Inaugural winner of memorial award named at 2017 tenants event

The first winner of an award in memory of Aberdeenshire Council’s former head of housing has been chosen.

Chloe Dunn from Rosehearty was named as Young Tenant of the Year at the annual tenants event held by the Tenant Participation Promotion Team (TPPT) on Friday, Oct 20.

The award was created in memory of Douglas Edwardson, the council’s well-respected former head of housing who died following a road accident in 2015.

The honour was open to council tenants aged between 16 and 25, recognising young people who are ‘good neighbours’ in their communities; whether helping neighbours, welcoming new tenants, or contributing to tenant groups.

Abigail Van Clarke from Fraserburgh was named as runner up for the award, and at the end of the event both Chloe and Abigail shared ideas on how the council might better engage with young people.

Announcing the awards, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee Cllr Anne Stirling said: “In his role as head of housing, Douglas was particularly keen on engaging young people in participation on all kinds of social matters.

“I think those of us who knew him will understand the emotion that some of us here today feel speaking about him.

“I am proud to be presenting this for the first time and would like to thank the TPPT for thinking about Douglas.”

The TPPT is the core tenant organisation in Aberdeenshire, examining housing policies and procedures and helping promote tenant involvement across the council area.

Members play a vital role in monitoring of all aspects of the housing service; meeting monthly with senior housing officers, taking a lead role tenant working groups, and producing the quarterly Tenants Newsletter.

Aberdeenshire Council actively seeks to involve tenants in the improvement and monitoring of its housing services, working together with tenants towards a common goal of better housing services and conditions, and recognises the very important and vital role tenants play in this.

Cllr Stirling went on to present awards for the annual garden competition, which this year drew around 120 entries. The TPPT judging panel shortlisted four sheltered housing and four individual garden submissions, which were all visited.

The winner of the sheltered housing category was Airlie House, Kintore, while the winner for the individual garden was Aileen Glennie from Torphins. Runners-up and very highly commended entries for each category were also honoured.

The wider event, open to council tenants and their families, featured discussion on housing matters, information stalls, and an overview of Aberdeenshire’s performance of a landlord over the past year.

Following vacancies in the TPPT, Norman Strachan from Newmachar and Fiona Tavendale from Stonehaven were confirmed as new members. And the group also paid tribute to Gary Cooper, who stepped down after 10 years of local involvement with the TPPT, and more than 30 years supporting tenant groups elsewhere in the UK.

All council tenants are eligible to put their name forward for a tenant working group or to stand for election to TPPT, and the group is particularly keen to hear from those interested in representing tenants in the Buchan, or Banff and Buchan areas.

Further information can be found at www.aberdeenshirecounciltenants.org.uk and in the Facebook group Aberdeenshire Council Tenants.

Full list of award winners:

Sheltered Housing

Winner: Airlie House, Kintore

Very Highly Commended: Thistle Court, Fraserburgh

Runners-up: Pleyfauld House, Inverurie

Individual gardens

Winner: Aileen Glennie, Torphins

Very Highly Commended: Elizabeth Bain from Oldmeldrum, and Jennifer Officer from Stonehaven

Runner-up: Walter Gray, Port Elphinstone