Personal agenda? Oh, Yes

My CC is run as a one-man band.  The secretary has hijacked a CC that he didn't once attend before he reitred, to my knowledge, and dominates the entire committee.  The CC was asked, for example at the most recent meeting and the best attended in living memory, to undertake a consultation about the demolition of a school - opposite his home- that is almost 100 years old and both architecturally and historically signifincant.  Not only did he unilaterally refuse to do this, not a single other CC member (all men that night) said a word on the subject, the secretary blamed the lack of the CC's network and having no real capacity to undertake such a task.  Oh, I actually thought that was what CCs are for!!  Surely some mistake, ed?  Incidentally, he will get a lovely, unimpede view of Arthur's Seat if the school is razed. Surprise? Maybe not.If you can beilieve this, this man has even previously refused to post the minutes and agenda on the public notice board he sooo wanted outside Morrisons.  Due to a second request, this has now been done but not withour the ridiculous additional note saying something along the lines of "if you think this is helpful, let us know".  How could it possibly be unhelpful to let the Community know what the Community Council is doing in its name???  It defies belief.  No wonder most comments here are about CCs and are negative.

Two Community Councillors, including the secretary, during their public meetings have referred to people with addiction issues as "junkies'.  When I ttok the secretary to task, hea ctually defended the term by saying "I work with these people and that's what they call each other".

Why the contribution is important

I think it demonstrates the failings that many appear to share, if this site is anything to go by, that CCs do not represent their communities, are unkown to almost all in those same communities and are, perhaps the single most critical failure, is the lack of democratic engagement that local people can expect to experiernce at the hands of these bodies, said to operate for our benefit and in our name.  It is a sad indictment that these laudible aims have not been realised.

I have tried on occasion to alert the City Council to my concerns about how things operate in my CC area.  This has fallen on deaf ears as far as officials are concerned and one of my local councillors who was present when the refusal to consult was 'decreed from on high', actually said in response to my email, that I should stand for election to the CC myself and get like-minded people to do the same.  I have relatively low expectations of some local councillors but this fell below that low threshhold and actually shocked me.

by bak on November 30, 2018 at 02:34PM

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  • Posted by Aspinall November 30, 2018 at 17:06

    I can understand the problem as the local community council was taken over as a result of a single issue campaign and froze out anyone who dis not share the same view thereby negating the concept of representing the community in its breadth of opinion on matters. This was taken further as consultations could then be constructed to favour a certain result especially as it was targeted to a self-selected email group and promoted by Facebook advertising to certain interest groups. The idea of giving more power and tax payer's money to an unaccountable set of volunteers sends shivers down my spine.
  • Posted by Cleisthenes November 30, 2018 at 17:23

    I too have observed personal agendas being pursued on my CC. Time and priority are allocated to matters depending on whether the office bearers deem it to be important , whether it is something which produces a benefit for themselves or is something supported by people they approve of. If your face doesn't fit, you can forget it.
  • Posted by SeanRW December 01, 2018 at 23:22

    Whilst Community Councils can fall into the trap of representing the views of those on the Community Council rather than the wider community, there can also be the problem of members of the public turning up to Community Council meetings and somehow assuming that their own views are representative of the community at large.

  • Posted by SeanRW December 02, 2018 at 00:05

    As way of example, we recently had a Community Council meeting when a member of the public who didn’t live in our area, turned up with a petition signed by 30 or so of her neighbours who also didn’t live in our area, to complain about the demolition of a redundant school building that wasn’t in our area, a demolition that was in progress and had been public knowledge for years in advance. What should be done when faced with such relentless and pointless irrelevance?
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