KDP Committee Members
Paul Melling - KDP Chair
Portlehen & District Community Council
Transport & Infrastructure portfolio
Paul originates from a traditional farming family, going back generations, in the North of England. His working background was in Engineering Manufacture, Construction, Offshore Commissioning, Design and Project Management. Paul has direct experience in business management having managed his own company for over 40 years.
Paul will be known to many in the Portlethen area, having been involved in the Portlethen Community for over 20yrs, wearing various hats as Chairman of Portlethen & District Community Council and Treasurer, K&M Area Chairman & Aberdeenshire Local Councillor.
David Nelson - KDP Vice Chair/Secretary
Mearns Community Councillor
Rural Economic Activities portfolio
David has spent his working life within the Agricultural industry, as a Farm Manager, researcher and educationalist. He has undertaken consultancy work and acted as an appeals panel member for the Scottish Government.
David is currently a board member for the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board, Kincardine and Deeside Befrienders and the Scottish Ambulance Service as a Patient representative.
In his immediate past, David was Chair of Mearns Community Council and a Justice of the Peace.
David has a particular interest in rural development opportunities that encourage sustainable employment.
Ian Hunter - KDP Treasurer/Secretary
Stonehaven Community Council
Community Planning portfolio
Ian has a wealth of community experience and is clearly passionate to serve in the community, as is evidenced in the following previous roles:
Ian holds a passion in broadcasting, as a founding member of the group that pioneered community radio in Stonehaven in 1994 and 1996 and later became the founder Chairperson of Mearns Community Radio (Mearns FM), between 2004 and 2008, where he retains a Board position.
Ian’s present commitments remain in the community as a serving board member of the Mill of Benholm Trust, where he held the role of Chairperson between 2010 and 2013.
Ian was the representative on the Local Community Planning Group for KMAP, where he was a committee member for three years, up to the transfer over to the KDP, September 2014.
In his professional life, Ian is a Chartered Broadcast Engineer and he has considerable business experience, albeit he no longer retains a commercial portfolio.
Andrew Newton - KDP Committee Member
Stonehaven Town Partnership
Andrew was born in Cornwall and has lived in various parts of the world before arriving in Aberdeen to take up a post in fisheries science. The work concentrated on the health of existing and undiscovered fish stocks in the NE Atlantic and involved countless expeditions as chief scientist on research vessels. This work underpins the Scottish Government's stance on the exploitation of fish in Scottish waters. In addition, Andrew acted as an advisor to various European countries; worked for the European Commission in Brussels and Italy running multi-national projects and also spent 5 years chairing the NGO working group that sets the international standards for monitoring fish stocks.
Away from work Andrew has been involved with the Air Training Corps for over 25 years and is currently the chair of the local (Stonehaven) squadron and of the NE Scotland Wing. Since retiring Andrew has helped to 'rescue' the Tolbooth museum where he is now secretary and joined Stonehaven Town Partnership where he is also secretary. Further community work was a 4 year stint on Stonehaven District Community Council until his resignation in 2014.
The rest of Andrew's time is spent with his family which includes six grandchildren. There is little time left for hobbies but he is a keen photographer and also labours to keep a 'tidy' garden. In the case of the latter, always working to the directions provided by an expert, i.e. his wife.
Mairi Eddie - KDP Committee Member
Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council
Mairi and her family moved to Benholm from Aberdeen 2 years ago, after falling in love with the area.
After graduating she worked in local radio before a spell at a media training company then spent a brief time teaching in further education. This was followed by a career break to raise her children during which time she got involved in her local school PTA and began organising craft fairs. Before leaving Aberdeen she ran her own small retail business for several years.
She is currently helping work towards maintaining community involvement at the Mill of Benholm and sees joining the KDP Committee as an ideal way to become more active within her local community.
Aileen Swarbrick - KDP Committee Member
Catterline Kinneff and Arbuthnott Community Council
Aileen was born in Aberdeen and brought up on a farm just outside Inverurie. After graduating in Mathematics from Aberdeen University she spent nearly 30 years working in the IT business, progressing from programmer through the various roles of analyst and designer up to project management. She gained project management accreditation in 2002 during her spell working for a global IT firm. She decided to take a ‘gap year’ in 2007 and liked it so much she never returned to work! During this period she gained a diploma in Criminology and an accounting qualification.
Since moving from the city out to rural Catterline in 2010 Aileen has been involved with the local community council, currently serving as vice chairman. Her other voluntary work includes various activities related to her church, mainly managing financial information but also helping run a successful children’s club during the summer months.
Aileen is a keen if not very competent golfer and other hobbies include reading and learning to speak Italian. She is married with two children and one grandchild who was born in April.
Isabella Williamson - KDP Committee Member
Arbuthnott Community Council; Windfarm portfolio
For the past 25 years, Isabella (one of the co-founders) has been the Manager of the Grassic Gibbon Centre in Arbuthnott; a well-known and respected social enterprise and registered charity run by the community and dedicated to the Scottish author Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
In addition to this, Isabella is also actively involved in a number of local community focused organisations, in a voluntary capacity. This includes Arbuthnott Community Council, the Grassic Gibbon Arts Group, Arbuthnott Community Association and the Friends of the Grassic Gibbon Centre.
Isabella has acquired significant experience in the following skills set: community development, fund raising, support for volunteers through her work at the Centre and her past work with Aberdeenshire Council as an older people’s Development Worker and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Development Officer.
Isabella holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) through the Open University and remains a firm believer of ‘lifelong learning’. This includes the attitude ‘to take every opportunity to learn a new skill’ - the last was silver jewellery making.
Isabella was born in Nairn but spent her formative years in Lossiemouth, Morayshire before moving to Aberdeenshire in her teenage years. She has a grown up family and has lived in the small rural community of Arbuthnott for 40 years.
