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Dalbeattie Community Council
The Setting Up of Community Councils
Community Councils were set up with Local Government Re-organisation in 1973. Their general purpose as defined in the Local Government ( Scotland) Act 1973 and in Local Government ETC ( Scotland) Act 1994 is:
“to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area and to public authorities the views of the community which it represents in relation to matters for which those authorities are responsible”
“and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable”
This gives a great deal of scope to Community Councils to get involved in a variety of local issues,to develop local projects and activities, on their own or with others, and to represent community opinion to local authorities and public bodies.
Dalbeattie Community Council has up to twelve voting members who can be elected or co-opted on. The Community Council is non-party in terms of politics, and non-sectarian in religion, sex or race.
The Community Council area is roughly that covered by postcode DG5 . It extends to the north beyond Edingham to Newfield, south beyond Meikle Richorn to near Barnbarroch, west as far as the river near Craignair quarry, and east to Aucheninnes Moss.
The Current Community Council
(following information added by Erica Johnson, present Chair of the Community Council)
The current Dalbeattie Community Council has very few powers compared with the old Burgh Council. Basically we are a channel for communication between the Regional Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Town. If something is wrong, broken or neglected in the town we can use our influence with Dumfries and Galloway Council to get it fixed, so it is in the interests of local people to let us know if something needs attention.
We are also consulted by Dumfries and Galloway Council on various Community Planning matters for the area, from Physical Planning [new houses, road layouts, etc] to Community Services [Adult Education, Youth Services, Bus Routes and timetables, etc]
We no longer have Police or Magistrates powers but we are committed to working closely with the local police in Community Policing matters.
We take part in Consultations with the Scottish Parliament on the direction and formation of new legislation from Education to Environmental Issues. With our Sub-Committee, the Waste Action Group, [WAG], we campaigned vigorously against the extension to Aucheninnes Landfill Site. Unfortunately we were unable to prevent it, so we will now closely monitor all the activities there. We were successful in preventing the building of a Waste Transfer Station on Edingham Industrial Estate, winning our case against Shanks [and Dumfries and Galloway Council] at planning committee level and also at a Public Inquiry. The Waste Transfer Station will now be built in Castle Douglas, and we hope that our actions will allow business to continue to flourish at Edingham Industrial Estate, creating jobs for Dalbeattie.
We have worked closely with the Health Board to ensure the provision of the best Health Services for Dalbeattie, including our current monitoring of the new NHS24 system. We are also still actively involved in trying to obtain a state of the art GP surgery for Dalbeattie.
Another project we are considering is the purchase of a piece of land, which is surplus to the requirements of Dumfries and Galloway Council, within the town. We hope to be able to keep this land as public open space for recreational purposes.
All of this is achieved on a budget of £600 per annum, with an additional £100 if we can prove our attendance at least 2 other relevant meetings in a year. This money covers the Secretarial Expenses – paper, printer ink, postage and telephone calls. Our Audited Accounts are available for anyone to consult and are prepared for our AGM every May. Minutes of our meetings are available in Dalbeattie Library; other important notices are displayed on our Notice Board outside the Post Office. Meetings take place on the second Monday in very month, at 7pm in the Council Chambers, Dalbeattie Town Hall. We are all volunteers and you are very welcome to join us!
A Full List of the Chief Magistrates and Provosts of Dalbeattie from 1858 to the disbanding of the Burgh Council in 1975:
1858 – 1861: Thomas Maxwell, Merchant.
1861 – 1861: John Carswell, Owner of Carswells Mill.
1861 – 1864: Thomas McKnight, Surgeon.
1864 – 1867: John Muir, Landlord, Commercial Inn.
1867 – 1879: Dr John Patterson Lewis.
1879 – 1882: Thomas Helme, Bobbin Mill Owner.
1882 – 1887: Dr John Patterson Lewis.
1887 – 1887: Joseph Heughan, Blacksmith.
1887 – 1890: David McNish, Builder.
The First Provost:
1890 – 1902: George Shaw, Brick & Tile Manufacturer.
1902 – 1911: William Davie, Draper.
1911 – 1913: Dugald McLaurin.
1913 – 1919: William Dornan.
1919 – 1926: John Jack.
1926 – 1927: John J Clark.
1927 – 1933: Stuart H Doggart.
1933 – 1936: William Jack.
1936 – 1938: John Dickson.
1938 – 1942: Walter Clark.
1942 – 1945: John Smith.
1945 – 1952: John B Stevenson.
1952 – 1961: James Campbell.
1961 – 1963: James Wallace.
1963 – 1967: Amelia Jack. [First Female Provost]
1967 – 1970: William Heron.
1970 – 1975: Josiah E Charters.