Broughty Ferry residents will not rest until the Scottish Government has consigned recommendations for boundary change to the dustbin, a councillor has confidently predicted.
Elected members have already joined Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison in pledging to write to Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart asking him to ignore the proposals.
Mr Stewart’s mailbox is likely to become one of the nation’s busiest for a time if, as expected, residents continue their record-breaking campaign of opposition.
SNP Councillor Kevin Cordell, who represents The Ferry, believes that the community will once again rally to the cause, despite its disappointment.
He told The Courier: “I am sure the residents of the West Ferry will be unhappy about these recommendations but I am also sure they will rally and take the fight on to the next stage.
“For them, the homogeneous nature of the Ferry is vitally important and I think it is disappointing the boundary commission hasn’t appeared to have taken the strongly expressed will of the local residents into account.
“I also find it surprising that in this difficult financial period the commission considers more councillors, with the attendant costs, to be a good idea.
“I will be writing to Kevin Stewart MP to reiterate the aforementioned reasons and I hope that he gives them every consideration.”
The news broke on Thursday that the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has recommended Dundee elect two additional councillors and change the city’s ward boundaries.
If those recommendations are approved by the Scottish Government, they would see alterations made to Coldside, Maryfield, the East End and The Ferry.
The issue has caused barely a ripple in three of the fours wards – but in Broughty Ferry more than 1,000 people have publicly objected.
They fear the boundary change could impact upon house prices, damage the sense of community spirit within the community, undermine their ability to have their concerns and needs met by their elected members and even impact upon which schools their children are entitled to attend – though assurances have been given about education.
Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said those voices must be heard and their opinions give due consideration by Scottish ministers.
She said: “I am aware of the strong feelings of the community in Broughty Ferry on this issue and I think that should be paramount in the minds of Scottish Ministers when they make their decision to accept or reject the commission’s proposals.
“I will be writing to Kevin Stewart to make that point, stressing that very few people in the local community are actually in favour of these proposals.”
Neil Cooney, communications secretary of Broughty Ferry Community Council, said the commission’s decision had left him baffled.
He said: “From a personal point of view, you have to question the consultation process.
“If there has been such a unanimous response to these changes, why is the boundary commission going ahead?
“Everyone in the Ferry — the residents, the community council and the elected members — have been in agreement in that they don’t want this to happen.
“Broughty Ferry had more responses to the proposals than the rest of Scotland put together.
“Why even have a consultation if you are not going to listen to people?
“If the commission doesn’t listen to people, then it is up to Scottish Government ministers to stand up for them.”