Drew Russel - KDP Committee Member
North Kincardine Rural Community Council
Born in Hamilton, Drew was educated at Earnock High School, Bell College of Technology and Jordanhill College of Education. On graduation he became a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Thurso Technical College, before embarking on a near 30 year career in the offshore oil and gas industry.
While working for internationally recognised organisations in the topside, subsea and subsurface arenas, Drew has travelled extensively, overseeing project execution, HS&E and business development activities across the globe.
Outside of his work commitments, Drew sits on the Board of the North East Scotland College. He has served on the North Kincardine Rural Community Council since June 2014 and was elected Chairman in June
He enjoys watching rugby union, playing squash, gardening, DIY and supporting his family’s equine interests.
Drew is married with two teenage daughters and lives in Durris.
Jacky Niven - KDP Committee Member
Gordon Community Council
Arts & Culture portfolio
Jacky was a child of the 60’s and grew up in Manchester. In the 80’s she enjoyed success working as a commercial illustrator and undertaking commissions for portrait work.
A career change in 1992 led Jacky to leave Manchester for Scotland where the "big sky" and the often dramatic climate has proven to be her inspiration.
Jacky has some 30 years work experience including at least 10 years in training and facilitating, for example:
Jacky has provided marketing and business development consultancy services providing local business with strategies for growth and growth sustainability.
Jacky has a success vocation as a full-time Artist and has been producing works influenced by the every changing mood of the climate and landscape. In an exciting change of direction her work has taken her on a different journey creating bolder, abstract pieces.
Working as a Freelance Artist based in the Fishing Village Gourdon, providing original artworks and prints. Jacky has an extensive portfolio of exhibited works at many venues in and around Scotland, as well as community arts activities and projects (as noted below). As outlined on her website: http://www.art-by-jax.co.uk
Art Community Activities
Michael Morgan - KDP Committee Member
Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council; Tourism portfolio
Michael has been a member of the Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council since 2007 and was nominated to the position of Chairman in 2013.
Michel is the Ward 17 (North Kincardineshire) representative for Community Councils on the Local Community Planning Group.
Michael’s particular interests are in development planning, health, transport and tourism as a means towards economic development.
Mike Robson - KDP Committee Member
Laurencekirk Development Trust
Mike was born in Aberdeen, but brought up in Laurencekirk. After a time away from Laurencekirk, Mike returned in 1973 after University and early pracice career, and has been resident there since.
Mike worked in a veterinary practice from 1971-2009. He Established a veterinary hospital in Laurencekirk in 1996 and retired in 2009.
Mike is a graduate of Edinburgh and Aberdeen universities, and has over 40 years experience in community and professional organisations.
Since retiral Mike has been involved with Howe o' the Mearns Heritage Trust, Laurencekirk Development Trust, Laurencekirk Rotary Club, Laurencekirk Patients Participation Group and volunteer at Aberdeen University Library.
Mike is married to Marion has four children and four grand children.
James Andrew Stuart (Jim) - KDP Committee Member
Mearns Area Partnership
Jim was born in Aberdeen and has lived in Laurencekirk for 57 years. Jim attended Laurencekirk School then went on to Robert Gordon's. He started work life as an Architect but ended up a Construction Surveyor by profession and a Building Contractor by trade. Jim held several directorships in various construction and development companies.
Away from work Jim has been involved with Laurencekirk Business Club (ex Chairman), Mearns Community Council (ex Chairman), Founder member of Villages in Control; Chairman of Laurencekirk Development Turst, Co-opted on Mearns Area Partnership, Rep for Ward 19 Community Council and also and ex Fireman.
Jim has two sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
Bronwyn Tudor - KDP Committee Member
Mearns Creative Community Fund (MCCF)
Bronwyn was born in Aberdeen and grew up in Laurencekirk.
After completing her HND in Graphic Design, she became a freelance Graphic Designer and Artist. She has worked on various design projects for community groups and has also volunteered within the tourist and heritage sector for over 3 years.
Currently, Bronwyn is now studying at Aberdeen University with the hope to have completed her MA Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Studies and Art History by 2019.
Marion McNeil - KDP COmmittee Member
Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council
Marion is a member of the Crathes, Drumoak & Durris Community Council and has previously served for almost twelve years as a Community Councillor whilst living in Central Perthshire. She has experience in the roles of Deputy Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.
Since moving to Drumoak in 2003, she has served on the Governing Body of Drumoak Primary School, and later became a member of the School Council for Drumoak Primary School, continuing in the role of Secretary for several years. Marion is an Elder of Drumoak-Durris Parish Church, and is the Session Clerk during the current vacancy.
Her involvement with the Royal Voluntary Service was restricted to a monthly attendance at the small Coffee Shop in the Glen O’Dee Hospital in Banchory, after she embarked on an Access Course at Aberdeen University. She graduated in 2010 with a MA in English and Linguistics, and followed in 2011 with an M.Litt in Literary Studies.
Having witnessed the development of new housing in Drumoak, and becoming aware of a growing need for cohesion within this expanding community, she has joined the newly formed Drumoak and Durris Community Group. Her involvement with the Drop-in Café, which meets fortnightly in the Church Hall at Drumoak, has been particularly rewarding. This venture is proving to be popular with the young people of the area, and it is gratifying to witness the support and commitment of the parents, who have taken on the responsibility for its continuing success.
Whilst Marion has a keen interest in the provision of facilities for the young people of Drumoak, she also recognises there is a need to serve the more mature members of the community, and is currently considering ways of achieving this.
At the beginning of 2013, Marion took on the editorship of the local Newsletter in order to maintain its presence within the community, and will continue to contribute the Church News as well as promoting the advertising, which helps to offset the cost of the production of the Drumoak- Durris Community Newsletter.