A Black Isle community council has challenged residents to come forward for election – or the current community councillors will not stand again.
Ferintosh and Culbokie community council (FCCC) would remain quorate with its current six councillors, but they say they will all step down unless more people step up and a further three are elected in the forthcoming elections.
They have issued a ‘come forward or we fold’ challenge by email to voting residents in their area.
FCCC chairwoman Becky Richmond told them: “The six current community councillors who have again stood for election feel they do not have the capacity to represent your views, to ensure your views are taken seriously or to achieve changes that reflect your views.
“The reasoning behind our judgement lies in our knowledge of what already has to be done and what we know about the challenges coming towards our community in the next few years.”
Ms Richmond said the challenges include the creation of a new 10-year development plan for the area, a resurgence in wind farm development and the ever increasing volume of traffic on the roads.
She told residents: “These are just some of the major challenges which need motivated, articulate, committed residents to be able to listen to community views and clearly represent those views in a respectful, forceful and persistent manner.
“The six of us who have put ourselves forward for election really do need you.
“However we would have no problem at all if we were not selected should you choose a completely new and vibrant community council.
“We just want active democracy and a community council in place that can provide you with a service that you deserve.”
Local councillor Gordon Adam said the loss of FCCC would be a serious blow to Highland Council’s localism programme, just as the council prepares to delegate significant budgets to area committees and raise more money locally.
He said: “In the next few years communities will be able to influence spending on local projects far more than in the past.
“Community councils will have a key role in deciding where a proportion of these funds should be spent.
“So it is more important than ever that they are well led and have the confidence of the community, as Ferintosh clearly has.
“It has chalked up some impressive achievements ranging from the new junction at Crask, to limiting speed on the road outside Mulbuie School and successfully lobbying Stagecoach for the reinstatement of a commuter bus service into Inverness.
“Highland councillors depend on community councils to highlight local concerns and push for change, and people in the Ferintosh area should be clear what they will lose if there is no community council to protect their interests.”