Stenhousemuir SNP Councillors Challenge Their Labour Counterparts Over Snub For Community

Stenhousemuir’s two SNP Councillors, Steven Carleschi and Stephen Bird, have accused their Labour counterparts, Craig Martin and Charles MacDonald, of “neglect of duty to listen to and consult with the community they represent.”

This came after an SNP motion to consult with the Stenhousemuir community before demolishing the former police station and Registrar’s Office to make way for a block of flats was voted down by the combined strength of the Labour / Tory Administration.

The Nationalists argued that the buildings were an iconic part of the town centre fabric and that the community of Stenhousemuir should be fully consulted on whether or not the historic buildings where the local Parish Council used to met over 100 years ago should be pulled down.

However, a counter motion to press ahead with the demolition even though there is no firm date yet set for the  building of the replacement flats moved by Cllr Gerry Goldie was passed by 16 votes to 13 with Stenhousemuir Labour Councillors, Craig Martin and Charles MacDonald falling into line behind Cllr Goldie and voting for the demolition without consultation.

The fact neither Labour member spoke up for community consultation in the debate with Cllr MacDonald not participating at all has angered the SNP members who are now demanding an explanation from Councillors Martin and MacDonald who they accuse of being afraid to stand up  to Cllr Goldie and for their own constituents.

Mover of the motion, Steven Carleschi said,

“I first proposed that consideration be given to the conversion of these buildings to housing in 2009 and that community consultation take place over the issue.

 Since then nothing seems to have happened until now when we have this unsightly rush to demolish an important part of Stenhousemuir’s heritage without any consultation what so ever with the people of the town.

 The big brother actions of the Labour / Tory Coalition Administration are made all the more unpalatable in that the Leader of the Administration, Craig Martin, is a Stenhousemuir Councillor.

 Given the matter was a Stenhousemuir issue it is not unreasonable to expect Cllr Martin to outline in his contribution why the community we all represent is to be excluded?.

 I am now challenging  Councillor, Craig Martin, along with fellow silent Labour member, Charles MacDonald, to state publically why they were afraid to speak up for their own constituents having a say in the fabric and future of their own town centre.”

  Seconding the SNP motion, Stenhousemuir SNP Councillor, Stephen Bird said,

During the debate Cllr Goldie made it clear that the only criteria he was interested in was financial. The earliest projected start date for this project is 2015/16 so I just cannot understand why the Labour/Tory coalition would want to rush to demolish leaving a huge gap in the Centre rather than starting to talk to the Community.

 Could we for example save the front of this building as has happened in so many other places? The consultation would only take a few months and the projected dates for housing would still be met.

 This is a blinkered approach that if implemented elsewhere in Falkirk district would have seen the likes of Callander House demolished without the people of Falkirk being consulted.

 Councillors Martin and MacDonald should now explain why they believe the people of Stenhousemuir should be treated as second class citizens.”

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2 Responses to Stenhousemuir SNP Councillors Challenge Their Labour Counterparts Over Snub For Community

  1. Cllr Brian McCabe says:

    Labour have previous over this.
    The old Denny Police Station was similarly earmarked for social housing way back in 2009. Two weeks after I was elected I met with 3 council officers to discuss possible plans for the building and the site. (Unbeknownst to me, council officers had ALREADY appointed a demolition contractor for the building!) We spoke of trying to bring the community along with the council by fencing off the site and displaying hoardings showing their plans for the site.
    Do you know how much public consultation has actually taken place up to this point today?
    None! Zilch! Nada! Hee-Haw! Nil! Nothing! Zero!
    The iconic building, one of the prettiest elements from an old industrial town, was demolished without a single referral to either the local community nor its elected representatives. Unless Cllr Blackwood was told of this wanton destruction?
    Despite being made aware of alternative uses for the building and genuine local interest, from amongst others the Heritage Society of Denny, Jim Blackwood voted through the demolition. At the behest of Cllr Goldie, Labour lapdog Blackwood ignored the interests of his constituents and voted for its immediate demolition.
    Cllr Blackwood has form when it comes to nodding in agreement with de-facto Labour leader Goldie. The £176m infrastructure investment from TIF with not a brown penny being spent in his own ward of Denny/Banknock being a case in point.
    My best respects to the 2 Ste(v)phens for attempting to halt this gross cultural vandalism from an increasingly despotic administration. Don’t expect any concern for your constituents from your ward counterparts Martin & MacDonald. For them to, “… treat the people of Stenhousemuir as second-class citizens”, they have to recognise their existence first!
    Forget the iconic Stenhousemuir Police/Registrar’s Office building; it is gone, history, done. Pretty much as the iconic Denny Police Station building; gone, demolished, erased.
    In years from now, people will look back and wonder, “How did we let an avaricious Falkirk-centric Labour Group systematically destroy the cultural heritage of so many of towns & district centres?”
    The answer lies in the mice who sit in administration, silent, unwilling to represent the people.
    More cheese anyone?

  2. Novean says:

    I notice that the geniune(sic) independent councillor, Alex Waddell, has ALSO claimed to have SIGNIFICANTLY contributed to the 4 new Community High Schools and 2 new Primary Schools. This will be the independent councillor who formed a pact with Craig Martin and his Labour acolytes on the understanding that he become Deputy Leader and Convenor of the Education Committee. A novice councillor, immediately thrust into 2 of the most senior positions of the council? Have these people no shame? No integrity? No moral scruples? What’s in it for Me! Me! Me! It quite clearly demonstrates the depths of despair of a bankrupt and inept Labour administration. The sooner Mr Waddell, Mr Martin and the rest are removed, the better. There is not a single acknowledgement anywhere within his election leaflet to the sterling work carried out by local groups, activists or single minded people. He should be ashamed at such bare-faced duplicity.

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