Coun­cil­lors must lead too

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

Dear Edi­tor

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, elected coun­cil­lors are com­pletely use­less at the job they were cho­sen to do, but have a special skill set.

They are ex­cel­lent at cre­at­ing bar­ri­ers, skilled at avoid­ing the is­sues, struc­tured in brush­ing you off, master­ful in ap­par­ently not ac­tu­ally do­ing much. And all with the as­sumed con­fi­dence there is noth­ing a con­stituent can do about it.

I have writ­ten to the com­mis­sioner for ethics in pub­lic life re­gard­ing two coun­cil­lors whom I be­lieve have bro­ken the code of con­duct.

I am wait­ing to hear whether the com­mis­sion will in­ves­ti­gate.

Lead­er­ship re­quires tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and in­ves­ti­gat­ing to iden­tify the truth.

Start­ing with the de­ci­sion and then supporting it with de­tail is not an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. That only amounts to an in­com­pe­tence.

An­other ap­par­ent skill to add to an elected coun­cil­lor’s reper­toire.

James Aitken, Rich­mond Drive, Ruther­glen SNP are miss­ing the point of leaf let The SNP’s Alan McLen­nan has rather mis­un­der­stood the is­sue (let­ters 08/11/17) in his com­ments about the can­di­dates in the cur­rent coun­cil by-elec­tion.

It mat­ters not where can­di­dates are born or where they lived in their past life. How­ever, coun­cil can­di­dates seek to rep­re­sent their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. It is a very dis­tinct ad­van­tage if they live here, work here, have their fam­i­lies here, know how the lo­cal com­mu­nity works. They are ac­count­able to their neigh­bours in a way which an out­side can­di­date is not.

Our lo­cal Lib­eral Demo­crat can­di­date Ellen Bryson is rooted in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, as in­deed was Lib­eral Demo­crat Coun­cil­lor Gre­tel Ross to whose high stand­ing Alan McLen­nan gen­er­ously pays trib­ute. The SNP can­di­date is not - his lo­cal com­mu­nity is Stone­house, not Ruther­glen.

The vot­ers in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North will make their own minds up about all this. How­ever, I am not sur­prised the SNP are a lit­tle sen­si­tive on this is­sue - it is not a strong suit for them.

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown, Ruther­glen South I’m sorry that Alan McClen­nan feels so “gen­uinely ap­palled” by a small part of one re­cent Lib­eral Demo­crat leaflet, par­tic­u­larly since he re­ally has grabbed the wrong end of the stick.

Coun­cil­lors Robert Brown and Gre­tel Ross may not have been born in Ruther­glen (that is not the is­sue), but they have both spent large chunks of their work­ing life in Ruther­glen - and do both still live in the area.

As does Ellen Bryson, the Lib­eral Demo­crat can­di­date. The SNP can­di­date does not – he lives 18 miles away.

The let­ter from Anne McLaugh­lin is thank­fully much more im­par­tial.

It nev­er­the­less also fails to dis­tin­guish be­tween those who rep­re­sent a much larger area in the Scot­tish or UK par­lia­ments, with a greater fo­cus on na­tional is­sues, and a lo­cal coun­cil­lor who rep­re­sents Ruther­glen on South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, and who should be largely fo­cused on lo­cal is­sues.

Imo­gen Beattie Elec­tion agent for Ellen Bryson Dou­glas Drive Cam­bus­lang Liberals ‘plumbed new depths’ to win votes Is there no depths the lo­cal Lib­eral party not plumb in their des­per­ate ef­forts to gain a few votes for their can­di­date in the Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North by-elec­tion.

In their lat­est leaflet, the Liberals in­fer the lo­cal Ruther­glen Branch of the SNP dumped me as their can­di­date when noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

The facts are that I was orig­i­nally se­lected with 70 per cent of the mem­bers vote to be the SNP can­di­date, but then I de­cided to with­draw due to an un­ex­pected change in per­sonal cir­cum­stances.

The main change in my cir­cum­stances was a down­turn in my el­derly fa­ther’s health.

I wished to be avail­able at all times should I be re­quired and felt that this would not be pos­si­ble were I to con­test the by-elec­tion.

Sadly, my worst fears were re­alised and my fa­ther passed away on Novem­ber 2.

Now I find my­self hav­ing to de­fend my party from this in­ac­cu­rate and de­spi­ca­ble at­tack by the Liberals dur­ing my time in mourn­ing.

Even worse, the Liberals based their at­tack upon the fact that the SNP can­di­date David Innes does not stay in Ruther­glen. What hypocrisy, nei­ther does the Lib­eral Can­di­date. She re­sides in Cam­bus­lang.

And let me be clear: I fully en­dorse David Innes as the SNP can­di­date and truly be­lieve he will be an en­er­getic, hard-work­ing coun­cil­lor for all the res­i­dents of Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North Ward.

But whomever the vot­ers choose on Novem­ber 23, please do not let it be Lib­eral, you can not trust a word they say.

Gor­don Clark Princes Gate Ruther­glen Coun­cil must lis­ten to com­mu­nity on park­ing With re­gard to park­ing in Cam­bus­lang town cen­tre, I can­not com­ment on the ac­tions of the pre­vi­ous SLC ad­min­is­tra­tion as I was not an elected mem­ber at the time.

My po­si­tion in re­la­tion to the sur­veys that have been car­ried out by the com­mu­nity coun­cil is they should be considered se­ri­ously as re­quired by com­mu­nity em­pow­er­ment leg­is­la­tion and, as such, the com­mu­nity coun­cil is a full par­tic­i­pant in the park­ing re­view.

The re­quest to ex­pand the re­view to in­clude a wider area than just the park and ride fa­cil­i­ties should be granted.

The views of busi­nesses in Cam­bus­lang and the wider com­mu­nity are abun­dantly clear in this mat­ter as out­lined in the sur­veys. There is no ne­ces­sity to carry out a fur­ther sur­vey.

I have been ad­vo­cat­ing ex­pand­ing the re­view with SLC, in­clud­ing with the leader of the SNP ad­min­is­tra­tion, since my elec­tion in May 2017 and will con­tinue to do so.

I fully sup­port Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil in call­ing for SLC to move quickly to agree a park­ing re­view for the whole town cen­tre.

It is coun­cil pol­icy to sup­port and re­gen­er­ate town cen­tres; to widen the park­ing re­view is a pos­i­tive step in this di­rec­tion. It is now in­con­ceiv­able in the light of the re­sults of the sur­veys that SLC do not ac­cede to this re­quest. Coun­cil­lor Mar­garet Walker Cam­bus­lang West

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