The statement by the Council’s CEO that the …

Comment posted Spygate: James Robb asks for clarifications of the CEO’s statement by Andrew Reid.

The statement by the Council’s CEO that the investigation is being carried out in private properly reflects a correct approach in fair disciplinary proceedings. However, within the context of reasonable public interest in this situation, and openness and transparency by the Council, she could have set out the terms of reference of the inquiry and did not do this within her statement. It seems appropriate to ask at the terms of reference should be made available to evidence that all matters of public concern will be considered.

Recent comments by Andrew Reid

  • One real issue and some strange arguments against Cove Community Wind Farm
    The focus of the For Argyll article is a local community with a reducing population of children, and adults of working age – schools threatened, and with little local employment or affordable housing. The article appreciates that the community Is trying to sustain itself and bring about improvements by using a natural energy resource in plentiful local supply, i.e. the wind. Although there are different opinions on every wind farm planning application, Cove Community Wind Farm has gained majority support from peninsula residents in all tests of public opinion. There is a complete spectrum of personal views from pleasure to offence in the surrounding area about the visual impact of the proposed development. The very detailed Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment submitted with the planning application reaches the conclusion that there would be moderate adverse visual impact across Loch Long, and this professional opinion was also reached by the National Park officers, who wrote the Report submitted to the National Trust Board, albeit the Board took a different view. Within the range of opinions, the view taken in the For Argyll article that the Peninsula and Loch Long exist within an environment, which includes industrial bases and built structures, seems entirely legitimate. The article also makes the entirely relevant point about renewable development being an essential response to climate change. Finally, the article properly asks what alternative there is to raise the same level of funding for community investment? The Community Development Trust and its 400 members have not found any alternative, and will continue to pursue what they see as the best approach to fund community development from which 100% of the “profits” would be used for the benefit of local communities.
  • Labour seek review of Scottish Ministerial Code – but why now?
    Unfortunately, For Argyll seems to have missed the letter which was printed in the Sunday Herald on 11 November, a week after the article to which For Argyll refers. Although the letter was written by Fiona Wilson, Scottish Government Head of News and therefore might normally merit a degree of scepticism , I have not seen the facts challenged since then, and they may explain why the Labour Party reduce the pace on that particular issue. The letter printed in the Sunday Herald said:

    “I write to correct claims in your article (How ministers rewrote the rules to hide lack of EU legal advice, News, November 4). The Ministerial Code was not rewritten in an attempt to avoid questions raised by Catherine Stihler MEP in relation to an independent Scotland’s place in the European Union, as opposition parties had claimed. You report that “the code was rewritten in December [2011]“. This is incorrect. Changes to the code were initiated by officials in April 2011, prior to the Scottish Parliament election. Ms Stihler’s Freedom of Information request was not submitted until May 2011, by which time the draft text under section 2.35, that the Sunday Herald highlights, relating to “the fact that legal advice has or has not been given”, had already been amended by officials. The Scottish Information Commissioner considers appeals based on the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. The Ministerial Code is for the guidance of ministers in their conduct. These changes had no impact at all in the commissioner’s consideration of the Stihler appeal.

    There are certainly worthwhile stories and comment on the accuracy of recent ministerial statements and the way that opposition parties are going about their business currently. But, the particular story about changes to the ministerial code may well not be worth pursuing any further.

  • Public meeting on inspirational Cove Community Wind Farm
    The Rosneath Peninsula West Trust Board has actually been concerned to consider how to share the benefits of Cove Wind Farm income, and is at the point of meeting with representative bodies in neighbouring communities to talk about its external community benefit policy and the overall development. If we can deliver this project, we believe that the whole peninsula will benefit.
  • No Tiree Array on basking sharks, night time visuals and divergent wind subsidy regimes between Scotland and Westminster
    A very recent New Statesman piece highlighted that the decision, libdem achievement and DECC public relations spin were not all that they seemed.

    ‘Who runs Britain’s energy policy?

    ‘A smaller cut in wind power funding comes at the cost of a commitment to decades more of dirty and expensive gas.


    ‘Who runs Britain’s energy policy? We have a Department of Energy and Climate Change – you might think from their name that they do. Or perhaps it’s Chancellor George Osborne’s Treasury that calls the shots? Now you’re getting warmer.

