Ward changes ‘in­sen­si­tive’

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

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