Whittingehame | Local Government

During the period 1945-75 there always seemed to be contact with councillors within the parish. Contact with county buildings in Haddington was simple. Departmental heads were known and able to be spoken to with results. County councillors were D.D. Wyllie 1945-60, and the Earl of Balfour 1960-74, both resident in the parish. The district councillor was I.G. Clark until 1974.

From 1975-96, local government became increasingly distant, with councillors elected from outside the parish. There seemed to be a lack of communication between residents and councillors. With regionalisation came larger areas, and the council HQ appeared to be more distant from rural areas.

Between 1996 and 2000, local government consultation was at its lowest ebb, with a feeling throughout that as a very rural parish the area was being ignored and neglected – especially regarding roads. Contact with senior council officials is virtually impossible. Councillors have monthly surgeries within the parish, but tend to no longer be resident in the place they represent. Political overtones seem to prevail.

As the parish only had one representative on Dunpender Community Council, there was a very limited opportunity to achieve anything specific of note. The area of the parish covered by the community council excluded the hill area south of Garvald, and Westmains and Whitelaw to Morham. The council’s main objectives were to attempt to draw the attention of Lothian Regional Council to deficiencies within the parish – roads maintenance, churchyard upkeep and so on.