Councillor’s astonishment at meeting revealed

COUNCILLOR Helen Oswald gave an account of her recent activities to Carnoustie Community Council on Monday night.

First she talked about being a member of the interview panel that appointed new Angus Council chief executive Richard Stiff and she added that she believes him to be an energetic and forward thinking officer.

Next Councillor Oswald told the meeting about vandalism and anti-social behaviour in Yeaman Street and Dundee Street and how the police are working to address these issues.

In December she was both part of a judging panel for a Fairtrade Carnoustie logo competition in the local primary schools and also attended a Congress of Europe meeting in Edinburgh on supporting local democracy despite reducing budgets.

Within the council, Councillor Oswald said she had registered her dissent at the paper which forbids the use of upstairs meeting rooms unless there are trained fire rescue officers present.

She added that at the end of her speech, she asked that the rescue officers identify themselves and says she was astonished to learn that there were none present although this council meeting was held in an upstairs meeting room and open to the public.

Councillor Oswald also informed the meeting that, along with a group of other councillors, she visited the Angus Volunteer Centre and the Praxis Skills Centre in Arbroath where they heard of the invaluable work done there.

Next she explained that she had called a meeting with David Valentine, head of economic development to discuss the depressed state of the retail business in Carnoustie. Peter Burke of the Business Association was also invited.

She said the meeting took the form of a walk along the High Street to show him at first hand how bad the situation is.

They then sat down in the Burgh Chambers and agreed some actions which included writing to every household in the town to ask what kind of shops they would use, investigating how local products could be introduced to visitors of the town and how the town can capitalise on the golf visitors.

Then finally she added that she understood that the local Probus Club had a speaker recently who while giving a talk on the proposed new Kinloch Centre said that Councillor Oswald did not support it.

However, she insists that she is a card-carrying member of the Friends of Kinloch Centre, has voted through every paper coming to council about it and last year helped at the Christmas Fair by making and donating pancakes at their coffee morning.