Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP and his colleague, Donald Cameron, who is the Scottish Conservative Candidate for Argyll & Bute in the 2016 Scottish Election, are urging residents worried about the proposed boundary changes to wards in Argyll and Bute to make their views known before 22nd October, when the ‘consultation’ closes.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has proposed reducing the size of Argyll and Bute Council from 36 to 33 councillors and has radically redrawn the ward boundaries. between Oban North and Lorn and Mid Argyll.
Speaking today, 16th October, Donald Cameron says: ‘I have been contacted by a number of local residents who are very strongly opposed to the commission’s proposed new council wards and believe they risk breaking up communities and districts which have traditionally been represented by the same councillor. Concerns have been expressed right across Argyll & Bute, from Bute and Cowal to Dalmally and Kilmelford.
‘I am pleased that many community councils in Argyll & Bute have already made submissions to the LGBCS setting out their opposition to the current proposals.
‘I would strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t yet done so to make their views known before the consultation closes on Thursday 22nd October.
‘It is vital that the LGBCS is aware of the strength of feeling locally on this subject if they are to revisit their proposals in the best interests of the communities of Argyll & Bute.’
Jamie McGrigor MSP says: ‘I have received a significant number of representations from constituents on the LGBCS proposals and will be writing myself to them on behalf of these people. I share the concerns of constituents that some communities could be disadvantaged by being divided from others who share common interests and transport links; and by being placed in different wards where they are far removed from the main population centres in that ward.
‘More generally, the fact that Argyll & Bute Council is due to see its numbers of councillors decrease is a reminder of the depopulation challenges facing our area and yet another prompt to policy makers at all levels of government that tackling depopulation must be a priority.
‘I led a debate on Argyll & Bute’s projected depopulation in Parliament earlier in the year and will continue to speak out about it wherever possible.’
Details of the LGBCS proposals and guidance how to make a comment on these are online here.