local IT        the concept and the opportuni-                                                  price of advertising locally for
                                 ties for new business?                 ting a web                               just one day!
revolution.                                                             site.
                                       'Ignore the powers of the                                                       Next look at who you want
In 2004 Inverurie                Internet at your peril!' Is this                                                to be your audience. If you are
Business Association             really the case?                                                                targeting the local market e.g.
                                       Well, E-tailers in the UK had    makes it so important to busi-           special offers, what's new,
will launch a web site           a bumper Christmas notching up         nesses as a shop window, not            opening hours, an address with
to service local compa-          an increase of 40% on the previ-       just to traditional markets but, in     .co.uk is most acceptable.
                                 ous year.                              effect, to the world.                         If, however, you are target-
nies and present a vir-                Over 10 million UK con-                Many high street retailers        ing "the world" a .com address is
tual gateway to the              sumers bought goods on-line in         did not experience the usual fre-       most recognised.
                                 December 2003. With an aver-           netic run-up to Christmas and                 You may think that could
town for anyone, any-            age transaction value up from          went on sale early, particularly in     never be a possibility but one
where in the world to            £17.51 to £40.55 in the past year      the fashion sector.                     good example is the butcher in
                                 and with the UK having 34.3 mil-             One notable exception was         Stonehaven who now sends
access.                          lion people online (May 2003)          Next who have reported total            vacuum-packed            Aberdeen
This is likely to be just        this converts into billions of         retail sales up 15.8% and Next          Angus all over the world where
                                 pounds of retail business not          Directory mail order sales up           previously he was just (a very
one of a number of               done in the traditional outlets.       16.1%, interestingly one of the         good) local butcher.
web sites promoting                    Any and every kind of infor-     first fashion chains to target                Decide what your target
                                 mation or product can be found         online shopping.                        product is and what makes it dif-
the town.                        via the internet. It is this that            I thought I was just lucky        ferent from everyone else and
                                                                        with my timing as I queued in the       build your site around this.
                                                                        supermarkets this Christmas.                  Ensure your site is easily
                                                                        However, according to the latest        modified and updated. Nothing
                                                                        figures, grocery shopping online        puts people off a site faster than
                l h m s I v r r e td
             W i l C e i ts ( n e u i ) L                               has increased by 27% in the last        out of date information.
                                                                        12 months.                                    Content Management is rel-
                             re, neui
            35 West High St e t I v r r e                                     I firmly believe that these       atively easy, even for those not
                                                                        trends are set to continue and          totally confident with computing!
                                                                        will affect every business.                   Search engines that can
                                                                              Back to today, why queue to       ensure your site gets enough
                                                                        park, queue to pay for and then         "hits" are crucial as people sel-
     Suppliers of First Aid and                                         lug home large or heavy every-          dom scroll down beyond the first
                                                                        day items, never mind the time,         page.
    Medical Equipment to many                                           effort and expense involved?                  It’s important to make sure
                                                                        We can search for and buy prod-
          local businesses                                              ucts, services and business at
                                                                                                                people know about your web site
                                                                                                                so print the address on all your
                                                                        any time of the night or day from       literature and advertising.
                                                                        anywhere in the world.                        Once your site is up and
     The company operates one of the largest                                  So how can we, the small          running, you should quickly
   single pharmacies in the North East and can                          independents fight for our slice        know if it is being successful.
   offer your company expert advice on medical                          of this pie? If we agree that a               Don’t worry if it is not per-
                                                                        web-site is the starting point, first   fect or needs to be adapted, at
                    supplies.
                                                                        find a company with the expert-         least you have got your foot on
                                                                        ise you can trust.                      the IT ladder.
         W e supply simple First Aid kits to                                  I would recommend using                 Of course in the yling ylang
  sophisticated medical equipment, such as oph-                         local companies or ones who             nature of this world, there are
 thalmoscopes and sutures, as well as a complete                        understand your business sector         down sides; less face to face
                                                                        and your customers. There are           communication, loss of service
 range of pharmaceutical items you would expect                         hundreds clamouring for your            and increases in the use of tech-
 to find in a pharmacy with an excellent reputa-                        business, just shop around for          nology by the less savoury char-
 tion in the local community.                                           the best deal as you would for          acters in this world.
                                                                        any other supplier.                             Whatever happens, with
                                                                              I can hear the "how much          the speed technology is mov-
                                                   l n
   For further information, please telephone Ian Wi l o
                                                                        will it cost?" question. Luckily,       ing, the internet highway is
   01467 620475 or e-mail: Will.Chem@btconnect.com                      the cost of setting up a website        definitely here to stay - "sae
                                                                        is far from prohibitive because         mak seer ye thoomb a lift!.
                                                                        there is so much competition.           * Visit Bees Knees web site on:
                                                                              Prices are available to suit      www.bsknees.co.uk
 connect                                                                                                                     Page thirteen
 Spring 2004


