It seems like only yesterday that we posted about the situation facing Community Councils in East Renfrewshire. On Friday afternoon (6th November) East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) quietly announced that they were seeking nominations to three Community Councils (CC): Broom, Kirkhill and Mearns Kirk; Crookfur, Greenfarm and Mearns Village and Giffnock. It is worth noting that Broom, Kirkhill, and Mearns Kirk and Crookfur, Greenfarm and Mearns Village are new community councils established by the new scheme adopted by ERC earlier this year. It is quite surprising that ERC are seeking nominations barely three months after the first round closed and are choosing to focus on two wards that are new (the result of the Newton Mearns being split under the new ward structure). When questioned about this, East Renfrewshire Council posted the following statement on their Facebook page
“We are fully committed to establishing community councils across East Renfrewshire. The assets of those community councils that were unable to be re-established following the initial round of nominations are being held in trust. We will be working with each area to support community councils which have not yet been established to attract additional nominees with a view to re-establishing each community council as soon as we can. We plan to work with your [Netherlee, Stamperland and Clarkston]communities in early 2016.”
It is worth bearing in mind that if a second round of nominations fails to establish a Community Council (CC) in any of these areas then ERC are not obliged to set up a further round of nominations, until 20 residents come forward wishing to re-establish a CC. The lack of a Community Council only widens the gap between the community and the Council. It’s also one less body that ERC is accountable to; a number which is decreasing at an alarming rate. It could be speculated that this was ERC’s intention all along.
Do you live in a nominations ward? Have you seen any publicity in your area highlighting the upcoming nominations? Let East Ren Greens know!