Carrick setting a community example

TWO Carrick’s community stalwarts have hit back at a report which claimed community councils could be dead within the next decade.

David Kiltie, chair of Maybole Community Council, and Alec Clark, chair at Girvan, slammed the report with both men citing Carrick as a great example of how strong community councils actually are.

The report, which was published on BBC Scotland’s website, said that a fifth of Scotland’s 1,514 community councils are currently suspended because of a lack of interest.

And of active ones, nine out of ten are formed without elections.

The high number of uncontested councils has led to accusations that many do not represent their communities. However, both Mr Clark and Mr Kiltie argue that their councils do a great job for the area they represent.

Mr Kiltie said: “Maybole Community Council has been in existence for 34 years, I believe it’s a great force for good in the community. We do a lot of work in our community and are involved in a number of projects in the town.”

Mr Clark pointed to the success of the Carrick Community Councils’ Forum as a great example of the strength in this area.

He said: “I think you just need to look at the CCCF to see how strong community councils are in this area.

“We at Girvan Community Council had to hold an election this year as we had many people come forward wanting to be part of the council.”

Mr Kiltie added: “The success of the CCCF is tremendous. When you consider that members have already given up their time to be on their own community council, for them to volunteer more time to be part of the CCCF is fantastic.”

Vincent Waters from the Association of Scottish Community Councils said the lack of contested elections was “unhealthy” for democracy and reputation.

He said: “What you get varies massively, you can have one operating incredibly effectively that’s championing a range of local causes.

“And then you have a community council next door where it’s half a dozen or so weel kent local worthies whose interests are their own interests.

“If community councils stay as they are now, within 10 years time give or take, they’ll be dead.”