       Pat’s plan                                                                                             George
       for online
                                                                                                              turned
       community
                                                                                                              hobby to
                                                                                                              business
                                                                                                              George Burr - providing com-
                                     Pat McKay has                                                            puter support to small busi-
                                     just launched a                                                          nesses and home users.
                                     new community
                                     internet site.       When computers arrived in his workplace,        only bringing back machines to his work-
                                                          qualified draughtsman George Burr               shop if more substantial work is needed.
When Pat McKay worked as a database consultant
                                                          jumped at the chance of getting to work              Thanks to a bolt of lightening that hit
with oil-related companies, he spotted an opportunity
                                                          with them. Soon he was in charge of the         Insch last year, George suddenly found
to improve the way firms have access to their data-
                                                          computers in his drawing office and even-       himself inundated with calls from people
bases.
                                                          tually for the whole of the Inverurie firm he   whose modems had been damaged.
He saw a need for a system which allowed data to be
                                                          worked for.                                          "I hadn't had any business in that area
accessed remotely using the internet. He developed
                                                                George's interest spilled out of hours    then, for a week and a half, I was driving up
his system and two years ago was able to launch his
                                                          into a hobby which saw him do favours for       and down to Insch to change modems
company, InterNetDBA Ltd.
                                                          friends - until one day someone suggested       every day. That was very good as it provid-
To begin with he supported companies using Oracle-
                                                          he should set up in business.                   ed some new clients," he said.
based systems then developed the technology to con-
                                                                He thought this a bit far-fetched but          With a well-established background in
nect into any database.
                                                          decided to test the market and for two          CAD work, he is open to taking work in
"We can put people's database systems online so that
                                                          years he ran a part-time business from his      providing computer drawings. In fact, in his
they can update and change data from anywhere,"
                                                          Inverurie home at 4 Howford Cottages.           words: "I'll do anything as long as it
explained Pat.
                                                                He then took the plunge completely,       involves computers!"
Having established a thriving business mainly with
                                                          leaving the firm with which he had worked            At the end of last year Computer SOS
larger companies in his first two years, he decided to
                                                          for 29 years and set up Computer SOS            Grampian became a limited company. For
look at the needs of small and medium sized busi-
                                                          Grampian in August 2002.                        now, George expects to remain a sole trad-
nesses.
                                                                George has built up a steady business     er but the need for a second pair of hands
In January 2004 Pat launched a second niche product
                                                          in building, repairing and maintaining PCs,     is anticipated.
- an umbrella internet site for local business, organi-
                                                          based mainly on word of mouth contacts.              "People will always need support,
sations and clubs to locate themselves together.
                                                          He targets both small businesses which          especially when things go wrong. If I can
The package is called www.localcommunity.co.uk and        cannot afford to employ full-time IT person-    give a service they are happy with, then I'm
offers access at two levels - standard and premier.       nel and home users.                             satisfied," he added.
The standard level is free and provides a registered
                                                                His customer base is all around the       * George can be contacted on 01467
user with a free web page. The premier connection
                                                          North-east and he prefers to travel out,        622766.
allows the user to post messages into a discussion
forum, create news of current promo-
tions and direct visitors back to their
main web site. Both levels can update
online.
The 'localcommunity' site is intentional-
ly advert-free - Pat wants it to remain a
quality, clean space to encourage seri-
ous use.
The site operates like a directory - visi-
tors locate the area they want to check
out, then choose an option to gain
information. Site enhancement is
always on-going and it is likely that an
events listing option will be added.
"Any country's backbone is the life of
its communities. It's important to offer
something which can bring together
businesses, organisations and clubs on
one umbrella site," said Pat.
Pat works from home near Inverurie as
well as from an office at the Aberdeen
Business Centre in Albyn Grove.
* InterNetDBA Ltd can be contacted on
07786 973006 or www.thenetdba.com
connect                                                                                                                        Page fourteen
Spring 2004



