Villagers to decide on community council appointments

PROSPECTIVE community leaders in two Carrick villages will see their election hopes decided by their neighbours as Barr and Ballantrae community councils go to public vote.

All of Carrick’s community councils saw their members step down last month, with many seeking re-election in 2013/14.

But of the 10, Barr and Ballantrae were the only two to receive more nominations than they have community councillor seats – Barr, one, and Ballantrae, three – meaning their membership must be decided by the communities they serve.

Outgoing chairman of Barr Community Council, Alastair Smith, said it was heartening to see more people coming forward to take up the community mantle.

“It indicates a very healthy interest by the village residents in how the village is run and in the work of the community council,” he said. “Those who are fortunate enough to be elected will find many challenges to be faced over the next few years but also great rewards, and all the village should be grateful to those who have stepped up.”

2012/13 Ballantrae Community Council Chair Mhairi McKenna added her delight at the upsurge of interest in serving as part of her village’s representation, citing recent events such as the Diamond Jubilee, Olympic Torch, refurbishment of the Main Street public garden, and Carrick tourism project as examples of community council working success.

For Barr resident of six years, Alasdair Currie, of Alton Albany Farm, 2013 marks the first time he has sought nomination to the community council – having wanted to get settled in his home and business and get a feel for community representation in the village first.

“I am quite happy about going to election,” he said. “Barr has done this before and I think it is perfectly fine and fair and a democratic way of doing things.”

Villagers of Barr and Ballantrae have until 5pm this evening (Wednesday) to cast their votes, before the ballot papers will be taken to each village’s respective community hall. Votes will be counted and results announced tomorrow, and community council appointments will commence on April 1.