Town’s council hit by another resignation

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Eyemouth Town Community Council seems to have steered into the stormy waters of infighting, resignations and complaints from the public.

The latest in a series of resignations is that of the council’s treasurer, James Anderson, who revealed that Eyemouth Town Community Council is no longer financially supported by Scottish Borders Council, saying that it was “a fact that has been kept quiet for over three months”.

He added: “It has been quite embarrassing to be linked to this particular incarnation of the community council and their persistent infighting.”

“Recent complaints in the Berwickshire News about the behaviour of two particular town councillors have brought to light internal problems of the council.”

Last month, Eyemouth Guides and Brownies guider-in-charge Janette McCulloch wrote to the Berwickshire News to express her “disgust at the actions of two members of Eyemouth Community Council towards my guide and brownie units”.

During the summer, the guides and brownies took part in the town tidy-up and put up posters urging people to dispose of their litter carefully. The girls were upset when the posters were ripped down by a community councillor, who allegedly admitted doing so and tearing them up.

“The community council has not been transparent, and the public are unaware of everything that’s been going on,” added Mr Anderson.

“It’s been made clear that the voluntary efforts made will be supported by Scottish Borders Council even if the annual enhancement grant is held back by the community council. The work done by locals and myself is appreciated and will continue.

“I have been deeply embarrassed over the last few months by the continued negative effect that the way members conduct themselves has had on the positive efforts made by volunteers and hard-working members.”

The Facebook page for Eyemouth Enhancement Group, organised by Mr Anderson, was linked to the community council, and at their last meeting community councillors agreed to shut it down.

However, Mr Anderson confirmed: “Our volunteers are all continuing without the interference of the council.”

Scottish Borders Council confirmed this week: “The maximum number of seats available on Eyemouth Town Community Council is 12, and we understand that there are currently eight members. The minimum members required for the community council to operate is six and the quorum for any meeting is four.

“Due to ongoing issues, the grant available to the community council has been withheld by Scottish Borders Council, but this remains available to the community council once it resolves these matters.”

Councillor Michael Cook said: “Eyemouth Town Community Council has had a number of challenges, and our council and the East Berwickshire members have been supporting the community council in trying to address these.

“The community council has an obligation to examine issues raised with it. Equally, those who have recently raised concerns have an obligation to approach matters in a fair-minded way, allowing the community council to consider matters equitably and proportionately.

“On the basis that all concerned treat each other with respect, I’m confident that the community council can move forward and continue to deliver for the benefit of the town.”