Council close to collapse as chair and vice quit

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Cree Valley Community Council faces a shaky future after both its chairman and vice chairman quit on Monday evening.

Last month, vice chair Bob Boan was replaced by Tom Greenaway due to Mr Boan’s absence at the council’s AGM, at which he was required to be present or have his intention known in writing in order to be reconsidered.

At the AGM, chair John mcNaught sought advice from elected members around the correct procedure and Mr Greenaway was elected.

But on Monday, Mr Greenaway stepped down citing uneasiness over the position it put Mr Boan in.

In a letter, Mr Boan offered an official resignation from both his chair and the council, claiming he didn’t feel the council was serving the needs of the community. He also said he felt the AGM was not handled as it should have been.

His wife and council member Jane went on to explain that her husband also had a lack of confidence in the chairman, and felt the council disregarded official guidance when making decisions.

Her comments went on to target the chairman personally at which point he responded with his intention to quit.

He said: “The sooner this council realise there is an etiquette to the way things have to be done, the better.

“I take those comments very personally and will not accept them second-hand. If Bob would like to make those comments publicly, he should have come here and done so.

“You can’t talk for anyone else.I won’t accept criticism like this – I do a lot behind the scenes that no one sees, as does Bob. But you cannot criticise an individual - by all mean, criticise the council as a whole but not individuals.

“I have been persuaded to stay on as chair twice now but that’s it, after this meeting I am standing down. This is the excuse I’ve been looking for.”

Councillor Alistair Geddes said: “The last thing the people of Newton Stewart need is for their community council to implode. We’ve been there before and don’t want it again.”

An EGM will now have to be held next month to elect a new chair and vice chair.