Be interesting to see whether members choose to …

Comment posted Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.

Be interesting to see whether members choose to reject the advice given to them by the planning department and the justification for that rejection (should it happen)

Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll

  • The choice: it boils down to indy or the pound
    Ha – I was considering putting you, Brian and Anne on ignore!! All the pictures getting in the way of humourous videos of people falling off hammocks…
  • The choice: it boils down to indy or the pound
    I must say that, now that my vote has been cast, I will be relieved when it is over and we can move on regardless of the result. Politicians can get back to the operational running of the countries, journalists will have to do some work to find news again, websites will need to find other things to debate again… sounds like bliss to me now! It’s been a long slog.

    What I also won’t miss is people flooding Facebook with quotes from people like Mandela and Gandhi – as if there is any credible similarity whatsoever between our independence debate and the issues faced during apartheid or the Indian Independence movement.

    On my drive to work today I witnessed a polling station in Jamestown that had been vandalised overnight and a clean up was underway to get it repainted before the polls opened. A delightfully big order to all to ‘F*CK THE ENGLISH’ – ‘very kind’ I thought, I don’t have anything in my social calendar tonight but might need to put clean bed sheets on.

    Hopefully we can all lighten up a bit after the result comes in tomorrow and there will be a little less animosity and a little more light heartedness in the coming months!

  • Protocol questions on United Kingdom opening talks on Scotland’s EU membership
    Am I still going to get 30p back for my empty Irn-Bru bottles?

    These are the things we need to know!!! I fear glass bottle flight.

    Slightly more seriously… to be honest a lot of people will be voting on a base of ignorance tomorrow (regardless of which way they vote). There is an element of trust / faith / fingers crossed / touch wood about tomorrow.

    I wish us all luck whichever way it goes.

  • Sillars no authority but authentic voice of ‘Yes’ culture of intimidation and retribution
    Why didn’t he? Quite simply because no party/campaign group is going to go public with splits in the camp when they are so close to the final vote.

    Jim Sillars still holds a lot of support from the more ‘hardcore’ nationalists (remember this is the same Sillars who has been openly critical of the current SNP and, in particular Alex Salmond’s leadership style and the backbenchers for not having the courage to speak out against him).

    There is no benefit to the ‘yes’ campaign in Salmond creating a split between the Sillars style nationalist and the Salmond style nationalist.

    There is of course huge hypocrisy in Salmond claiming the No campaign is focused on intimidation whilst he refuses to condemn exactly the same thing from within his own ranks however since when has politics not been full of hypocrites!

    As I said before Sillars is a dinosaur now. Regardless of the result on Thursday/Friday Scottish politics will be a more progressive and rational place with him, and others like him, well out of it. They offer very little for a country that will be keen to encourage inward investment and this alleged ‘fairer more just society’

  • Sillars no authority but authentic voice of ‘Yes’ culture of intimidation and retribution
    I have worked in and around government long enough (and I would wager you have been engaged in politics long enough – or maybe worked around it) to know a deflection answer when we see it!

    If this was a Paxman / Howard moment I am pretty sure we might have seen the same question asked 9 times until it was blatantly clear the First minister wasn’t going to answer it.

    I’m not particularly criticising Alex Salmond for it – well I am but no more or less than just about every other politician involved in this debate.

    My take on it is that it was a bloody stupid comment by Sillars but I don’t doubt for a second he meant it (the claim that it was for publicity was almost comically poor). I don’t think Salmond would have ever said it and I don’t actually believe he would think it either. I personally feel he would have gained more respect/credibility if he had come out and:

    1. Disagreed with Jim Sillars’s comment
    2. Made clear that a SNP government would not be abusing its power to seek any retribution
    3. Furthermore confirmed their commitment to work with all businesses, of all sizes, to make Scotland a more prosperous nation.

    And then kicked Jim Sillars into the long grass.

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37 Responses to Be interesting to see whether members choose to …

  1. Helensburgh has rejected a supermarket on the pier three times in the past decade. How many more times do you need to hear it?

    That being the case, the rest of your argument falls. I am beginning to think we need a For Helensburgh website, leaving you to concentrate on the old Argyll area where you are clearly better informed.

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    • It is about For Argyll itself, which in many respects I admire but which does not seem to have much of a clue about Helensburgh.

      This morning at the hearing it was made clear, through various surveys, that thousands were in favour of Waitrose at Colgrain, and that there was a roughly 55-45 split against a pier supermarket.

      Yet For Argyll has consistently claimed the opposite in both cases.

      Today there is a huge attendance of Waitrose supporters and, so far, six objectors have put their heads above the parapet.

      Interestingly, the only person booed this morning was the representative of Helensburgh Retailers Association.

