Letter to Rob Jamieson, Protect Loch Tay
Thanks for your letter.
We believe that we are open and transparent in our business. Our Council meetings are open to the public, the agenda is published in advance, and the minutes are properly recorded and published. Our contact details are published and we are open to question and comment. We live within a very small community and have frequent contact with many residents, visitors and local businesses.
DLC considers that its communication with the immediate Kenmore and District community would be most effective by working through the Community Council. While the Council would like to see more direct public engagement by DLC we respect their view. The liaison meetings we have with DLC are at their invitation, involve no more than a few members of the Community Council and DLC, and are held on DLC premises. Exchanges are frank and on some occasions we must consider issues that are subject to commercial confidentiality - not unusual for Community Council exchanges with local businesses and something the Code requests be treated with "dignity and discretion". So, we do not consider these to be formal Council Meetings, in the way you suggest. Clearly, the Taymouth development is of serious concern to our community. We encourage people within this community to put questions and any concerns to DLC through us. The minutes of our meetings with DLC are published on our website and are available for anyone to see.
Our Council considers that we have achieved a positive and collaborative relationship working in this format, one that has produced good results for the community here, and we see no need to change.
Our Council's position on the Taymouth development, and how best to gain maximum benefit for the area, is published on our website. Please note that we see the best outcomes for our local community will be found through communication and collaborative working with DLC, not confrontation.
We are well aware of the Good Practice Guidance for Community Councils and its contents, and the Code of Conduct for Community Councilliors. Both are drawn to the attention of all new Community Councillors and the Kenmore and District Community Council takes them seriously. But the guidance is just that - guidance, and we are reliably informed by Perth and Kinross Council that it imposes no legal obligation on our Council.
While we follow the guidance as best we can, we have taken the view that, in this particular case, our community's interests are best served by our current collaborative model.
I must point out that a Councillors' duty is to act in the interests of the local community, which we have been elected or nominated to represent. In line with the guidance our duty is to "take decisions solely in terms of the interest of the community that we represent". That is our priority. If you have issues with DLC, or wish to be invited to their meetings, please take these up directly with the company or, if you live in the vicinity, through your own Community Council.
Peter Ely, Chair Kenmore and District Community Council
27 June 2023