Council rep on Partnership

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Allan Sutherland is to represent Stonehaven and District Community Council on the Stonehaven Town Partnership, but only after a lengthy discussion at last week’s meeting, during which phrases like “conflict of interest” were bandied about.

Mr Sutherland had been proposed and seconded as the rep at the previous meeting in his absence, with a final decision left until he could be approached.

David Fleming, who is the STP secretary, explained that in his view, the rep had two duties. The first was to represent the community council at the general meeting and vote as required.

The second task was to report back to the community council on the activities of the STP and to act as a liaison between the two bodies.

Mr Sutherland said he was a director of the STP and was willing to be the community council rep.

A speaker from the public benches then threw the “conflict of interest” statement into the mix, saying a person could not be an STP director and community council rep.

This was strongly refuted by Mr Sutherland, who said “Where is the conflict?”

Councillor Peter Bellarby, a former STP chairman, said that in his opinion Mr Sutherland could be the rep.

The voice of reason came from member Peter Greig who said: “We must rely on Allan’s judgement.

“If we think he is acting not in the best interests of this community council, that is when we can step in.”