Rallying call

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An Angus councillor who cut his teeth on local politics at community council level has made a rallying call to fellow Forfarians.

Responding to the news that not enough nominations had been received for the next term of the Royal Burgh of Forfar Community Council, councillor Colin Brown urged anyone with an interest in the town to speak up, before it is too late.

He stated his two terms on the community council had given him a “good grounding” and that a number of important issues had been addressed.

These included the community council’s stance against plans by Angus Council at that time to sell off the former bowling club in the Reid Park for private housing, and the controversial sale of St James’s House.

He said: “I see serving on the community council as more of a voice of Forfar than a voice of Angus.

“People would tell you about issues in the town to bring up at community council. These were then moved on to the councillors who were present at these meetings.

“The community council is not just a talking shop.

“Over the years it has been involved with a lot of events, including Forfar Gala Week.

“They have fought against the closure of Post Offices, including the one at the East Port as well as the general post office, and cuts to the local Police service.

“They certainly get involved in local issues.”

Councillor Brown expressed disappointment that only seven nominations had been received when the deadline closed last Monday - nine were needed - and he urged anyone interested to come forward.

He continued: “It would be great if we could get another five or seven nominations.

“I would encourage people to come forward if they have Forfar at heart.

“I got a good grounding at community council level and I feel there is a place in the town for it.

“It would be a shame if all the work that has gone before now is just lost.”

Angus Council’s Communities Convener, councillor Donald Morrison said: “It’s a real pity that some community councils have not been able to form at this stage as I believe they play a very valuable democratic role in local decision making.

“Community councils not only provide a platform for local people to make representation to councils and other organisations, they are consulted on local planning matters and have the ability to effect change.

“Community councils in Angus play an important role in helping to deliver local events and projects.

“They can also help in bringing local people together and giving a community a sense of identity.

“It is not too late for those areas where nominations fell short.

“I hope this disappointing news can act as a spur to prompt new interest in Forfar, Arbroath, Monifieth and Tealing and encourage people in those areas to re-establishing their community council.”

Anyone wishing more information about how to re-establish a community council in their area can contact the election team on elections@angus.gov.uk or call (01307) 476261.