Time to make voices heard

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

Dear Edi­tor I was ap­palled to read in the Re­former the claim that“too many full coun­cil meet­ings are merely a ‘for­mal­ity’with no mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion tak­ing place”. This was news to me.

I also see that Coun­cil­lor Mar­garet Walker has again writ­ten on the same is­sue and calls for a guar­an­tee that ev­ery coun­cil­lor has a mean­ing­ful say on the an­nual bud­get.

All in­volved are to be com­mended in bring­ing this mat­ter to pub­lic at­ten­tion.

John Ross, the coun­cil leader, re­sponds to th­ese im­por­tant con­cerns by call­ing them“sour grapes”and ac­cuses fel­low coun­cil­lors from three other par­ties of“bleat­ing”and hav­ing been“kicked into op­po­si­tion”.

This is dis­re­spect­ful and ag­gres­sive language, not the language of lead­er­ship.

Ev­ery coun­cil­lor has col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity for ev­ery de­ci­sion taken by the coun­cil and com­mit­tees can only make rec­om­men­da­tions which the full coun­cil can ei­ther ac­cept, re­ject or send back for re­con­sid­er­a­tion and amend­ment.

It is not just their voices who need to be heard. It is our voices. If I was a coun­cil­lor I would not al­low my­self to be si­lenced. I would keep on talk­ing un­til I was sure I was be­ing heard.

By stat­ing“there is lit­tle pub­lic in­ter­est in the coun­cil, no aware­ness of the dif­fer­ent views of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties”, Lib­eral coun­cil­lor Robert Brown does the pub­lic a dis­ser­vice. Peo­ple are ex­tremely in­ter­ested in what is go­ing on in their lo­cal area and how the coun­cil’s decisions af­fect them.

We want our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives to just get on with the job and I trust that is what most of them want to do. A very large dose of hu­mil­ity is needed here, start­ing with the man at the top.

All coun­cil­lors would do well to re­mem­ber that it is the pub­lic who put them there and can eas­ily re­move them. Dorothy Con­nor Ruther­glen

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