Community council members cut to nine

New CHANGES to Angus Council’s Community Council scheme will see Inveresk Community Council (ICC) membership cut from to just nine.

The council voted at a recent meeting to implement a new membership formula based on population. During consultation for the plans, ICC objected to the proposals given that they cover such a vast geographic area.

At the full council meeting, Brechin councillor Bob Myles took up ICC’s cause but his amendment to relax the membership formula was not seconded by any other councillor.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “I was really disappointed that I got no support. For Inveresk to be restricted down to nine members means some rural areas will just not be represented.”

Duncan Smedley, chairman of ICC, said: “Inveresk Community Council opposed Angus Council’s proposal to drastically reduce our membership from 21 to nine. Angus Council’s reasons are, in our opinion, flawed as they have tried to equate one community council with another and not differentiated between a rural and a town based community council. Angus Council appears not to understand the work of a rural community which in our case covers seven rural areas not to mention the many satellites.

“Over the last few years Inveresk Community Council has built up a well represented organisation thanks to the work over many years of the previous chairman Charlie Simpson.

“Angus Council constantly emphasise the need for volunteers from the community to come forward. Inveresk Community Council has a good team of very dedicated members. Angus Council have now immediately diluted this enthusiasm by saying that 50 per cent of our members are no longer required. It will require a lot of effort by some of us to motivate the team and ensure we do not lose their valuable and knowledgeable contributions.

“We totally accept the need to continually review structures and procedures. However, it is necessary to remind Angus Council that community councils were introduced to act as a voice for the area they represent so that concerns can be heard and where necessary representations made to the council and other public bodies as appropriate.”