During the Coronavirus pandemic we were saddened to lose our councillor Henry Anderson:
TRIBUTE TO COUNCILLOR HENRY ANDERSON.
On Sunday December 27th we learned of the sad passing of Councillor Henry Anderson after a very short Covid illness. Henry was first elected to Perth & Kinross Council representing Almond & Earn in May 2012 and re-elected again in May 2017. Henry was Convenor of the Licensing Board from May 2012 to May 2017 and Convenor of the the Local Review Body from September 2019 onwards. He also served on the Planning and Development Management and Lifelong Learning committees. Henry was a hardworking local councillor and soon became well known in all the communities in Almond & Earn attending community council meetings and other community events.
Interestingly the last time we ”saw“ Henry was at an online meeting of the Planning and Development Management committee where an application for Energy From Waste scheme at Binn Farm was being determined. Following this Agenda item Henry excused himself as he was unwell. A few days later he was gone.
Attending an online meeting when you are unwell shows determination and commitment to the community. Henry really enjoyed the Planning and Development Management Committee so it was pleasing that Henry participated in the previous meeting where the next stage of Oudenarde was approved.
Henry was an approachable Councillor and always tried to do his best for anyone who raised an issue with him.
As well as being Councillor, many of you will have known him from his taxi firm, Brig Taxis of Bridge of Earn, where he delivered a friendly and diligent service to his many customers for over a decade.
Henry was a hard working conscientious colleague, we had our difference about politics, but much more united us than divided us. We were councillors all working together for the community.
Henry’s funeral, due to Covid restrictions, was live streamed with only close family and friends able to attend. I, like others, viewed from home. Rev Wilson summed up Henry very well - he loved his family and community and worked hard for everyone.
A career as a councillor
We asked Kathleen to give us her feelings on leaving the council after 33 years. Here is her story.
I was first elected in May 1999 as a member of Perth & Kinross Council representing the Abernethy & Glenfarg ward when it was one member per ward. This was a life changing moment, I was delighted, surprised, excited and honoured that the community had elected me to represent them and that they did it again in 2003.
One of my earliest memories was the grant of planning permission for the new primary school resulting in the exciting day for the community of Abernethy when the turf cutting ceremony took place .
Soon the day came when the pupils would walk from the old to the new…. I remember vividly walking with all the pupils along Back Dykes from the old school to the new school following the piper. In 2002 I had the honour of officially opening the New School; a special day not only for me but the whole village.
I cannot believe that that was 20 years ago; an early highlight but one I cherish. The village was flourishing at that time - two new housing estates built simultaneously - houses were selling as quickly as they were built. New life into the village!
I found when the voting system was first past the post, one councillor per ward, and a smaller ward where it was much easier to get to know people and what the issues were, I never needed to hold a surgery. My surgery was everywhere, whether it be walking round the village, at Church or invariably washing dishes at any event in the Williamson hall or out for a meal.
I did need to have a good memory however.
Multi-member wards came along with the Single Transferable Vote in 2007 and I was elected to the Kinrosshire Ward as Abernethy/Glenfarg was split. Abernethy to Almond and Earn, Glenfarg to Kinrosshire. I found it tough representing Kinrosshire and was not surprised when I was not re-elected in 2012.
A Community Council Election took place during ”my retirement“ and I served for a time as a member of Abernethy and District Community Council. In 2016 following the death of a councillor in Almond and Earn a by-election was held. I was delighted to be selected as a candidate and really pleased to win the vacant seat!
The next chapter had begun and I was back, ready to serve the people of Almond and Earn .
I have always tried to do my best for all parts of the ward. I have met so many lovely people and shared their joys and sadness. I think I have served on most committees during my time as Councillor.
Some people ask why would you want to be a Councillor, and on a bad day I asked myself the same.
From 2017 I was a member of the administration group on the Council and was convener of the Licensing Board, a member of the Life Long Learning Committee, Vice–Convenor of Environment and Infrastructure and for the last two years Deputy Provost, but most important of all dealing with constituents’ concerns and the issues that were important to them.
I enjoy helping people and have tried, whilst working with others, to improve where we live work and play. The budget for road maintenance was increased and we locally have seen the benefits (I know road works can be an inconvenience), improved road safety measures and improved foot/cycle paths. Council funding has helped community groups improve their halls here in Abernethy;the Williamson Hall and the Pavilion have benefited from the funding through Almond & Earn Action Partnership.
