Council about turn sees dissolved community council restored

Villages to retain their community council

A Moray community council that was dissolved amid accusations of intimidation and bullying has been restored after Moray Council admitted they had made a mistake.

As reported exclusively by insideMoray last month, members of the Innes Community Council were informed that following the resignation of five of its number it was to be dissolved immediately.

A representative of the five members who had submitted their resignations later said that they did so after suffering 12 months of “verbal and written personal attacks, bullying and intimidation from other members”.

However, one of the remaining members of the community council insisted that the resignations were a “deliberate ploy by a specific group of members to destroy Innes Community Council for personal reasons”.

The remaining Innes Community Councillors insisted that Moray Council had acted in haste, saying that the decision to dissolve was contrary to the Council’s own guidelines which should have allowed the community council to remain in place for three months, allowing time for replacement members to be co-opted.

Now the community council, which serves communities including Lhanbryde, Kingston and Garmouth, is to be given that three months following a reversal of the original decision taken by Community Support Manager Ian Todd.

Confirming the decision one of the three councillors serving the Fochabers/Lhanbryde ward, Councillor Douglas Ross, told insideMoray: “Council officers have confirmed that an email which was issued in December stating that the community council had been dissolved because of several resignations was incorrect and in fact Innes Community Council can continue and co-opt new members.

“I would hope that the remaining members who wish for the community council to continue take some time to consider why several members felt the need to resign.

“For Innes community Council to work well for the area we have to ensure that it is open, inclusive and welcoming.

“Hopefully after the recent troubles we can get back to having a community council which works for the local community and the people in the Innes area.”

A spokesman for Moray Council said: “Unfortunately, the information conveyed to Innes Community Council prior to Christmas was incorrect and, under Moray Council’s scheme of establishment for community councils, there is a three-month period during which the community council is free to co-opt members to take its membership above the prescribed minimum number.

“During that period Moray Council will continue to support Innes Community Council and to give any help and advice it can to secure the future of the community council.”

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