    ‘This week’s announcement by the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, that he had secured only a 10 per cent cut in wind power funding, was heavily spun as a victory for the Lib Dem-run department. Given that the Treasury had been demanding 25 per cent cuts, this seemed a victory indeed – but one with a huge hidden cost. Because, as payment for this victory, Davey has been forced to quietly concede to another of the Treasury’s demands: a commitment to decades more of dirty and expensive gas.

    ‘We know this to be the Chancellor’s wishes, because on Monday someone leaked a letter – effectively a ransom note – that he had sent to Davey outlining his position. In it, Osborne demanded that the Energy Secretary issue “a statement which gives a clear, strong signal that we regard unabated gas as able to play a core part of our electricity generation to at least 2030 – not just providing back-up for wind plant”.

    ‘Acceding to this outrageous demand would mean seriously jeopardising the UK’s fight against climate change. As the Government’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, stated in response: “This would all lead to a second dash for gas. This would be incompatible with the government’s climate change goals.”

    ‘But on Wednesday, DECC dutifully trotted out a press release stating that “the Government… is today confirming that it sees gas continuing to play an important part in the energy mix well into and beyond 2030”. Some victory.

    ‘The exchange has also highlighted the hypocrisy of the Treasury in its assessment of what merits public subsidy, and what must go without.

    ‘Osborne stated in his letter to Davey: “While your proposals [on renewables funding] achieve some savings we will still be paying more than £500m more to support renewable generation in 2013-14 than we collectively agreed was affordable”. No-one disputes that as technology costs come down, public funding for renewables should decline; the renewables industry itself was offering up 10 per cent cuts.

    ‘But wait; what’s this? On Wednesday, as DECC announced its cuts to renewables funding, the Treasury simultaneously unveiled £500m of tax breaks for offshore gas drilling. What’s unaffordable to spend on clean energy suddenly becomes eminently affordable to spend on drilling up the dirty stuff.

    ‘Enough is enough. The Chancellor must be prevented from undermining the UK’s green economy – as the CBI recently stated, it’s one of the few parts of the economy still growing. A high-carbon energy system will lock the UK in to a high-cost as well as high-polluting future. So in whose interests is the Chancellor acting?

    ‘It’s now up to David Cameron and Nick Clegg to back their Energy Minister over the Chancellor. They should insist that the Energy Bill includes a target to decarbonise the UK’s electricity system by 2030 and unlocks support for clean British energy. The alternative energy strategy that George Osborne would have us follow is a dirty and dangerous dead end.’

  • Crown Estate Commissioners hang on like limpets to Scottish rights
    Good to see that you are still pursuing and publishing on the Crown Estate. But one variation from the article. The Crown Estate’s Annual Report and Accounts do provide material for the whole UK under each of its main budget areas. Its Scottish Report provides data about Scottish income and expenditure under the same budget headings, so it is possible to analyse its performance in Scotland on its own and against the position for the UK as a whole. A year ago I created an Excel table to complete a Scottish/UK analysis and comparison for 2001 and 2011, and will update that with the 2012 figures – happy to provide that to anyone interested in the statistics if they e-mail me on:;

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9 Responses to The statement by the Council’s CEO that the …

  1. The statement by the Council’s CEO that the investigation is being carried out in private properly reflects a correct approach in fair disciplinary proceedings. However, within the context of reasonable public interest in this situation, and openness and transparency by the Council, she could have set out the terms of reference of the inquiry and did not do this within her statement. It seems appropriate to ask at the terms of reference should be made available to evidence that all matters of public concern will be considered.

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  2. I hope Sally Loudon falls from a great height. As it is plain the executive department must have had shared knowledge of this malpractice, if not crime. I totally disagree with Andrew Reid’s about terms of reference. Council Tax Payers want the plain facts,not a rigged terms of reference. Truth is abused by her department.So lets stick to the facts. The Executive need to be accountable for this misdemeanor/malpractice if not a crime.The sooner she falls off her broomstick with her fat bonus,pension and golden handshake the better and good riddance to the witch.

