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Community council in Thurso goes into abeyance after resignation

By Gordon Calder

THURSO Community Council has gone into abeyance after the resignation of a member who claims it has "lost its way."

Alexander Glasgow has quit after eight years and says representatives have to work together not as "factions using the position for score settling."

He maintains there were personality issues and said: "We are not VIPs. We are here to serve the community not bask in our own status as community councillors. When I brought specific action points from the many other groups I sit on, they were derided or rejected."

Mr Glasgow's decision means the community council now does not have the required number of elected members and has to go into abeyance until Highland-wide elections take place in November.

Alexander Glasgow says the community council has "lost its way".
Alexander Glasgow says the community council has "lost its way".

But yesterday former chairman, Mike Potts, who revealed he is not seeking re-election, expressed his confidence the community council will continue in the longer term.

Following his resignation, Mr Glasgow said:"This is very, very sad. I realise Thurso will be without a community council until November. They have known since February another resignation of an elected member would result in this. I have e-mailed on more than one occasion in the past week reiterating my intention but have heard absolutely nothing."

He maintains his suggestions were rejected because they came from him and highlighted issues relating to food clubs, winter resilience, outdoor sporting equipment, safe parking on Ormlie Road and the A9.

"When I look at how proactive the community council was when I first was elected in 2011 and compare it to the community council of the past three years, I feel it has lost its way. Community councils work best as cohesive units not factions using the position for score settling.

"I have said things I bitterly regret and wish I could take back – and would take on board any competent criticism of my actions – although this has been borne out of frustration at increasingly frivolous and vexatious objections to my suggestions," said Mr Glasgow.

He also claimed closed or secret meetings were held at which decisions were made. "There has to be another way. This all could and should have been avoided."

Mike Potts, the chairman, acknowledged there were personality issues but stressed he and others tried to resolve them along with Highland Council representatives.

"Mr Alexander is very clever and articulate but could be difficult at times. We have always acted in the interest of the community and done the best we can but we are all volunteers at the end of the day," he said.

Mr Potts denied there were any secret meetings and said members met to discuss what should be "brought forward at forthcoming meetings".

"Alexander Glasgow used to attend these meetings but we stopped holding them as our constitution says all meetings have to be open to the public," he said.

Mr Potts is confident Thurso Community Council will continue after November and get enough members to carry on. "I think the community council will survive and this will be a short-term thing," he stated.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: "Our local ward manager has been informed by one of the Thurso Community Council members that he has resigned, placing them below the minimum elected number."

She added: "Thurso Community Council have been advised that they have been placed into abeyance as of Wednesday morning."

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