  Opening-up the world of computers
                                      Training and                                                                               ‘Driving
                                      online access                                                                              licence’
                                      at Thainstone                                                                              to Euro
                                                                                                                                   levels
Since it opened last year, Thainstone Centre's Rural eAccess Centre has
proved to be an important and well-utilised resource among the public.                                                           Sandra Turnbull of
      Since April last year, 159 learners have signed up at the Centre. Of                                                       Computers &
those, 15 are beginners and 144 have registered for the European                                                                 Integration
Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).
      The Centre was established by the ANM Group Ltd. and Scottish             Computers and Integration, 4 St James Place, is an Accredited Test
Enterprise Grampian (SEG), and was officially opened by SEG chief exec-         Centre for the European Computer Driving Licence and the relatively
utive Jennifer Craw last year.                                                  new complete beginners course, Equal Skills. These courses are
      It is staffed by an experienced team from the Scottish Agricultural       supported by a qualified tutor, who is always available during opening
College's flexible learning department. It offers nine computer terminals       hours.
and a range of training aids, and is open to the public 15 hours per week           The Centre is fully accessible with parking and located behind
as well as being available for hire to companies and organisations.             Lippe Architects.
      As well as free internet access and accessibility to the British Cattle       “We also provide access to other types of computer learning, for
Movement Service (BCMS), the Rural eAccess Centre can create specif-            example, working with PowerPoint presentations and using digital
ic courses to meet the needs of individuals or groups of learners.              cameras,” explained manager Sandra Turnbull.
      "The Rural eAccess Centre is an important facility for farmers and the        “We can also offer assistive technology for easier access to using
rural community. Its popularity is very encouraging and it is attracting        a computer. Our services are delivered by a well trained staff and vol-
interest from beginners to the world of computers, as well as those seek-       unteer force ensuring that best practice is at the top of our priorities.”
ing more advanced training," commented ANM Group Ltd. chief executive               Contact Computers and Integration: Tel: 01467 623600 or
Brian Pack.                                                                     email:cai.inverurie@tiscali.co.uk
      The Rural eAccess Centre is open 1pm to 5pm on Wednesday, 11am
to 4pm on Thursday and 10am to 4pm on Friday, and anyone interested
in finding out more is invited to pay a visit and speak to the staff.
                                                                                                                  Mobile centre
                                                                                                                  gives guide
  A THOLL SCOTT                                                                                                   to e-business
                                                                                SEG has in place an E-Business Demonstration Centre that assists
                                                                                businesses to fully understand the benefits of broadband technologies.
         + Accounts preparation                                                       The centre can demonstrate different types of broadband con-
                                                                                nection and offers the opportunity to speak with an e-business spe-
         + Auditing                                                             cialist who will provide free and impartial advice on the right technolo-
                                                                                gy to meet specific needs. This includes showcasing equipment,
         + Self Assessment Tax                                                  applications, best practice and case study material.
         Returns                                                                      The centre also hosts co-ordinated programmes of awareness
                                                                                seminars and workshops covering broadband and associated e-busi-
         + Business Plans                                                       ness practices. The advisor is also available to offer one to one tai-
                                                                                lored advice.
         + Payroll                                                                    Grampian businesses will also have further opportunities to visit
         + Agricultural Consultancy                                             the Mobile Demonstration Unit in the Spring when it will once again
                                                                                visit communities in Aberdeenshire.
                                                                                      The Mobile Demonstration Centre is a fully equipped bus with the
                                                                                latest satellite and wireless technology that is manned by an e-busi-
           55-57 West High Street                                               ness specialist. On the bus businesses can experience satellite
                                                                                broadband in action and trial wireless Internet connections using PDAs
                 INVERURIE                                                      and notebooks.
                                                                                      The Grampian E-business Demonstration Centre is based in
               01467 629888                                                     Huntly with all workshops and seminars free of charge to businesses.

                                                                                    To find out more about broadband Scottish Enterprise has a
                                                                                very useful web site at www.broadbandforscotland.co.uk
       A FAMILY BUSINESS SERVING OUR
                                                                                    Additionally to find out more about workshops or for advice
         CLIENTS FOR OVER 30 YEARS                                              on broadband, businesses can contact Mark Grant at the centre
                                                                                on 01466 795308 or e-mail mark.grant@huntlyldc.co.uk
connect                                                                                                                            Page fifteen
Spring 2004




PCs not
stamps at
Port’s old                                                                                                                         George
                                                                                                                                   Ferguson (right)


Post Office
                                                                                                                                   and Alan
                                                                                                                                   Stephen in Port
                                                                                                                                   PCs’ Port
                                                                                                                                   Elphinstone
                                                                                                                                   shop.

