The Ileach printed an interesting article about the Islay Community Council which perfectly explains how important it is to a. have a strong community council and b. have active dedicated people who speak out on behalf of the Ilich. I sometimes read in the Ileach or hear from people on Islay that a lot of things are decided by the Argyll and Bute Council and I honestly believe that things can be different. George Rhind, community counciller, made an appeal in the Ileach to try and attract attention for the fact that Islay's Community Council can be expanded with an additional eight more people to raise an even stronger voice for the island.
George Rhind: â€œHow does a relatively small community stick up for itself?â€ asks Beryl Jackson in her letter in your 21st November 2009 edition. Well, hereâ€™s one way: make sure that Islay has an active, representative, clued-up Community Council who are prepared to make themselves heard long and loud when itâ€™s needed. For those who donâ€™t know, Community Councils were first established in Scotland in 1973 and the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1994 provides for their continuation as part of Local Government. Argyll and Bute Councilâ€™s Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils describes the role of Community Councils as â€œThe general purpose of Community Councils is to act as a voice for their local area. Continue reading....
This will involve them articulating the views and concerns of local people in their area on a wide range of issues of public concern and making representations to their local authority, other public sector bodies and private agencies on matters within their sphere of interest.â€ The Model Constitution for Community Councils goes on to add to these obligations by confirming that Community Councils will â€œtake such action in the interests of the community as appears to it to be desirable and practicable; promote the well-being of the community and foster community spirit and to be a means whereby the people of the area shall be able to voice their opinions on any matter affecting their lives, their welfare, their environment, its development and amenity.â€
If you are still with me after all that, Argyll and Bute Council are at this very moment seeking Nominations for an additional eight, or more, persons for the new Islay Community Council. If you still feel inspired and I havenâ€™t frightened you off, then get along to the Service Point in Jamieson Street and pick up a Nomination Form from Sharon McHarrie but, remember, completed Nomination Forms need to be in Sharonâ€™s hands by 4.00 p.m. on Thursday 28th January 2010 at the very latest. Anyone can stand for election as a Community Councillor provided they are over 18 years of age, reside within the Community Council area, i.e. Islay, and most importantly, have their name included in the Electoral Register for the area in which they live. You can look at the Electoral Registers at the Service Point. The present Community Council members are Ken Wylie (Chairman), Hamish Campbell (Vice-Chairman), Roberta MacNeill, Islay McEachern, John McGillivray, Fergus Muir, Neil Woodrow and me, George Rhind, and we are all eagerly looking forward to having some new members! I should add, just in case there is any misunderstanding, that these views are mine and mine alone.
This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper.