Verbal and written attacks, bullying and intimidation has been cited by five community councillors as being among the reasons they decided to quit and force a dissolution last week.
As reported exclusively by insideMoray on Monday, the Innes Community Council – which covers Lhanbryde, Garmouth, Kingston and Urquhart – was formally disbanded last week by Moray Council when its membership fell below the required number.
That was brought about by the resignations of five members, while one of the remaining members claimed that their resignation was a “deliberate ploy by a specific group of members to destroy Innes Community Council for personal reasons”.
However, the five who quit have hit back saying that for the last year they had suffered a series of personal attacks that left them no choice but to quit.
In a statement released to insideMoray on behalf of the five community councillors who resigned, a representative insisted that claims the community council had not adopted a scheme for community councils under which they would all abide were simply untrue.
The statement also insisted that the main reason for the disbandment of the community council was behaviour that “falls far short” of that contained in the code of conduct.
The statement read: “Innes Community Council agreed the model constitution as provided under the Scheme for Community Councils at their meeting on 5th November 2013 and this was ratified by Moira Patrick, Manager Democratic Services [at Moray Council], on 19th November 2013.
“One member resigned on 8th December 2014 after being on prolonged sick leave since November 2013.
“With the five who resigned recently the membership fell below the prescribed minimum of five and as set out in the constitution referred to above dissolution was announced by the CSU on Friday 19th December 2014.
“The five members who resigned over the last week have over the past 12 months suffered verbal and written personal attacks, bullying and intimidation from other members.
“The Community Councillors Code of Conduct sets out certain principles one of which is ‘respect’. The behaviour referred to above falls far short of adherence to that principle.
“That the recent resignations had the effect of causing the dissolution of the community council is regretted by all those concerned but sadly the status quo was no longer an option.”
In his letter to all members of the community council on Friday, Community Support Manager Ian Todd confirmed the terms under which a new community council may be formed.
He said: “Should, in the future, there is a wish for Innes Community Council to be resurrected, twenty or more electors should present a petition to the Democratic Services Manager for consideration by Committee who will make a decision on whether to proceed with an election.”