When qualified SCOTVEC trainer and asses-             up Port PCs.                                       shop but a second outlet at 19 Gordon Street
sor George Ferguson put down his skills in                 "I ran Port PCs from a room in the house      Huntly, opened in August 2002. The Huntly
1996 to run the Port Elphinstone Post Office          and kept the main business in the shop until it    shop is run by Steven Gray and George is
and general store, little did he know that within     was clear within a few months that I had           helped in his Port Elphinstone shop by Alan
a short time he would return to computers.            enough customers to change over," explained        Stephen.
      George and his wife, Fiona, had decided         George.                                                   Fiona does the books but maybe not for
to move to the North-east from Central                     He wanted to keep the Post Office open        long as she is heading for a first class honours
Scotland where George worked with computer            to serve the local community but changes in        in accountancy from Aberdeen University and
firm, Compaq. They planned to buy a shop and          the Post Offices payments system took away a       is looking for ways to develop her latest career
post office or a pub, so taking over the Port         substantial portion of his income. He lobbied to   option.
business was right up their street.                   keep the Post Office in his new business but             "I never thought I would be where I am
      It didn't take long, though, for customers      his efforts were in vain.                          just now, working in computers again. It's
to get to know about George's other skills and             Port PCs has established a healthy            strange how things evolve but when you are in
soon he was giving advice on PCs while dish-          spread of customers from rural areas as far as     business if you don't evolve you can be left
ing out payments and selling stamps.                  Kildrummy and Midmar right down to                 behind," concludes George.
      George realised there might be an oppor-        Aberdeen, handling all kinds of repair and sup-    * George Ferguson can be contacted at
tunity to go into business - and in 1999 he set       port work - from not only the Port Elphinstone     01467 629935.


Iain offers IT support to firms
The scenario is common: a business
introduces computers for the first time
- or upgrades to new equipment.
Everyone is excited about the new
technology - until they try to use it.
      Hours of struggling lead to frus-
tration and unhappiness resulting in a
drain on resources and not a lot of
work to show for it.
      Enter Inverurie-based IT special-
ist Iain Duncan. For the past six years
he has been troubleshooting, training
and supporting small and medium
sized businesses to manage their             Iain Duncan in his home office.
computer systems and software pack-          house on the popular software pack-
ages.                                        ages. Currently, there is also a grow-
      Iain has spent his whole working       ing demand for creating web sites.
life - over 20 years - in the computer             Once he finds out a business's
industry working in the oil and gas,         needs, he tailor-designs an in-house
whisky, paper-making, insurance and          training and support programme.
accountancy fields.                                Iain is a Certified Microsoft Office
      He was employed mainly with            User Specialist (MOUS). As well as
software houses whose clients - nor-         training, he can solve business prob-
mally the big national and multi-nation-     lems using mainline packages or write
al companies - can afford the huge           small systems in Visual Basic; he will
daily rates for IT support.                  set up PCs including for internet and
      But just over six years ago he         email; provide systems management;
realised that small and medium sized         give advice on purchasing equipment
companies were losing and decided to         and software - in fact, pretty much
offer his skills to that market.             anything to do with computers and
                                             software.
      Initially he was involved in writing                                                   Units 3 & 4, Inverurie Food Park, Blackhall
small systems but more recently he           * I D Consultancy Systems: Tel - 01467
has been in demand to train staff in-        623392 or Iain.Duncan@BTConnect.com               Industrial Estate, Inverurie AB51 4FS
connect                                                                                                                        Page sixteen
Spring 2004



Turning today’s
technology
to business
advantage
                       Gordon Murray, Operations Director, at
                         the First ebusiness Inverurie offices.

Inverurie-based First eBusiness has been               Gordon Murray, Operations Director, has       front line here, helping clients concentrate on
helping companies turn the latest technology     been with First eBusiness for over 20 years.        their businesses, not their IT.
into business advantage for more than 20         "No business can justify expenditure on IT                Local companies like Mitchells Dairy, TSI
years.                                           unless it pays back in some way - increased         and Enterprise NE Trust are all HelpDesk
     The team of 30 cover a wide range of        sales, efficiency, customer service, whatever       clients.
technical expertise in both software develop-    the aim may be.                                           “Companies basically want two things
ment and systems design, implementation and            “In Inverurie, there are some great exam-     from us,” explained Gordon.
support.                                         ples of companies getting real value from IT.             “They want practical advice on how to use
     "When we started in 1981, our clients             “We've worked with the ANM Group to           technology to improve the way they do busi-
were large multinational manufacturing organi-   develop and host their online auction services      ness and knowledgeable people to help them
sations.                                         available from www.goanm.co.uk                      build those systems and support them long
     “Today, sophisticated business solutions          “Some of our other local clients are seeing   term.
are accessible to almost any organisation and    the benefits of good solid business systems -             “That's what we do and I suppose that is
our clients are very wide ranging, including     reliable email and office systems, finance sys-     our simple, but effective recipe for success and
small and medium sized companies locally         tems that give you the information you need         longevity in such a competitive industry."
who can see positive business benefit from IT    quickly and easily. The kind of things that we
- everything from office systems to finance                                                          Contact First ebusiness on: Tel: 01467 622720;
                                                 all rely on every day.”                             email: info@firstebusiness.co.uk; visit the web site
solutions and eCommerce. "          explained
                                                       The First eBusiness HelpDesk is at the        at: www.firstebusiness.co.uk
Bernard Booker, Managing Director.


