Cllr Sally Page, protester Sid Perrie and the Flamingo Land site at Balloch.
The following complaint is to be dispatched to West Dunbartonshire Council: The Balloch and Haldane Community Council is the custodian of our legal right to be consulted on planning proposals. They have abused that sacred trust and deliberately gone against the clearly expressed views of the people of Balloch and Haldane and reported to the Planning Department of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park that the Community of Balloch and Haldane are in favour of the proposed West Riverside Development know as Flaming Land.
We wish to report The Balloch & Haldane Community Council for offences under West Dunbartonshire Council Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils under the statutory purposes of Community Councils, section 51 (2) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
- Statutory Purposes
- ‘’In addition to any other purpose which a community council may pursue, the general purpose of a community council shall be to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible, and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable’’
- The Role and Responsibilities of Community Councils
The general purpose of community councils is to act as a voice for their local area. This will involve them articulating the views and concerns of local people in their area on a wide range of issues of public concern and make representations to their local authority, other public sector bodies and private agencies on matters within their sphere of interest.
- It is essential that these views be demonstrated to be accurately representative of the community. Accordingly, the community council will have in place, in consultation with the local authority, recognised consultative mechanisms to validate their views and devise strategies to secure greater involvement by all sectors of the community.
Community councils have a statutory right to be consulted on planning applications. Licensing matters and any other matters may also be jointly agreed between community councils, the local authority and other public sector and private agencies.
In carrying out their activities community councils must at all times adhere to the law, the terms of the Council’s Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils and the Community Councillors’ Code of Conduct (Appendix 1).
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR COMMUNITY COUNCILLORS
The Code of Conduct for Community Councillors is based largely on the Code of Conduct for local authority councillors and relevant public bodies as provided for in The Ethical Standards in Public Life etc (Scotland) Act 2000.
Community Councillors, as elected representatives of their communities, have a responsibility to make sure that they are familiar with, and that their actions comply with, the principles set out in this Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct and its principles, shall apply to all Community Councillors and those representing the Community Council. These principles are as follows:
- Service to the Community (Public Service)
- Accountability and Stewardship
The Balloch and Haldane Community Council had announced they were in favour of the Flamingo Land proposals without ever having had any form of public consultation. Balloch and Haldane Community Council were then forced, very reluctantly, to hold a public meeting under pressure from the local residents. The meeting was open to all residents and held in the Alexandria Parish Church, 1 Lomond Road, Balloch. It was a lively meeting at which:
Not one single resident of Balloch and Haldane spoke in favour of the proposed West Riverside Development.
Every single speaker who spoke against approval of planning permission for Flamingo Land was cheered and clapped to the rafters.
The Community was clearly and unambiguously, unanimously against planning permission being granted for the joint Scottish Enterprise and Iconic Flamingo Land proposals.
Councillor Sally Page spoke at the meeting and can confirm that this account is true.
Councillor Jonathan McColl, pictured right, the leader of WDC was booed as he approached the microphone because he supported the Flamingo Land proposals. He was heckled as he spoke. He said he had listened to the arguments then he announced that he had been wrong to initially support the proposal and that by listening to the views of the Community that he was convinced that the proposal should not get planning approval. He too was cheered to the rafters. A politician who listened and could be convinced by argument. How refreshing!
He is also a witness to the Community’s unanimous rejection of Flamingo Land. Members of the press were witnesses to this as were 200+ residents. The meeting was 100% against supporting the planning application.
Under the West Dunbartonshire Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils quoted above: It is essential that these views be demonstrated to be accurately representative of the community.
We are demanding that the individuals on the Balloch and Haldane Community Council, who have stolen our statutory right to ‘accurate’ representation of our views to planning authorities, be held to account under the Code of Conduct for Community Councils contained within the West Dunbartonshire Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils and are prosecuted to the full extent of the law under the Local Government (Scotland) act 1973 and that they be removed from and be banned from participation in Community Councils.
A.S. Perrie, Balloch