I have attended numerous Parent Council Meetings, Community Council meetings etc. but sadly some things have not changed over the years. Parking in the village, dog poo, litter and fly-tipping. All caused by members of the public, but the public expect the council to find solutions and use taxpayers money to fund it. It would be great if you can all prove me wrong and Abernethy becomes litter and dog poo free.
Most of my work as a councillor was not what makes news headlines but about helping individuals. This can be frustrating and disappointing as I didn’t always get the result that they or I wanted but it is very satisfying when an individual says “Thank you for all your help”.
There is no doubt that the workload and responsibility of a councillor have greatly increased over the years. I have enjoyed the challenges and the privilege of serving as an elected member of Perth & Kinross Council.
Thank you to everyone who VOTED for me and to my family who quietly in the background supported me. No matter where I was I never forgot I was a councillor and was happy to listen to anyone who wanted to talk about issues.
Once a councillor is elected their duty is to all of the electorate irrespective if they voted for you or for whatever reason made the decision not to vote.
Best wishes to my successor.
I am looking forward to the next chapter, maybe just being me.
Major changes to the way in which planning applications are decided were considered by Perth & Kinross Council recently.
Large parts of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2006 come into effect on 3rd August this year, and these will introduce a new planning application process across Scotland.
On Wednesday 24 June Full Council approved a report that sets out proposals for two major changes: setting up a Local Review Body and changing the Council’s Scheme of Administration, as required by the Act.
Under the Act, there will be different procedures for determining national, major and local planning applications, and for applicants to appeal decisions made.
Developments of national significance will be decided by the Scottish Government, taking into account the views of the Full Council.
Major developments - which will include most sites of over 2 hectares or housing development of 50 houses and over - will have to be decided by the Full Council if they are significantly contrary to the Development Plan, which includes the current Local Plans. Appeals against these decisions will be dealt with by the Scottish Government.
The report to Council recommended that all other major applications will be decided by the Council’s Development Control Committee, rather than some being delegated to officers as is an option under the Act.
It also recommended that smaller-scale local developments will generally be decided by officers under delegated powers. The new Act specifies that some local developments cannot be decided by officers - where the Council has a financial or other interest, or the application is made by a Councillor. The report recommended that, in addition, officers will not decide a local development if the applicant is a Chief Official or the application was determined previously by committee; or if the application is recommended for approval but is significantly contrary to the Development Plan, or if it has attracted a total of six or more objections from Community Councils, households, businesses or interest groups (more than one letter from the same household, organisation or property would count as one letter of objection).
In these cases, an application would be decided by the Development Control Committee. The addition of letters from Community Councils when calculating the number of objection letters is a significant change which has been requested by Community Councils in Perth and Kinross.
Appeals against decisions made by the Development Control Committee will continue to be determined by the Scottish Government. Appeals against decisions on local developments made by Council officers will be heard by the new Local Review Body of Councillors with no further right of appeal to the Scottish Government.
The report to Full Council proposed that the Local Review Body for Perth and Kinross will be made up of three members drawn from the Councillors who sit on the Development Control Committee.
Now that it has been agreed by Full Council, the revised Scheme of Administration will be submitted to Scottish Ministers for approval.
Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of the Council said:
“This Act will introduce the most significant change to planning in Scotland for decades. Its focus is to keep local decisions local, make the process more efficient and increase local people’s say in planning applications. This Council has been working hard, with the Scottish Government, as the Act has been developed and to prepare for introducing the new requirements of the legislation in Perth and Kinross. A working group of officers and elected members has given a great deal of consideration to the Local Review Body and the best option for ensuring a robust appeals process."
The Act will introduce other changes, for example, from 3 August the notification of neighbours about planning applications will be undertaken by the Council rather than the applicant and later in the year there will be greater scope for household alterations and extensions to be undertaken without the need for planning permission. Final details are to be announced. Further information on the changes will be available on the Council’s website as they come into place.
In November of 2008 complaints were made both directly to the Council and also to the Local Councillors regarding a lack of maintenance of the large green space east of the Baulk and south of the play area in the Muir Homes estate at Moncrieff Gardens and also the play area in Brandywell Road. The litter bin at the latter location was never emptied and was overflowing.
Early in December 2008 correspondence began with Greenbelt, the Company responsible for the two areas. To date that Company has not addressed the issue of the large green space but in subsequent letters had suggested that they might take up Perth & Kinross Council’s offer to take over the play area.
Unfortunately when the terms of the possible takeover were given to the Greenbelt Company they declined the offer and maintenance of the playpark therefore remains their responsibility. As a result the Council’s hands are tied and they are not at liberty to even empty the litter bin