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Ellon Community Council is dissolved by Aberdeenshire Council

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Council has today confirmed that a local community council has been dissolved after it failed to see enough members recruited to meet a statutory requirement for numbers.

In a public statement made by area manager Elaine Brown is was noted that: "Following two calls for nominations in May and June of 2022, Ellon Community Council failed to attract a sufficient number of members to meet the minimum requirement.

"It was proposed that the group continue as a Steering Group, chaired by the Area Manager, to work towards attracting further interest within the community and rebuilding the Community Council.

"However, following the resignation of two of the four returning members, the membership fell below the quorum required to continue.

"Therefore, as of July 29, Ellon Community Council automatically dissolved, as per Section 15 of the current Scheme of Establishment of Community Councils."

The rules in Aberdeenshire state that upon the number of members of the community council or steering group becoming less than the quorum then the community council is deemed to be automatically dissolved with immediate effect.

Should there be interest with the community to re-establish the community council in the future, twenty or more electors may request that elections are held to establish a community council for the area.

The twenty electors must submit a petition to the area manager in accordance with Section 52(7) of the Local Government Act (Scotland) 1973 or subsequent legislation and on receipt of the petition the council shall arrange for elections to be held in accordance with the scheme.

Councillor Gillian Owen
Councillor Gillian Owen

Commenting on the annoucement local councillor Gillian Owen said: It's disappointing that not enough Ellon residents feel able to serve the community by being a Community Councillor.

"When you check out Facebook posts on the Ellon Community pages many people have a view and it's so sad, they don't feel able to take the plunge to put those views to the test by being on the Community Council."

Councillor Isobel Davidson
Councillor Isobel Davidson

Fellow councillor Isobel Davidson said: "It is very disappointing that there is not enough interest from the community of Ellon to be able to keep the Community Council going.

"They are an important part of local democracy and can make a real difference to the town, whether it is as a statutory consultee on planning applications, as organisers of Christmas celebrations or taking forward projects to benefit the area, none of this can happen without a Community Council."

Back in 2016, a similar situation occured, but this time when members resigned en-masse leading to headlines of Christmas being cancelled in Ellon.

At that point the community council members quit after claiming they had been told by the local authority the body had “insufficient numbers” to continue operating, as there were eight of them and 10 were required.

The former chairman claimed the local authority had left them in a position where members were unable to make decisions or use funds and so could not continue to organise the Christmas event.

In this instance councillors hit back at the claim and said the talks between the community council and the council were at an early stage when its members decided to stand down.

Taking to social media one former community council members said that they to were "frustrated by the volume of regulation and control administered on the community council by Aberdeenshire Council.

"It was very difficult to get anything significant done. "

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