Tell councillors what your priorities are

Councillor Gordon Murray is urging the public to make their views known to members.
Councillor Gordon Murray is urging the public to make their views known to members.

The Comhairle will be looking to take key decisions on its capital programme at the next series of Council meetings in December 2017.

As in previous years. there are many competing demands.

Councillor Murray, leader of the SNP Group on the Comhairle said this week: “There has been little or no public consultation on the Capital programme which will set out the Council’s direction of travel over the next 4-5 years.

“I would urge people to get in touch with their local member so that their views are known on what is or isn’t being planned in their area.

“One of the big issues raised with myself as SNP Group Leader by residents in the Stornoway Wards has been about conditions at Stornoway Primary School.

“Councillor Rae Mackenzie has also been approached on this matter by concerned parents and has worked tirelessly raising this with council leader Roddie Mackay and the chair of education Angus Mccormack but, despite these and other representations from the communities they serve, they have no plans for capital works at the School any time soon.

“Other capital projects such as the replacement programme for Stornoway’s two Care Homes, and key projects across the Outer Hebrides will all have to be prioritised.”

The Council will also be taking decisions on its Revenue Budget 2018/19 early in the New Year.

Councillor Murray added: “With winter upon us, December and January are not ideal months for people to get to one-off meetings that aren’t planned and publicised well in advance.

“The Comhairle must also bear in mind that many people have no access to online surveys.

“I firmly believe what we plan to spend is a big issue that affects everyone and people should have the chance to meet the Leader of the Comhairle and their local Members face to face.”

Every ward has a Member representative on something called the Budget Board which is chaired by the Council Leader.

So far, neither the Budget Board or the Comhairle have published details on how people can be involved and get their views across on the forthcoming Budget process.

As a result, Councillor Murray is urging people to contact the Leader of the Comhairle and local members to find out more about what is being planned and put their views across.

Here is a link to Members’ e-mail addresses: click here