Community councils face the axe

A TRIO of community councils remained defiant despite East Renfrewshire council threatening to disassociate them.

At a full council meeting last night, councillors considered a report highlighting actions by Thornliebank, Newton Mearns and Clarkston community councils which ERC leader Jim Fletcher believes breach their constitution.

He told The Extra: “ERC values our community councils but it is important that they operate in a fair fashion.

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“I hope the three community councils revert to a proper constitution and continue to try and represent the interest of their communities.

“The council has written to the CCs in question on two separate occasions and given ample time for the three councils to return to the established constitution.”

Community Councils are governed by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which requires local authorities to set up a Scheme of Establishment.

Community councils are unable to modify a scheme independently from a review process, however, the three CCs in question are alleged to have allowed private meetings, banned new members from office before they had served for a year and accepted proxy votes.

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Newton Mearns community councillor Harry Stewart said: “The council has taken a dictatorial stance and are wasting time and money by doing this. The only community councils who challenge the council are the ones being picked on.”

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