More com­mer­cial but with­out real ac­count­abil­ity

The Oban Times - - YOUR VIEWS -

Re­gard­ing Coun­cil­lors Bax­ter’s stand over park­ing charges, ac­cord­ing to High­land Coun­cil, ‘The coun­cil agreed in June 2018 that de­ci­sion-mak­ing for off-street park­ing in­come and ex­pen­di­ture will be del­e­gated to lo­cal/city com­mit­tees.’ (www. high­land.gov.uk/ down­loads/file/19425/thc_­park­ing_pol­i­cy_2018_­to_2023)

It does seem that High­land Coun­cil In­ver­ness has grown far too large to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of High­land demo­crat­i­cally. For years Fort Wil­liam has had park­ing charges while other towns in High­land re­gion have had none.

The coun­cil is a tax­payer-funded or­gan­i­sa­tion, it is not, as some of those em­ployed and elected think, a com­mer­cial en­ter­prise that can ex­tract as much profit from res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike.

It is time that High­land Coun­cil was bro­ken up and lo­cal democ­racy and ac­count­abil­ity by elected mem­bers and none elected em­ploy­ees was re­turned to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

In­ver­ness and High­land Coun­cil may see them­selves as the cap­i­tal of the High­lands but in re­al­ity they are far re­moved from the real High­lands and the peo­ple that live in them, as Coun­cil­lor Bax­ter has found out.

Do peo­ple know that their coun­cil is work­ing to­wards im­ple­ment­ing, across High­land re­gion, res­i­dent park­ing per­mits?

The SNP promised an end to the com­mu­nity charge with a sug­gested lo­cal in­come tax. What we are see­ing now in­stead is coun­cils in­creas­ing their in­come by in­di­rect tax­a­tion even Coun­cil­lor Bax­ter has said that High­land Coun­cil wants to be­come more com­mer­cial. More com­mer­cial but with­out real ac­count­abil­ity and re­spon­si­bil­ity. Cyril Bon­nett, Bal­lachul­ish.

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