A year of cautious optimism, says Ardgour council chairperson

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The past 12 months have been a year of cautious optimism, as life has gradually returned to something more akin to normal, was the message from Ardgour Community Council chairperson Samantha Thomson last week.

Addressing the council’s annual general meeting, she said at long last, people have been able to return to community halls to hold meetings, although the knowledge and experience of hosting online meetings during the Covid pandemic will be useful.

‘It’s always good to know we are more than able to hold virtual meetings which I
think we managed quite successfully over the last few years with no serious blips,’ added Ms Thomson.

‘As our community continues to recover after a few years of lockdowns and disruptions, more and more events and groups are returning.

‘Ardgour Community Council has been involved with several consultations and groups as mentioned above and, with Community Benefit money, we have funded a Drop-in-Group, Easter and Christmas events, Ardnamurchan MoD, Harvest Ceilidh, travel equipment, a playgroup, school equipment, general expenses for our village halls and a pledge of £1,000 in support of West Lochaber Passenger Transport.

Ms Thomson also mentioned last month’s local authority elections which saw returning councillor Sarah Fanet, joined by three new elected representatives for the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward – Angus MacDonald, Thomas MacLennan and Dr Kate Willis.

‘We look forward to seeing them at meetings and at surgeries for the Ardgour area which covers Garvan through to Kingairloch,’ said Ms Thomson.

‘Community engagement is vital and we strive to keep our community a safe, happy, healthy and desirable place to live. We more than welcome people to our meetings and to contact us with any queries, issues or suggestions.’

Ms Thomson thanked everyone who had provided assistance and support to the community council over the last year.

This included Highland Council senior ward manager Dot Ferguson; Ardgour Memorial Hall and Treslaig Village Hall committees, previous councillors Andrew Baxter and Allan Henderson; Councillor Fanet; Broadland Renewables and Kingairloch Estate; PC Angie Campbell and PC Joan MacIver; Kilmallie Community Council and Nether Lochaber Community Council and Linnhe Community Alliance.

Ms Thomson also thanked various local businesses for their support and a number of individuals.

She concluded: ‘It is a pleasure to be on Ardgour Community Council with you. I will echo my words from last year in that I feel you are all a fair representation of the vast area we cover and it is worth pointing out that being a community councillor, albeit an honour, is a voluntary full time job which takes up a lot of time and effort.

‘I hope you know that I, for one, appreciate everything you each do on behalf of Ardgour Community Council and I am sure our community does too.’