The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)
Claim that democracy in Angus is ‘broken’
Bid for golf course plan to be revisited failing disgusts town councillor
A Carnoustie councillor proclaimed local democracy is “broken” after failing in a bid to persuade the authority to revisit its decision on the Carnoustie Golf Links extension.
Bill Bowles asked Angus Council to suspend standing orders to reconsider permitting Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee (CGLMC) to borrow nearly £3m towards the cost of extending its golf centre.
Mr Bowles required a two-thirds majority for a successful motion yesterday but gained only 15 of the 28 votes.
All of the SNP members present voted against Mr Bowles.
He said: “Democracy Council is broken.
“I’m absolutely disgusted that they (SNP councillors) have stifled elected members from being able to put the views of their electorate forward, in order to at least have a debate within the chambers.
“It is an insult to democracy and totally alien to everything I stand for.”
Mr Bowles immediately made another application to the council’s head of law and administration, Sheona Hunter, for in Angus the same procedural motion to be heard again.
Last night the council confirmed it had received the application.
A council spokesman said: “The council is now considering its position and how to proceed.”
The decision to grant consent to CGLMC was taken at a fiery meeting last month when Provost Helen Oswald ruled that amendments tabled by Mr Bowles and Brechin councillor Bob Myles were incompetent.
Yesterday Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd, who seconded Mr Bowles’ motion, said: “It is disappointing that in the very week we have asked the hardworking people of Angus to collectively pay £1.1m to have their garden waste collected that the SNP-controlled council have yet again chosen to thwart a proper debate on this waste of £4.75m on a public golf course.
“Serious concerns have been raised about the business case, about the misinformation supplied to councillors and evidence that the proposal may use public assets to undermine local communities and businesses against the agreed community plan.
“Rather than allow a democratic vote by elected representatives the SNP have chosen, yet again, to do all they can to avoid being responsible for the choices they have made.
“It’s a sad day for democracy in Angus.”
Carnoustie Golf Links belongs to Angus Council but the management of the links is carried out by CGLMC.
Under the terms of their agreement, the local authority is required to give consent if CGLMC seek to borrow more than £200,000.
“It is an insult to democracy and totally alien to everything I stand for. COUNCILLOR BILL BOWLES