                                                                                                              To be included contact
    Business services directory                                                                               Connect on 01467 621146




                                                                                                                             Edwards
                                                                                                                   www.edwards.inverurie.co.uk
                                                                                                                  www.aberdeennorthernhotel.com

                                                                                                                            Market Place
                                                                                                                             Inverurie
                                                                                                                             AB51 3SA
                                                                                                                         T. 01467 629788
                                                                                                                         F. 01467 629206

                                                                                                                        Conference facility
                                                                                                                           Boardroom
                                                                                                                         ALL DAY MENU
                                                                                                                       Edwards est.January 2001
connect                                                                                                                        Page seventeen
Spring 2004


Information and                                                                                              Thainstone’s new
interaction on the                                                                                              park & centre
Council web site                                                                                              proving popular
                                                                                                          With site work nearing completion and building
                                                                                                          work due to begin in March, ANM Group Ltd’s
                                                                                                          new business park is progressing well.
Aberdeenshire Provost & Inverurie Councillor, Raymond                                                           The £1 million investment by the Group
Bissett, explains how the council web site is developing                                                  involves the creation of a 23-acres business
                                                                                                          park near Thainstone Centre.
It was only five years ago that the Council's        ing standards.                                             Already two thirds of the area has been
web site greeted you with a friendly "Fit Like?"           For further details please log on to           snapped up by businesses keen to take advan-
and sent you on your way. Well we've come a          www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/business                    tage of the convenient out-of-town location,
long way since then!                                       One of the key aims of the web site is to      and the option of leasing or purchasing the
       If you surf to www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk       attract both new businesses and visitors to the      fully serviced sites.
now you will see a wealth of information cover-      area. Last year the site received over 5 million           For information on the new business park, call
ing almost everything the Council does.              "hits" from over 100,000 visitors and we know        John Rhind at A&N Estates on (01467) 623800.
     Increasingly you can also interact with us,     that a large proportion of these were from                 Meanwhile, work is soon to commence on
for example reserving library books or com-          beyond Aberdeenshire.                                ANM Group Ltd’s new 12,000 square feet busi-
menting on the new Local Plan.                             To cater for this type of user we have         ness centre.
     With the advent of broadband in Inverurie,      developed sections for business at                         Johnston Carmichael will occupy one
the first town in Scotland to achieve this, I'm      www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/about and for               quarter of that space and will relocate staff
sure local businesses are now increasingly           tourists at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/visit           from existing Thainstone and Inverurie West
thinking about what the web can do for them.               The web team at the Council are always         High Street offices to the new premises.
     This can also act as an extra incentive to      keen to hear from site users.                              Construction is expected to take about ten
draw new businesses and entrepreneurs into                 You can get in touch with your comments        months, and Johnston Carmichael hope to be
the area.                                            through the web site contact form or by email-       fully operational at the new centre by the end
     2003 was an exciting year for the council       ing enquiries@aberdeenshire.gov.uk                   of 2004.
site with successes such as the school clo-                Although we have made a great start                  ANM Group Ltd. chief executive Brian
sures information going online, election results     there are many developments still to come.           Pack said, “We are delighted to have Johnston
as they happened and a clickable public trans-       Increasingly we will be able to deliver services     Carmichael on board as the anchor tenant in
port map.                                            online as well as just information and advice.       this important development.
     For the business user there is now a wide             As with all good web sites it will not stand         “We look forward to the development
range of information, advice and support             still but will continue to grow and develop so       starting and to welcoming other tenants to our
including available property, statistics and trad-   please do visit regularly.                           new business centre.”


                                                                                                                   To be included contact
     Business services directory                                                                                   Connect on 01467 621146


                                                                                      Chartered Certified Accountant and Registered Auditor


    Lesley Stuart , proprietor                                                           J D Accountancy
    19 High Street                                                                         Accountancy, taxation and audit services
    Inverurie                                                                                       for small businesses
    Aberdeenshire AB513QJ
    Tel: 01467 621394                                                                            16 Nellfred Terrace, Inverurie
   www.aberdeenshireflowers.co.uk                                                   Tel: 01467 623237      e-mail: info@jdaccountancy.co.uk


      News releases, Photography, Publication planning,Training                     George Burr
                  Press strategy & management                                       Computer S.O.S. (Grampian) Ltd
                                                                                    4 Howford
               Media Solutions                                                      Inverurie AB51 4DL


                 (Scotland)                                                         Tel: 01467 622766
                                                                                    Mobile: 07801 481796
                                                                                    E-Mail: george.burr@comp-sos.co.uk
                Phone Ranald Allan on 01467 621146
                 e-mail: scotmedia@btinternet.com                                           Computer Repairs, Rebuilds & Upgrades
                       SPECIAL RATES FOR IBA MEMBERS                                              Computers Built to Order
                                                                                                 Advice, Training & Support
               BUILDING BUSINESS PROFILES                                                             Reasonable Rates
 connect                                                                                                                         Page eighteen
 Spring 2004


