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The postal ballot being co-ordinated by Highland5.3.2010
The postal ballot being co-ordinated by Highland Council, closes tomorrow at midday and the result will be announced in Lochaber House, Fort William, later that day.

Over 2,000 villagers in the Glencoe, Kinlochleven, Ballachulish and Nether Lochaber community council areas are being asked to decide whether the boarded-up B-listed mansion should be subject to a community buy-out and transformed into a multi-purpose centre.

Last week the LN reported how Ballachulish Community Council is urging residents to vote "no" to the proposal.

The community council says it will be a financial drain on the communities.

But the SLCC says the community council is "misinformed" on the financial aspect of the plan.

The issue took a further twist at the weekend when movie posters were put up by the community council in Ballachulish village, titled "Vote No - Your Village Needs You".

The posters also suggest the community company has misled voters by making reference to the future of Glencoe Lochan, which is owned by the Forestry Commission.

A commission spokesman confirmed that the proposed buy-out of the Glencoe Hospital has "no implications" for the main Lochan or surrounding walks which continue to be owned and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland.

A spokesman for SLCC told the LN: "The posters are wrongly stating that by not returning a vote, residents are voting 'yes' - that's entirely false.

"We are reporting this matter to Highland Council as we believe the community council is interfering with the election process by disseminating misleading information."

The spokesman added: "We want to reassure people that no money will come out of the community in the first three years.

"And, if down the road, the company fails, all assets would be returned to Scottish ministers. No trustees will benefit - we're volunteers."

The spokesman said that under the Land Reform music posters the community company has a right of appeal if ministers turn down the application.

Yesterday, Ballachulish Community Council chairman Mel MacAskill said: "We are fervently opposed to this buy-out - as we believe are the majority of people in South Lochaber.

"The ballot is being carried out by Highland Council, but includes motivational posters from the community company talking about the grand plans.

"We feel it was only fair that we put out sports posters giving the other side of the story. It was four posters for goodness sake - are the company really fretting about that?

"A trustee last week mentioned the Glencoe Lochan. This alarmed people because the Lochan is nothing to do with the hospital situation."
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