Council to close after three chiefs resign amid disagreements

Hilary McDowell, former chairwoman of Southside Community Council, left in September
Hilary McDowell, former chairwoman of Southside Community Council, left in September
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A TROUBLED community council which saw its entire ruling group stand down is being wound up after failing to attract any new members.

Local authority bosses have been called in to officially dissolve the Southside Community Council.

An appeal for new members was issued last month, with ten positions available to be filled.

The vacant posts came after the community council’s chair, vice-chair and secretary all resigned at the same time, amid claims there had been disagreements between members, with advice sought over expulsions and suspensions.

Their resignations put the future of the community council under threat and the organisation was temporarily suspended as a decision-making body.

But after failing to attract new members to join the community council and take on the positions of responsibility, it is having to fold.

A notice on the community council’s website said: “At the end of the nomination period for new members, only one name had been received.

“As a result the City of Edinburgh Council will now start proceedings to dissolve the Southside Community Council.”

Hilary McDowell, former chairwoman of Southside Community Council, who resigned from the post in September, said: “There were nine of us who went at the same time.

“There weren’t other people prepared to come forward to fill the places.

“We did get bogged down in procedure and minutes and we couldn’t get anything done.”

Local councillors said they were sad to see the organisation fold, but added there could be an opportunity to get it up and running again next October when community council elections take place.

Green councillor for the Southside and Newington ward, Steve Burgess, said: “Sadly, there weren’t enough residents coming forward to keep the community council going at this time.

“This may partly be that, although an active community council can protect and enhance a local community, not enough people see them as relevant to their own lives.

“Giving more local decision-making to community councils could be a way of making them more relevant to more people.

“Hopefully Southside council can be started up again next year.”

Local Conservative councillor Cameron Rose added: “Southside Community Council has been very active and has done a lot of work, but a few personalities didn’t get on and they are as well just closing down for a year or so and they might be able to restart again next year.”

Edinburgh has a total of 43 active community councils.

A council spokeswoman said: “An interim election was held after the membership of the Southside Community Council fell below the minimum number required.

“Only one nomination was received to fill four places and therefore the council will now take action to dissolve the community council.”