Don't be a Cold Age                                                                                           Best project
Pensioner: plan now                                                                                         response from
    Planning for retirement is not usually top of the financial agenda but
  Paul Gibson, Independent Financial Adviser with Atholl Scott Financial
                                                                                                             Inverurie folk
                       Services, explains why it should not be forgotten.                                 North Inverurie residents have responded well
It is no secret that Britain has an ageing popu-     many of the major companies have also                to the Scottish Executive funded Stepchange
lation and we can all expect to live longer.         reduced the charges of their existing personal       pilot project about travel change.
Therefore it is vital that we all make extra pro-    pension plans.                                             Early results show 70% of people in north
vision for our retirement through some form of              Many more companies, however, have            Inverurie were contacted by doorstep inter-
saving.                                              not re-priced their existing contracts and are       view or telephone and of these, 60% of
      To encourage people to save for retire-        still charging higher fees. Some of these com-       households requested some 'tools' i.e. com-
ment, the Government allows very generous            panies are now closed for new business and           munity guide, leaflets, travel diary etc.
tax breaks on pension contributions. Basic rate      investment performance may suffer in the                   This was the highest response rate of the
taxpayers receive tax relief at 22% and higher-      longer term.                                         three towns involved in the project.
rate taxpayers can receive relief at 40%.                   You can contribute to as many stakehold-            No results are yet available as to the
      It's not often that the Inland Revenue         er or personal pensions as you like, provided        campaign’s effectiveness in reducing car trav-
actually gives you money. So it makes sense to       you do not exceed the maximum levels for             el or increasing healthy activity.
take advantage of a pension, which is one of         contributions set by the Inland Revenue.                   Of the two Inverurie companies in invited
the most tax-efficient ways of investing.                   Q: What if I already have an existing         to participate, 16 employees from Laings met
      Q: What type of pension scheme can I           personal pension plan?                               with the consultants to discuss personal travel
invest in?                                                  A: The recent changes have left many          plans and an introductory presentation was
      A: There are different types of private pen-   people holding outdated pension plans that are       given to the management of Safeways.
sion plans to choose from depending on your          subject to higher charges and often held in                 Aberdeenshire Council employees at
individual circumstances. There are also pen-        poorly performing funds.                             Gordon House are to be invited to fill in travel
sion schemes specifically aimed at company                  An Independent Financial Adviser can          diaries while leaflets and small posters will be
directors.                                           conduct a pension transfer analysis to estab-        distributed to remind residents of the
      Stakeholder pensions were introduced in        lish whether it would be beneficial to transfer      Stepchange philosophy.
April 2001 and although primarily aimed at           from your existing plan to a cost effective alter-         A report will be submitted to the Scottish
those on lower incomes to make private pen-          native. They can also review the investment          Executive before the end of this financial year.
sion provision they are generally available to       strategy, which may also require attention.          For information on how travel plans might benefit
anyone based in the UK.                                     The sooner you get started making realis-     your business contact Marilyn Gardner, Travel Plan
      The introduction of Stakeholder pensions       tic pension contributions, the more comfortable      Co-ordinator for Aberdeenshire 01224 664773 or e-
has led to a general reduction in charges and        your retirement is likely to be.                     mail: marilyn.gardner@aberdeenshire.gov.uk




                          Struggling with                                                                    Kintore Arms

                          your computer?                                           KA                            Hotel
                                                                                                              83 High Street, Inverurie
                                                                                                                Tel: 01467 621367


    I D CONSULTANCY SYSTEMS                                                                  SUNDAY CARVERY
                                                                                                      12noon - 8pm - £6.95
  Are you completely comfortable with using computers and getting                      Choose from 2 Home Made Soups and 3 Roasts
  the best from your software or are you or your staff wasting time                                 Fantail of Melon, Scotch Broth
  to achieve simple tasks?                                                                          or Home Made Soup of the Day

                                                                                   Roast Beef, Roast Turkey & Honey Roast Ham. Have a slice of
     MICROSOFT CERTIFIED                                                              each accompanied with Roast and Boiled Potatoes, Fresh
                                                                                             Vegetables, Stuffing & Yorkshire Puddings

                                                                                                   High Teas - served 5 - 7pm
 Would you benefit from some help, advice or one-to-one training?                                 Main Course, tea/coffee, toast,
 Do you need a problem solved or a web site created?                                                scones and home bakes

 Do you need to customise software to your business requirements?
                                                                                             Lounge              Serving Bar Suppers
                                                                                                                 5om - 9pm Mon - Fri
 Telephone: 01467 623292                  Mobile: 07760 361715                                 Bar               12noon - 9pm Sat - Sun

           Email: iain.duncan@btconnect.com                                        EARLY BOOKINGS ADVISED FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
                                                                                               MENUS NOW AVAILABLE
                   WWW.I-D-SYS.CO.UK
connect                                                                       Page nineteen
Spring 2004



 Lochter aims
 to be best in
 Scotland
              Special feature


                                 Lochter’s quality restaurant attracts regular visitors for
                                 family, social and business outings.

