Nominations close for the Perth & Kinross Community Council Elections at 4pm on Thursday 24th September. To date no nominations have been received for the ten Community Councillor posts in Comrie and only one current Community Councillor has stated intensions to stand again. Since our last full and proper elections five years ago seventeen Comrie residents have served as Community Councillors. Some have since retired after decades of service, other have left for health or personal reasons but, throughout the five years, volunteers have always stepped up to fill the places.
Despite operating on a shoestring budget of around £400/year these unpaid volunteers have maintained the decades long tradition of a local, non partisan, open, democratic forum in the village which seeks to serve the whole community. It is the main conduit for meaningful and often effective discussions with Perth & Kinross Council and a multitude of other agencies like the Scottish Government, the Police, the Fire Service, SEPA, Flood Forum, Planning and Roads Authorities. The Community Council has, to a fair degree, held them all to task over the years.
It might be a necessary but dull enterprise were it not for some of the other matters in which we have involved ourselves in support of local initiatives such as Bumble Bee Square, The Skate Board Park, The Primary School Parents and Friends, First Response and The Laggan Park. Initiating, with others, a Forum for Strathearn Community Councils we begin to recognise the value of acting in concert with our neighbouring Community Councils. We also keep the public toilets open, upkeep the Christmas lights, organise the annual Hayride, take responsibility for The Legion Park, organise litter picks, develop our Community Resilience Plan, maintain the Twinning and student exchange with Carlton Place, Canada and run a website with over 40,000 visits a month promoting everything Comrie. As various government initiatives role out much heralded ‘Community Empowerment’ measures we are certain to face more pressing challenges and opportunities in the years to come.
In a few days, unless some fresh volunteers step up to the mark the Community Council will fold, all this good work will come to an end and our community will be rendered seriously and sadly mute to many a power that be. We could also lose our public toilets as there will no longer be a relationship with PKC.
There must be folk who feel they could and perhaps should contribute; some in the farming community what with all the land access and flooding issues we deal with; some in the School Parents group who strive for best representation of our children’s needs; some in the various faith communities who feel they could help represent broad constituencies; some retired souls with much to offer in experience; some of our recently politically awakened who can temper idealism with the desire to get down and dirty for the community; some recently arrived residents who despite fearing the vagaries of a vote for relatively unknown candidates are non the less prepared to stick their head above their parapet and declare a willingness to be of service and hence, not least, garner the admiration of many; some well kent locals who have never had a shot at being a community councillor but reckon they might contribute usefully for a few years.
Meeting only ten times a year ten volunteers can, with a little effort, make a very useful and effective contribution to the community in general. If Comrie’s renowned community spirit falters here it will be a sad day so, even if you are not inclined yourself, make an effort to convince some other willing soul to get their nomination in before the deadline. Forms and further information are available in the library, the post office or from any current Community Councillor.
Comrie is ofter hailed as being a great community, please come forward to ensure that the Community Council continues to represent us.