Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Community Councillors - fantastic unpaid champions of Nairnshire

Discussion of youth matters at the Ward Forum spilled over into Community Council affairs on Wednesday night. Graham Vine told the meeting how the West Council had a co-opted member from Nairn Academy. Louise Clark of Highland Council was worried if that was actually permissible under current legislation. John Mackie of the Suburban Council assured her that it was and that in the Central Belt there were community councillors younger than 16. It seems a good idea to encourage young people to take part in this lowest level of our democratic system. Let’s hope that when we eventually get the single unitary Royal Burgh of Nairn Community Council there will be at least two or three places reserved for Academy pupils.

This is an ideal opportunity to bring a comment we received by e-mail recently into the conversation.
‘It is a wonder that given the level of activity, responsibility and dedication required of members of community councils that anyone would take on the unpaid role,’ was the opinion of one of our regular gurnite readers.
A very relevant point, having observed local government activities in Nairnshire for many years we are of the opinion that the workload of community councillors at least equals that of members of the former Nairn District Council. As our correspondent suggested our community councillors are unpaid and comparison has to be made here with what you get in terms of value for money from our four Highland Councillors. If you want
to know what they cost you then have a look at this list of expenses.
We are extremely lucky to have these volunteers ready to give their time, for no charge, to the community.
The Suburban Community Council are still looking for candidates to stand for the forthcoming election, perhaps you may be considering it or maybe waiting until we get a single council for the town. Our correspondent has sent us a link to a page that explains the roles of Community Councillors and offers advice and information. Here’s the
Association of Scottish Community Councils information web page.

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