Ward changes ‘insensitive’
GLENORCHY and Innishail community council has slammed Scottish government proposals to change ward boundaries in Argyll, calling them ‘insensitive and thoughtless’.
If the Scottish Boundaries Commission proposals are given the go-ahead, the proposed Mid Argyll ward (ward three) will greatly increase in size, while at the same time have fewer councillors.
The ward would stretch from Lochgilphead to Bridge of Orchy, including most of the Glenorchy and Innishail community council area, which was previously in the Oban, Lorn and the Isles ward. Argyll and Bute council has objected to the plans. A spokesman for the community council said last week: ‘Lochawe village will remain in Oban North, Lorn and the Isles, splitting historic links between the Loch Awe corridor and Dalmally. This illconceived proposal flies in the face of the Scottish government policy to support and nourish rural communities. The review is in response, amongst other things, to the projected fall in population in rural Argyll. Perhaps Holyrood should be addressing this rather than fiddling with some figures.’
The number of elected Argyll and Bute councillors will be reduced from 36 to 33, with ward three one of the wards to be reduced by one member.
The spokesman continued: ‘The naming of this cumbersome ward as ‘Mid Argyll’, when much of its land mass is in the far north of the county, clearly demonstrates the insensitive and thoughtless way in which a mathematical formula has been used to redraw important traditional community boundaries, and imposing these changes without consideration for the residents.’
Glenorchy and Innishail community council said it would help to make local people fully aware of the impact of these proposals, such as services managed from Lochgilphead rather than Oban, and would oppose the proposals during the consultation process, which ends on October 22.