AN ACTIVIST group working to support those affected by the RAAC housing crisis feel they are being "stonewalled" after learning they will not be able to speak up during Clacks Council meetings. 

Wilson Chowdhry, of the RAAC Campaign Group UK, has spoken of his shock that he will not be able to speak at Kilncraigs on behalf of those affected by ongoing issues with the controversial reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

He said that deputation - when a member of the public speaks to the council directly during meetings - is not permitted by Clackmannanshire Council, despite it being much more common across the country.

Currently, three blocks of flats in Tillicoultry have been found to contain traces of the crumbly concrete, forcing upwards of 30 people to be moved from their homes.

The first homeowners and residents left the buildings in October last year, with rumours that the flats were to be demolished circulating in February.

Now, nine months later, homeowners are still awaiting answers.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Chowdhry said: “I was surprised to learn that there is no opportunity for the public to speak at any council meeting in Clackmannanshire.

“I’ve never heard of a council that has not let there be public representation at their meetings and I feel I am being stonewalled.

“This is quite concerning when you consider how many people have been displaced by this incident.”

Deputation allows the public to engage with the council face to face and can lead to stronger interactions between councillors and the areas they serve.

It is a common practice among councils across the UK, but Clackmannanshire Council confirmed to the Advertiser that it is not something they allow.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Councillors are elected to represent the views and interests of their constituents, and it is their role to make representations on behalf of the people of Clackmannanshire at meetings of the council.

“There are a number of ways in which individuals or groups can put their views to the council. 

“These include contacting the relevant council service to discuss any concerns, contacting a local ward councillor, responding to any relevant consultations or using the council’s comments and complaints procedure.

“Members of the public or groups can also submit petitions.  In line with the agreed council process, if a petition is accepted, petitioners may be invited to appear before the Petitions Committee to speak in its support, if it is considered that this would be useful in assisting the committee to reach a decision.

“In addition the council also has formal processes for its Planning Committee and quasi judicial committees/boards, where applicants, and those submitting representations on the application, can make application to speak.”