                                The target for Lochter Activity Centre is to be the best in Scotland.
                                That means offering the most stimulating activities and being the first
                                choice for corporate activity groups and for special events parties.
                                      In five short years Lochter has achieved its aim in the eyes of
                                many companies. “We’ve never lost a client,” said Lochter General
                                Manager Howard Hughes proudly.
                                      The Activity Centre caters for large and small groups and is
                                widely used by companies to entertain clients and staff. It is also
                                becoming very popular for pre-wedding “stag” and “hen” activity
                                days.
                                      “We’ve had groups coming from Glasgow, Edinburgh and even
                                London,” said Howard.
                                      The restaurant at Lochter has, in two years, established itself as
                                a popular venue for family and businesses outings whether for morn-
                                ing coffee, lunch or afternoon tea.
                                      The secrets to success lie in customer care while visitors are at
                                the Centre; providing the highest quality facilities and in continuing
                                to improve and add to the activities on offer.
                                      Trout fishing, with a choice of four well-stocked lochs and anoth-
                                er soon to be added, is the anchor attraction but the full list of activ-
                                ities ranges through clay pigeon shooting to target golf to karting.
                                      “This year we’ve adding digger driving, paintball jousting and
                                paintball big game hunting,” said Howard. Both the jousting and the
                                big game hunting are played by teams of two competitors from mini-
                                jeeps.
                                      “There’s a driver and a shooter. The teams shoot at targets
                                some of which are moving,” he explained.
                                      All the activities are supported by a quality catering operation
                                equally at home with barbeques, wedding parties or silver service
                                dinners with banquet seating for up to 200 guests.
                                      The new fishing loch will be in the shape of a fish and features
                                five acres of water. “It will be a landmark from the air on flights into
                                Aberdeen, and will be stocked with fish for this summer” added
                                Howard.
                                      Lochter is an industry leading farming diversification initiative by
                                Euan, Neil and Gary Webster who farm at Old Meldrum and
                                Kingswells.




                                Howard Hughes, Lochter General Manager, with the
                                restaurant and a trout loch in the background.
connect                                                                                                                                      Page twenty
Spring 2004

