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Criticism continues in community council saga

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By Amanda Kennedy
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Criticism continues in community council saga

THE DECISION to disband nearly half of the region’s community councils is still being protested.

Last month 38 of the region’s community groups were forced to fold after failing to adopt a constitution within the local authority’s deadline.
And all their assets, including bank accounts, became property of the council, who will hand them back when and if the groups re-establish.
However, the move to wipe-out nearly half of the region’s community councils has been heavily criticised, especially as Dumfries and Galloway are the only local authority to include the clause in their scheme.
Mid and Upper Nithsdale Councillor Andrew Wood is protesting the decision, on behalf of his area.
He has branded the treatment of the 38 volunteer groups ‘ridiculous’ and says the issue has been badly handled.
Lochmaben Community Council were not affected but are still angry at events and are writing to the local authority.
Member Anne Wyllie said: “It seems to me that the council are trying to get rid of us community councils.
“It seems like there has been no support at all.” Responding to the criticisms, a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “This situation is regrettable but cannot be avoided.
“The council sought legal advice on the matter and this advice confirms that the affected community councils require to follow the procedure for disestablishment and re-election as detailed in the scheme.”
He added: “The council is keen that these community councils are back up and running as soon as possible and is putting in all necessary resources to support community councils to re-establish themselves.”

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