Home   News   Article

Ardgay and District Community Council collapses after mass resignations - castle chatelaine Samantha Kane only member not to quit

By Caroline McMorran

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

A SUTHERLAND community council has collapsed today after four of its five members resigned.

The Ardgay and District Community Council (A&DCC) members stepped down as a meeting was due to take place this evening.

Ardgay & District Community Council has collapsed.
Ardgay & District Community Council has collapsed.

The councillors who have resigned are chairman Silvia Muras, Anna McInnes, Sabrina Ross and Dr Buster Crabb, who was coopted onto the council at an extraordinary general meeting last November.

Vice-chairperson Samantha Kane, owner of Carbisdale Castle, is the only community councillor not to have resigned.

Samantha Kane was the only member of Ardgay & District Community Council not to resign.
Samantha Kane was the only member of Ardgay & District Community Council not to resign.

The resignations mean that the community council, which has only been operational for a few months after being formed in October's community council elections, is now defunct.

The area will have another chance to re-form the community council at the next interim elections to be held by Highland Council.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: “We have received resignations from four community councillors. As a result of these resignations, the community council cannot be quorate.

“This means it must go into abeyance until the next round of interim community council elections. These are due to be held in autumn 2024 but this may be subject to change when the UK Parliamentary General Election is called.

“Being in abeyance means that the community council cannot meet and cannot make any decisions. The remaining community councillor cannot speak on behalf of or otherwise represent the community or community council as a community councillor.

“The meeting scheduled for tonight cannot place.”

Ward councillor Michael Baird, North, west and central Sutherland, told the Northern Times that he had heard from ward manager Phil Tomalin that the Ardgay and District Community council meeting “will not be happening tonight and, as only one elected member remains, an election opening up in October, will now take place".

The Ardgay community council has had a difficult time since its inception.

The group held an extraordinary public meeting on November 21 to decide its stance on Ms Kane’s third bid to purchase public land adjacent to Carbisdale Castle from Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS).

It was agreed not to support that bid - Ms Kane declared a conflict of interest and was not present for the vote.

A woman was then reported to police for a disturbance in Ardgay which followed the extraordinary meeting.

Police said at the time that the woman was issued with a Recorded Police Warning.

Claims were then made that the extraordinary meeting had not been properly conducted, but this was rejected by Highland Council.

Samantha Kane wrote a letter to the community council in December, claiming she had been the subject of a "campaign of bullying" including claims of transphobia during her attempt to acquire the 7.1 acres of land around three sides of the castle.

The community council posted on its social media page that it had received "several complaints" in response to the events following the extraordinary meeting and was treating them seriously.

An item on the agenda due to have been discussed at tonight's meeting was "Resolution to the complaints received following the EGM in November".

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More