I promise to continue my support for armed forces
Published at 21:34, Wednesday, 13 June 2012
I WOULD like to bring some clarity to the position of the armed forces champion’s role in Dumfries and Galloway.
Firstly, I did not quit the role. On May 2 all elected members were stood down from their respective positions on outside bodies and council-nominated bodies. Members would have to resign from some positions because of the constitution of those bodies and they would be re-elected or a new member elected to those positions at the first full council after the election on May 3.
It has been an honour and privilege being the armed forces champion and I know I have helped many ex-service personnel since 2009 and hope I will continue in that role but only after the administration realises just how undemocratic it was when it brought a slate forward for several positions on outside bodies.
Although not in my case, it placed Labour councillors on those bodies without so much as asking them whether they wished to do so and on a non-proportional basis.
We were elected on a single transferable vote (STV) system. Proportional representation is what we have; that is how the administration of Tory/SNP councillors agreed council committees but for some reason felt they did not need to do this for outside bodies. Perhaps the SNP will need to look to Edinburgh for all decisions they make for our region from now on.
To reduce the number of council meetings and elect more senior councillors onto roles, in normal circumstances held by the opposition, is ridiculous in these times of financial difficulties.
The people of Dumfries and Galloway must be disgusted that it is going to cost more for the administration of our council by having more senior councillor salaries, 18 in total, and fewer meetings a year to get business moved on.
The Labour group wanted to reduce this to 14 and reduce their payments by 10 per cent but, alas, we were beaten in the vote by the Tories and the Tartan Tories. I will continue to support our service and ex-service personnel in my normal role as an elected member in addition to my ward constituents in the hope I will receive the support of my fellow councillors in doing so.
When councillor Denis Male attended the Springfield and Gretna Green community council on Monday, May 21, the night before full council, he advised them he didn’t know what was going to happen at the following day’s meeting. It is my opinion he knew exactly what was going to happen.
Councillor Archie Dryburgh
Annandale East and Eskdale
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