FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE OF SERVICE

THE chairman of a Forfar charity has vowed all efforts will be made to ensure the successful Forfar Resource Store will have a future.

Speaking at last month's meeting of Forfar Community Council, Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton revealed the council had decided that day to proceed to an open market tender process for the contract to provide the council with recycled furniture and goods - and that the Forfar Resource Store would be among those hoping to secure the contract.

She said she had been "pretty appalled", on behalf of the staff and

the volunteers who had "worked their socks off", of being accused of trying to look after the charity rather than the people who really need the help.

She added the Forfar Resource Store would be allowed to tender for the service, and that they would "do their damndest" to secure the contract.

She told the meeting: "The work of the staff and volunteers has been

second to none.

"I don't just thank the people of Forfar, but I thank the people of

Angus and beyond who have donated so much - tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of furniture - which has been passed on to people who really need it.

"I do feel a bit down about this but we will keep going."

The refurbished store in Don Street was due to have been of?cially opened at the beginning of the month by Scottish Housing Minister Alex Neil, but the adverse weather had interfered with his travel arrangements.

However, she added an invitation would be made to community councillors when a rescheduled date was made for the new year.

Whilst Community Council chairman Mrs Isobel Ross quipped "if it ain't broke, don't ?x it", Councillor Middleton praised the generosity of the people of Forfar and Angus.

"We get things handed in all the time. The donations are really good quality items. This is a real slap in the face for the staff and

volunteers."

The Forfar Resource Store recycles hundreds of tonnes of furniture, delivering to 1,548 homes throughout Angus which can range from a single bed to kitting out a whole house.

Councillor Middleton continued: "It works out at 31 per house and the council has told us we are not good value for money, that we

could not prove we were best value.

"They came up with the voucher scheme and gave us a list of what could be included in the voucher scheme, and then they are saying today in the report that this ?gure should be challenged and that the ?gure is not good value."

Councillor Middleton stated the volunteer sector was feeling for

some time that they were "under seige" and that it was hard to keep

up the enthusiasm.