      If I was the editor of For Argyll, at this point I would be questioning the quality of the reporting.

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  2. For Argyll don’t seem to understand my area either. Folk here are still waiting to learn the membership make up of the Easdale Island charity, Eilean Eisdeal, and how the money was spent from the Scottish Gas Green Streets award. For Argyll claimed that this information should be in the public domain – so where is it? We seem to have been forgotten or FA aren’t interested in persuing this further. Perhaps they’re not bothered about the rights of folk here, or is it too political?

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    • Lowry – as you must know, we are a very small team with a huge amount of work to do and we cannot keep absolutely on top of everything.

      We haven’t forgotten about this matter and we will be pursuing it.

      You gave us a smile at the suggestion that this – or anything – might be ‘too political’ for us. Hardly our MO.

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  3. Copied from URTV’s Facebook page:

    Final count is 693 letters of support to the council for Waitrose and 137 letters against, including a petition. There were also 7 miscellaneous letters.

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  4. Same source again – URTV:

    The Council Planning Department and Waitrose have both spoken. The Planning Department say that the effects on the town centre could have been grossly underestimated by Waitrose’s retail impact survey and that they are maintaining that they recommend refusal of the application.

    Waitrose still believe that the effects on the town centre will be negligible and they can mitigate them. Waitrose spokesperson, Martin Gorman, received a big round of applause for saying Helensburgh is crying out for a good quality food store.

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  5. I could be wrong. But I think they made an exception for Henry Bros at Colgrain, which was greenbelt outwith the local development plan. That seemed strange at the time. Probably a large brown envelope involved there.

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  6. From URTV again:

    ‎30 pro Waitrose representatives have spoken, including Councillor Vivien Dance and Community Councilman Nigel Harman. Now it’s over to the objectors.

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  7. We cope with bin collections once a week (or even fortnightly) so how about fancy supermarket visits once a week? – a Waitrose on a seagoing barge, serving the west coast – say from Helensburgh to Fort William, stopping off at Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown, Oban, Fort William – and maybe Tobermory and Port Ellen alternate weeks. Just dreaming. At Helensburgh it would tie up at the pier, of course. The supermarket aisles would be cushioned with giant airbags to keep everything shipshape on passage, and maybe even giant gimbals would be effective.

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  8. Bruce Marshall has stated that he will support the application if a competent amendment can be brought forward. David Kinniburgh has stated that he will be doing the same. Robin Currie has stated that he hopes the application will be approved but the mitigation is insufficient. He is looking for an additional £420k in mitigation for various items. Neil McKay also looking to support it if an amendment can be put together but needs more mitigation.

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  9. Alex McNaughton has also confirmed his support along with Gordon Chalmers. It is now clear that it will be approved if a competent motion / amendment can be put together.
    Cllr McAlister has also indicated support along with Cllr Devon, Cllr McMillan and Cllr McQueen.

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  10. Pingback: Argyll News: RIP Helensburgh town centre: Waitrose out of town location approved | For Argyll

  11. A long hot day, but full marks to the Helensburgh area public for their active participation.

    The right result too, so long as Waitrose are not put off by the vastly increased ‘mitigation payment’.

    On a wider stage, Government should be looking at how such payments, which are pure and simple bribery, could be regulated.

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    • I thought ‘mitigation’ in the context of a supermarket proposal meant meeting the cost of any extra roadworks, pedestrian crossings etc made necessary by the extra traffic generated by the development. I’d like to know if some councillors took a more elastic view of the meaning of the word.

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  12. I’m sure they won’t be put off by the mitigation payment. In all probability there will be negotiations over the purchase price between drum & waitrose. The application was made under two names – Waitrose & Wandering Wild (aka drum). It is highly likely that there is an agreement between drum and waitrose, where waitrose purchase the land subject to planning approval. This allows them to attach caveats re planning gain / mitigation payments. It will probably be drum who take a hit on the price. They’ll be aware that without planning approval their land is worthless. I actually think planning gain is a good thing. Just as long as it reaches the intended parties and not the council coffers, which sadly often happens.

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  13. I’d like to see the money used to directly improve the retailers units / frontages. I’ve attached a link to the merchant city initiative below, which completely transformed that area.
    I’m pleased Waitrose got their approval. Had Waitrose been rejected, then all that would have happened is a continuation of the current decline of the town centre. That decline is due to the apathy of a lot of shop keepers. Either the shopkeepers take this opportunity to get their fair share of mitigation money to improve the service that they provide. Or they sell up and allow the next generation of shopkeepers to take over. I’m sure like me, the majority of Helensburgh shoppers do not want to soley shop in Waitrose. To me the Waitrose development has always been about a high end outlet recognising the potential and wanting to invest in our town, which will hopefully be a catalyst for further investment in the town centre.

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