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MSP disappointed Highland watchdogs lose their bite

By Gavin Musgrove

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Local MSP Kate Forbes has spoken of her disappointment that nine community councils in her Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency are to fold.

The community councils of Dalwhinnie, Caol, Glendale, Glenfinnan, Mallaig, Portree and Braes, Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry, Uig and Waternish will not be forming because they failed to attract sufficient nominations for half of the maximum membership - between seven and 13 depending on the size of communities.

Highland Council had extended the nomination period for an extra three weeks in an attempt to encourage nominations.

The next opportunity for each of these community councils to be re-established is in February.

Ms Forbes (SNP) said: “Community councils are a critically important element of our local democracy.

“They can bring together different views and represent communities.

As such, it is a shame to see so many community councils dissolving, in part because of a lack of volunteers.

“I recognise it is a difficult job, but it can make all the difference particular on issues like planning applications.

“I hope that even if certain community councils have not been able to amass the necessary members, they might be able to do so in the not too distant future.”

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