Comment posted Misleading journalism from Dunoon Observer by newsroom.
Speaking purely for ourselves – the frontline presence of this fund says new build.
It would not occur to us to ask if a fund that purported to support one thing might actually fund something else. We would expect the targets a fund supports to be upfront or easily discoverable.
We accept that we have a particularly straightforward attitude to most things but we are experienced readers and analysts of information.
It is reasonable to assume that this information is comprehensive.
We are working, as we try to do, to be fair in this and there is no doubt that the available information is not fully lucid. No one should have to play guessing games with government information and this information does not hint at anything that would even prompt a guess.
newsroom also commented
- So, as a previous editor, we can take it that you would also have published this particular piece as it stands and would have been content to support its interpretation and use of the basic text to which it refers.
- It would be interesting to have examples of instances where ‘consultations’ in any quarter operated in the spirit of openness to evidence.
- Point of accuracy – in his quoted letter to Councillor Bruce Marshall, Mr Walsh did not discuss ‘stopping’ the planned joint primary campus for Dunoon but simply, post election, asking for the plan to be suspended pending clarification on funding options not previously known to him.
- A straw poll would be interesting.
And in this case, we’re talking about a council where proposals were put forward to close rural schools without any evidence that anyone, however senior, had read the 2010 School’s Act 2010 enough to understand it. And that was primary legislation not minister’s speeches or the Scottish Architecture journal.
It’s not impossible that no one at ABC knew that the Schools for the Future fund also supported refurbishments. While there may accusations of laxity and incompetence in this, Government information on this is clearly opaque and that is not helpful.
- On 25 October 2011 the online journal Scottish Architecture carried an article entitled: ‘Scottish Schools for the Future programme expanded’.
It’s opening paragraphs said: ‘An announcement made on Sunday (23 October) by First Minister Alex Salmond outlined plans to build or refurbish 30 schools as part of the next phase of the school buildings programme – 12 more than originally planned.
This will see the total number of projects built under the £1.25 billion ‘Scottish Schools for the Future’ programme, which aims to provide high quality facilities for pupils and their teachers, rise to more than 60.’
However, to be fair to Mr Walsh, anyone who went straight to the horse’s mouth – as practical people would do – to the Scottish Futures Trust webpage for Schools for the Future, would find it hard to distil any sense that this is other than a new build initiative.
Is it reasonable to expect senior officers and council leaders to hear all minister’s speeches to parliament and to be au fait with specialist magazines? Maybe it is.
However, we ourselves would go straight to what we would assume was the authoritative source – and we have been unable to find anything else on the Scottish Government website. One link that seemed germane – ‘Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland’s Future’ – would not open, recording simply Error 404.
If we ourselves were to go on the basis of the Scottish Futures Trust online material, we would not even ask if the fund covered refurbishments.
So the lack of awareness Mr Walsh claims may have been enabled by poorly managed public communications.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Serenissima waits for higher tide – and she has had earlier identities
We are, of course aware of that.
Watching at the time, what we saw her do was make marked changes of course over a short distance, some times at 90 degrees and at one point turning through 180 degrees three times in a row.
While some of this could have swinging to tide and current, the repetitions did seem to suggest controlled activity.
And it was only when she settled that her AIS recorded ‘At Anchor.’
- Update on SNP meeting
As we have said, the potential Holyrood candidate offered support for SNP selection against Mr Mackenzie, as we reported,is not a political figure – and that includes Mr Allan, who is certainly one such.
We will identify the person concerned when selection time comes around but not until then. Until that point, it is not the person offered the goodie bag who matters, it is the easy use of the patronage of the pork barrel to buy obligation where it might be personally useful – and the continuing failure of loyalties.
Councillor Semple is certainly much more experienced than Councillor Taylor and has held a range of senior responsibilities.
The ‘why not’ question is one for the party and it would be interesting to know the answer.
Councillor Semple is apparently to be given the Economic Development brief – which would be far more personally developmental than trying to lead, with no authority whatsoever, in the current circumstances, with party control now at the level of ‘submission of intent in advance and sign-off – or not’.
- Good news from salmon farming sector: Marine Harvest breaks ranks and seeks ASC certification
The ‘end of the decade’ limitation is germane and explain why S&TAS rightly gave the news no more than a qualified welcome.
It is as admission that change is necessary, though – so it’s important to push for that to be sooner rather than at the end of 2019. There is no reason why it should not be.
- Update on SNP meeting
The fact that Mr Allan was asked and agreed not to resign does not negate the fact that he was to resign – and should have done so.
Councillor McCuish was persuaded not to resign and will have to make his mind up at what point he puts the interests of his constituents before those of his party.
Sandy Taylor IS a novice councillor.
As a former council officer and not at the most senior level, it is hard to see how he would – if he were to be voted Council Leader – successfully translate to being senior to those who have been his own line managers.
The fact that he has not been able to protect his group of councillors from tightened control measures from party central does not suggest someone with what it takes to stand ground over those he perceives to be his seniors.
- SNP meeting on Monday may be testing time for mega-coalition proposal
We’re not going to do a ’20 questions’ routine but, to let local politicians off the hook, it’s not any of them.
And we’re now taking a vow of silence.
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