Planning not                                                                                                   A recent IBA meeting had the focus on
                                                                                                               the future of health care in Inverurie
always slow                                                                                                    and the impact of the proposed
                                                                                                               Garioch Life Centre.
Ref: “Planning Reform Needed Now”
in the Autumn edition of Connect: I                                                                            Left to right: John Glover, IBA chair-
think that many planning profession-                                                                           man; Margaret Lee, Gordon Renal
als, community groups and objectors,                                                                           Dialysis; (back) Ian Tannock, Carden
would share the sentiment that the                                                                             Developments;      (front) Dr James
planning system in Scotland could be                                                                           Beattie, Inverurie Medical Practice,
improved.
                                                                                                               and Mike Ogg, LHCC general manager,
      However, a casual reader of the
                                                                                                               based at Inverurie Hospital.
article could easily be left thinking that
all planning applications take five
months or more and that the planning
system is riddled with “inexplicable
                                               Important diary dates                                      For inclusion contact Connect - see page 2
delays, red tape and muddle”.
                                             February                                                      April
   READER’S LETTER                           9: IBA meeting: Barn "n" Bushel,                              5 - 16:    Easter school closed inclusive dates
      I would like to assure your read-      Thainstone Centre, 7pm. Planning a web site                   21-22: Visitscotland EXPO: Aberdeen
ers that this is not the case and, in        for Inverurie & the Business Association.                     Exhibition Centre, Bridge of Don.
Aberdeenshire, 2/3 of applications           13 - 17: Gordon forum for the Arts exhibition:                27: IBA Annual General Meeting: Barn "n"
are decided within the guideline of 2        Town Hall                                                     Bushel, Thainstone Centre, 7pm. Guest
months, and the remaining ones are           16: Mid term school closed                                    speaker (see local press)
usually very complex or controversial,       19: Work Games with Robin Henderson: Kintore
or the planning service is awaiting fur-     Arms Hotel. (To book place contact Karen Clark                May
ther information from the applicant.         Tel: 672535)                                                  3: May Day school closed
      Some applications require con-         25: Inverurie Environmental Improvement Group:
sultation with other bodies. Society
feels strongly about flooding, sewage,
                                             Thanking sponsors and Valuing Volunteers event,               School closures (inclusive dates)
                                             Day Care Centre 7pm                                           Summer school closure Monday 5 July - Monday
roads congestion and heritage and
matters such as these need to be                                                                           16 August
checked out with the specialist bodies       March                                                         Autumn school closure Monday 11 October -
concerned.                                   4: World Book Day                                             Friday 22 October
      The authors of the article infer       4 - 5: March book readings by local authors                   Winter school closure Thursday 23 December -
that applicants and planners are on          Deborah Leslie and Jim Beattie: Bookstore. (To                Wednesday 5 January 2005
opposite sides, whereas the reality is       book place Tel 625800)
the Council acts as referee between                                                                        Regular diary dates
                                             8: IBA meeting: Barn "n" Bushel,
applicants and objectors, with plan-                                                                       IBA meetings: second Monday of the month
                                             Thainstone Centre, 7pm.
ners assessing applications against
agreed planning policy.                      9: Help Light-up Inverurie Old Time Scottish                  Farmers Market: second Saturday of the month
                                             Dance: Town Hall, 8pm. (Tickets from Sweetie                  Household Paper Collection: last Saturday of
      There have of course been (a
few) occasions in the past when mis-         Shop, West High Street.)                                      the month
takes have been made - even plan-
ners are human! - but we try to cor-
rect them as soon as we become                 Web sites                         A guide to useful web sites for business
aware of them and any applicant who
feels they have been wrongly treated         * Aberdeenshire Business Directory: www.aberdeenshire-       * Federation of Small Business: www.fsb.co.uk
can appeal the decision or make a            business.net                                                 * Funding for learners: www.fundingforlearners.com
formal complaint.                            * Aberdeenshire Community Safety Groups:                     * Grants for businesses: www.j4b.co.uk
      The final misunderstanding I           www.aberdeenshirecommuni                                     * Health Education Board for Scotland: www.hebs.com
should like to correct is regarding the        tysafety.org.uk                                            * Health and Safety Executive: www.hse.gov.uk
fee, which is a charge for the work          * Aberdeenshire Council: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk            * Inland Revenue: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk
undertaken and not a payment for             * Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership: www.atap.org.uk           * Institute of Management: www.inst-mgt.org.uk
“buying” planning permission. It is          * Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service:            * International Trade: www.tradepartners.gov.uk
similar to the fee for a driving test,       www.acas.org.uk                                              * Investors in people: www.iipuk.co.uk
whereby one is paying for the exam-          * Agenda, Social Responsibility in Scotland: www.agenda-     * Job Centre Plus - information on Employment Services:
iner's time and not the right to pass        scotland.org                                                    www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
the test - except that with planning,        * Broadband: www.workingwithyou.co.uk                        * Learning opportunities and information on funding learning:
unsuccessful applicants can amend            * Business Community Connections:                              www.learndirectscotland.com
the application and resubmit it within       www.bcconnections.org.uk                                     * Learndirect Scotland for Business: www.lds4b.com
one year for free!                           * Caredata - local community, care and health information:   * Multimap - maps plus directions: www.multimap.com
      Any sophisticated system has             www.grampiancaredata.gov.uk                                * North East Scotland Business Waste Management
room for improvement, however,               * Careers Scotland: www.careers-scot                         Partnership:
planning reform could be a two-edged           land.org.uk                                                   www.nesbwmp.com
sword.                                       * Chamber of Commerce: www.agcc.co.uk                        * Office of Fair Trading: www.oft.gov.uk
                                             * Chartered Institute of Marketing: www.cim.co.uk            * Patent Office: www.patent.gov.uk
       Any future review might redefine
                                             * Companies House: www.companieshouse.gov.uk                 * Reach: www.volwork.org.uk
the balance of rights between appli-
                                             * Data Protection: www.dataprotection.gov.uk                 * Scotland’s Health at Work: www.shaw.uk.com
cants and objectors, and suggestions
                                             * Department of Trade and Industry: www.dti.gov.uk           * Small Business Gateway: www.sbgateway.co.uk
to allow a right of appeal by objectors,
                                             * Direct Marketing Association (avoid unwanted mail):        * Step: www.step.org.uk
for example, would inevitably extend
                                             www.dma.org.uk                                               * Trading Standards (rogue traders): www.ripofftipoff.net
the timescale for decisions rather
                                             * Disability Rights Commission: www.drc-gb.org               * Traveline - journey planning: www.traveline.org.uk
than reduce it. - Ian Fowell, Garioch
                                             * Enterprise North East Trust: www.enetrust.com              * UK Online for Business: www.ukonlineforbusiness.co.uk
Area Manager, Aberdeenshire
                                             * Fax preference Service: www.fpsonline.org.uk               * Women into network: www.scottishbusinesswomen.com
Council

				
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