The Argyll First group of councillors’ stock has risen steadily and for good reason. Its three founding members – in alphabetical order, are Councillors Donald Kelly, John MacAlpine and Dougio Philand.
The group’s philosophy is its name. It puts Argyll before party and personal interest. Members of any party may belong to it and declare their party preferences if they like – but in everything they do within the council, they put Argyll first.
It has shown an evidence-based, objective consideration of issues and a consistently sure-footed judgement all the way through the punishing and erratic progress of Argyll and Bute’s serial and flawed attempts to close large numbers of rural schools.
Argyll First was formed in July 2010 by the three councillors named above, who have a common goal in that they want to restore democracy to Argyll and Bute Council.
They say: ‘We have a clear set of aims and objectives which we strongly believe the vast majority of constituents would like to see implemented.
‘We have been the only group on the council since day one to have held a consistent view regarding the retention of our rural school estate.
‘We continue to support the most vulnerable in our communities and will oppose all unnecessary cuts to essential services.
‘We see the 2012 Council Election as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make real and meaningful change to how Argyll and Bute Council is currently run.
‘We are now actively looking for likeminded people who are prepared to put their communities first before financial or personal reward. People who will stand up and be counted and do the job they are elected to do – representing their communities in a fair and transparent way.
‘If you fit the bill and want to help us change Argyll and Bute Council please contact us in confidence.
We expect Argyll First’s representation to rise in the 2012 election and toi do so substantially if the right candidates come forward.
Argyll and Bute Council needs genuinely able councillors with serious skills and expertise to bring to the table, if Argyll is to set itself itself on the road to growth.
Argyll First, in asking potential members and candidates to talk to them in confidence, has issued us with the following factual information to supplement the businesslike manifesto statements above.
The Argyll First Group is a non aligned group providing independent and constructive scrutiny of council decisions within Argyll and Bute Council.
It is open to membership of any elected councillor within the Argyll and Bute constituency area irrespective of political persuasions. There is no pre-requisite to resign from political parties only a desire to serve the population of Argyll and Bute as an elected member.
Joining the group will be by mutual agreement.
ARGYLL FIRST TIME FOR CHANGE
- To represent to views of constituents within Argyll and Bute
- To abolish the executive committee and give all elected members equal say in the affairs of Argyll and Bute Council with the executive powers being delegated to the full council meetings.
- To give Area Committees more delegated powers.
- To abolish the Central Planning Committee and reinstate planning decisions to the Area Committees.
- To ensure that all councillors have all papers for meetings at the same time and that prior access is not given to executive or senior councillors.
- To ensure that Local Area Planning Groups are scrutinised for effectiveness.
- To provide educational, social and cultural activities
- To see practical projects that enhance the local environment and neighbourhood
- To promote the efficient use of energy and good environmental practices, such as re-cycling, and composting.
- To be pro-active in maintaining good relations between all members of the community.
- To strive to represent all the members of the community, avoiding any form of discrimination.
- To promote and support the social and health needs of the residents of Argyll and Bute
- Membership shall be open to all elected Local Councillors and joining will be by mutual agreement.
- All members shall have an equal vote.
- All members should actively seek to represent the various needs of their area, and must not discriminate on the grounds of ethnicity, political opinion, race, religious opinion, sex, sexuality or disability.
- Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a reasonable manner when attending meetings or any other function in connection with the Group.
- All members will have a free vote in any matter that comes before the council without exception.
- The group’s Leader and Deputy Leader will be chosen by the majority vote of the Group
- All members of the group will abide by the Councillors Code of Conduct.
- 07554012163: Cllr Douglas Philand
- 07594550853: Cllr John McAlpine
- 07977327751: Cllr Donald Kelly