Driving forward a bid to re-form community council

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Further calls have been put out to local people to join together and reform the Brechin Community Council.

Irene Gillies, a strong advocate for community councils and former community councillor in Brechin, attended a meeting recently organised by Grahame Lockhart, where the possibility of a new Community Council for Brechin was considered.

Following the conversations all were in agreement that a new community council for Brechin was the right way forward.

Grahame explained the importance of having a community council in Brechin: “Local council elections are due in May 2012 and the elected councillors for Angus will have difficult decisions to make in the current economic climate.

“These decisions will have a major impact on the future of Brechin and its people.

“At present there are a number of key groups and organisations actively working in the best interests of Brechin, fulfilling a key role in our community.

“However, they do not fulfil the unique role of the community council.

“The community council is a statutory body which identifies and expresses the views, opinions and needs of the community to the local authority and other public bodies they represent. And, very importantly, it holds councillors to account for decisions affecting a community.

“A new community council would have the potential to significantly influence the decisions and direction which would take Brechin and its people forward in the coming years.

With difficult decisions having to be made by our councillors after May 2012, Brechin needs a statutory voice speaking on behalf of the community to which councillors will listen and take heed.”

Irene, who although would not stand for election if a new council was set up, would offer help and support,.

“We live in uncertain times as witnessed by the current financial upheaval and the social unrest amongst many people,” she added.

“A growing number feel alienated from decisions being made on their behalf by elected representatives both at local and national level, decisions which significantly impact on their lives.

“One way to redress this feeling of alienation at local level is to have a vibrant Community Council.

“As a statutory body a Community Council can have a direct influence on the decisions affecting its community.

“However, it will only be effective in influencing the elected decision-makers if people from the community are sufficiently interested to make it effective.

“The letter in last week’s Brechiner from Christine McNally, National Development Officer for The Association of Scottish Community Councils, further emphasises the vital role of a Community Council.

“It can be the voice of the community, and, if functioning with no hidden or political agenda, will play a major role in the way forward for the community.

“The people of Brechin need to support the setting up of a new community council, to help give a voice to the people of Brechin many of whom feel alienated from decisions being made on their behalf by others, decisions significantly impacting on their lives at this time. “

If you have a keen interest in Brechin and its people, have a desire that Brechin be a place where a first-class quality of life can be enjoyed by all, have no hidden or political agenda for Brechin and would like to explore the possibility of a new community council contact Grahame Lockhart at Myrtle Cottage, 15 Scott Street, Brechin DD9 7BQ, telephone 07709961330 or email brechininterestgroup@yahoo.co.uk.

Grahame concluded: “If there is sufficient interest I would be happy to organise conversation to explore the possibility that a new community council is one way forward in helping Brechin be a place of which to be proud.”