To­tal con­trol

The Arran Banner - - News -

Sir, With ref­er­ence to your lead ar­ti­cle, in last week’s Ar­ran Ban­ner, about the lo­cal­ity part­ner­ship this raised an in­ter­est for me as, hav­ing been chair­man of the com­mu­nity coun­cil for sev­eral years, I was in­volved dur­ing that time in the pi­lot scheme be­ing run by the Scot­tish Govern­ment, which I be­lieve was the fore­run­ner to the lo­cal­ity part­ner­ship.

At that time it was about grants to com­mu­nity coun­cils for projects which they iden­ti­fied, but the ac­tual dis­tri­bu­tion of the money was con­trolled by the Scot­tish Govern­ment. We were suc­cess­ful in our bid and £15,000 was granted for the re­fur­bish­ment of the all-weather pitch at the Or­mi­dale Sports Cen­tre.

After read­ing through the ar­ti­cle I be­came con­cerned re­gard­ing some of the com­ments be­ing made as to it be­ing ‘dys­func­tional and non-rep­re­sen­ta­tive’.

I have read the rules gov­ern­ing the body only to find that it is made up of the three elected NAC coun­cil mem­bers, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the po­lice ser­vice, the fire and res­cue ser­vice, health and so­cial care, two com­mu­nity mem­bers and the chair of the com­mu­nity coun­cil – plus per­sons who could be co-opted on for their spe­cial­ist knowl­edge on any sub­ject that is at that time a mat­ter for dis­cus­sion. Hardly un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive. So as chair­man of the com­mu­nity coun­cil Mr Calder­wood has a re­served place on the lo­cal­ity part­ner­ship, but I also noted from its min­utes he is vice chair of the part­ner­ship.

The gov­ern­ing rules stat­ing that the chair should be one of the three NAC coun­cil­lors. At this time Coun­cil­lor McMaster.

It is also to be noted that Mr Calder­wood has not ac­cepted his po­si­tion through his ca­pac­ity as chair of the com­mu­nity coun­cil but as a com­mu­nity mem­ber, the com­mu­nity coun­cil then be­ing al­lowed to del­e­gate a mem­ber to fill the chair­man’s place. There­fore it would ap­pear that the com­mu­nity coun­cil is well rep­re­sented hav­ing two mem­bers.

Un­der the gov­ern­ing rules the group must have quar­terly meet­ings and there are dates set out in the min­utes for those meet­ings. There are also re­ports from an Eco Savvy rep­re­sen­ta­tive, as Ar­ran had been cho­sen for a pi­lot scheme for green health and liv­ing, and re­ports from health and so­cial care rep­re­sen­ta­tives as to what is nec­es­sary for a bet­ter stan­dard of liv­ing for the is­lan­ders. Be­tween those quar­terly meet­ings sev­eral work­shops were ar­ranged through­out the is­land al­low­ing the gen­eral pub­lic to at­tend and air their views.

This I would sug­gest is the is­land be­ing well rep­re­sented.

From my in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the ar­ti­cle it ap­pears that Mr Calder­wood wants the com­mu­nity coun­cil to have full con­trol.

In my opin­ion and with my ex­pe­ri­ence of the com­mu­nity coun­cil this is not a healthy way for­ward as the com­mu­nity coun­cil can be un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

For Mr Calder­wood to turn down the po­si­tion of­fered to the chair of the com­mu­nity coun­cil to serve on the lo­cal­ity part­ner­ship and then use his po­si­tion as chair of the com­mu­nity coun­cil to at­tack the work­ings of the group of which he is vice chair of as a com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive, I find very dis­turb­ing.

The pur­pose of the com­mu­nity coun­cil is to form a link be­tween the var­i­ous lo­cal au­thor­ity departments and the com­mu­nity it rep­re­sents. This re­quires a de­gree of re­spect from both and I would sug­gest that this ar­ti­cle based on Mr Calder­wood’s views does noth­ing to sup­port a good re­la­tion­ship.

Yours, Camp­bell Laing, Pirn­mill.

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