Western Isles’ groups did not know about their part in the Council’s service redesign ideas

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The status of proposals being presented to the public at the Comhairle’s ‘Community Conversations’ on the future of local services has been called into question.

It has emerged that a number of local organisations mentioned in the documents have not been contacted or consulted by the Comhairle ahead of the events.

A sample of five key local organisations, including community land owning trusts who have been identified as a source of future financial contribution to services, and a local charity mentioned in the document as potentially providing specific services if the Comhairle ceased directly delivering them, denied having any prior knowledge of the proposals being presented for discussion, and were not consulted on being included in the text.

A representative of one organisation, who also asked not to be named, suggested that: “There is a risk that the public could be misled by the proposals” if they thought some local organisations had already committed to be involved in future service delivery.

A statement issued by the Comhairle concluded: “No pre-meeting positions were discussed.

“A wide range of community groups were invited (some by individual councillors or others in the community), and the level of engagement at all community conversations has been excellent.

“Funding forms a key part of discussions, and all possibilities are being explored.”