A COMMUNITY council has survived seven complaints following a hearing by council chiefs.

Luss and Arden Community Council were subject to the meeting with Argyll and Bute Council after the complaints were registered.

These concerned procedures during a planning process. The identity of the complainant is being kept confidential.

But five complaints were thrown out altogether, while the authority will issue guidance to the community council on administrative matters on the other two.

Convener David Pretswell said: “Luss and Arden Community is pleased to note the outcomes and recommendations resulting from Argyll and Bute council’s review panel.

“Whilst always confident that the complaints levied against the community council were without foundation and would be dismissed following proper examination by our peers, it is never pleasant to be the subject of such a process.

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“I would like to record my appreciation of my fellow community councillors’ forbearance whilst this matter was properly examined, in accordance with the requirements of the governing scheme for community councils.

“The scheme would normally require such complaints to first be considered by application to the community council itself.

“However, the complainant was entitled, within the provisions of the scheme, to bypass this requirement and immediately escalate matters to oblige consideration by a review panel, by the device of widening the scope and subject of said complaint to include a ‘majority’ of the community council.

“This escalation obliged a considerable degree of organisation by Argyll and Bute Council to prepare for and convene the required review panel.

“We would thus like to thank Mr Charles Reppke [head of legal services at Argyll and Bute Council], officers of Argyll and Bute Council, councillors and our peer community councillors involved for their time and deliberations in considering and suitably sentencing the complaints made.”

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The complaints saw the first-ever meeting of a community council complaints review panel set up by Argyll and Bute Council, which took place on Tuesday, April 2 at the council’s offices in Lochgilphead.

The councillors on the panel were Rory Colville (South Kintyre), Audrey Forrest (Dunoon) and Roddy McCuish (Oban South and the Isles).

The meeting was chaired by West Kintyre Community Council’s Margaret Pratt, while Andy Buntin of Lochgilphead Community Council was also on the panel.

The minutes of the hearing state: “It appears that the community council made efforts to ascertain the views of the community and to respond. There is nothing to prevent anyone from carrying out assessment of information and representations prior to the meeting provided they retain an open mind during consideration of the matter.

“The council is not prescriptive on how that should be done.”