Common good re-assurance

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AS community groups rally in support of their common good funds, Angus Council’s finance spokesperson Mark Salmond is reassuring those concerned about the common good funds of Angus burghs that a single combined fund for Angus is not being considered.

He said: “I can give burghs a categorical assurance that a single common good fund for Angus is not being considered.

“Common good funds are legally protected – they cannot be used for any other purpose than that which they were set up for. So Angus communities can rest assured that the individual funds are burgh funds and they will stay that way, making a valuable contribution to their burgh.”

Speaking about the current review and audit of common goods funds councillor Salmond said: “Communities with common good funds had been calling for a full audit and review of the funds; the council supported that and is now in the process of carrying out a burgh by burgh review.

“The purpose of the review – the first for several years – is to clarify some of the more ambiguous areas, such as the nature of the land, in accordance with the most up to date Common Good Law.

“The complex history and circumstance of every common good fund can make the administration of them no easy task for councils and we knew when we started the audit that the findings would create considerable discussion and in some cases disagreement in burghs.

“That’s why we said we would be sharing the outcome of each burgh audit with the local community to give people the chance to examine our findings and submit any evidence they may have to either support or contest them.”

Councillor Salmond said a report on the Arbroath Common Good Fund would be considered by the council on September 15.

“The audits are being done alphabetically. Only when all of that is completed will the council make any decisions about any changes to the Arbroath Common Good Fund.

“That same process will be followed for each burgh as the audits are carried out.”

Councillor Salmond urged people to wait to see the full findings before pre-judging the outcome.