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  3. The whole executive department should be turfed out and replaced with council officers that will carry out their duties honestly
    . Here is my last letter to Sally Loudon. I am willing to debate with her the dereliction of duty to disabled people by her and her cronies. My shell of a body has more life in it than her whole team. Dead lice move faster than her.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. I am 70 years old, and I suffer from spinal injuries, heart disease,(2 valves are beyond repair) and I am also an ex mental health patient. I have sought local authority support when I was awarded the middle rate of disability allowance.
    I have worked tirelessly for the Community Care act to be implemented. I have chaired a meeting in Glasgow with Lord Tom Clarke, the then Minister in charge of the act. It was a privilege to have a discussion in Edinburgh with lord Alf Lomas, organised by SAMH. I was an executive member and a member of the executive of GAMH. Lord Lomas got into statute the ( Chronically and Sick and Disabled Act (1970)(1972 Scotland). I have also chaired a meeting With Ann Begg MP at a fringe meeting. The most appreciated help I got was from George Galloway MP of kelvin at the time and from Journalist, Dorothy Grace Elder SNP (MSP) to both of them, I am deeply indebted
    All campaigners resent being labeled ” Disabled” we are abled people with impairments” We also respect the dual responsibility of the local authority in ensuring clients needs are provided for. And budget properly tax-payers money in that process.
    We cannot allow this duality to be hostage of the black arts of “Machiavellian Deceit” of carrots and sticks practiced by council officers Sally Loudon, Douglas Hendry and Jim Robb.
    CEO, Sally Loudon foolishly boasts she has made savings of 15% which is the criteria of central government but what she has omitted in that equation the fact to acheive she is charging in my case and all others 75% of their disposable income. The Westminster Princes and Princesses get their carrot blood money and she using the stick to cudgel the most marginalised section in Argyll 75%. 5 times her amount.
    You could not make it up. She is a disgrace
    Al Capone only took 10% and the pimps in Glasgow’s red light area, Cadogan St, take 50% of the working girls monies. These dregs of humanity are called “stickmen”. Sally Loudon “the argyll stickwoman” has an ironic twist to it .
    All this could have been avoided if Jim Robb had carried out the statutory requirements to engage and consult with all. He choose to ignore groups that were run and and controled by disabled people and opted to only consult with the voluntary sector care groups and deny the views of the Disability Movement. He has made no effort to assist the set up of a regional group run and controled by disabled people themselves.
    I challenge Sally Loudon and her cronies to a public debate on the mean testing and Disability Rights in the Corran Halls Oban whenever she surfaces. By Larry Nugent

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  4. The whole running of the executive department should be investigated. Sally Loudon has been asked by me, to put me before a committee that includes elected councillors as I have no respect or trust in her officers. her ineptness is breathtaking. And if any elected member feel they can kick my complaint into the long grass, they are mistaken as “I don’t do walking away”
    The letter below shows the insensitivity of messrs Loudon and Robb. I have hardly a breath in my body and consultants and the Lorn Medical Centre say I have five years to live that was 4 years ago this August.
    Jim Robb like the last time will make the venue in Lochgilphead. I cannot do the 39 miles and back in a schoolbus with screaming wains like the last time. Here is my reply to him This poor excuse of a council officer has not got the decency to reply himself.
    And Good Marning Yourself,Mary-Theresa Bulloch,
    I have clearly rejected any meeting with that poor excuse of a director for adult care called Mr Robb. It is infantile of him of going through the motions of only being seen and not acting. No, once was enough. He has cast the die so he will sit on his hands and laugh at me. Me thinks Sally Loudon has not got a clue about good practices or she would insist that the director and his management team got disability awareness training.
    Right enough if I was into masochism he would be ideal for me to have a brain meltdown. if I had a complaint against fishmonger’s prices, I certainly would not solicit the view of another fishmonger.
    I have continually requested that my complaint be dealt at committee level that includes councillors. I feel confident that what I put forward will not only be listened but acted on. Mr Robb has plastic ears and full of inabilities, and insensitive to the needs of all vulnerable people.
    When I get a positive response to that request, I will be able to advance my complaint.
    Larry Nugent council tax payer denied best value and good practice

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  5. So, Argyll and Bute Council have taken the predictable step of calling in an Independent Examiner to establish the facts and arrive at conclusions regarding the alleged breach and eventually to “do the right thing” – by producing a list of changes.
    With regard to A&BC’s desire to “do the right thing”, this may form a major component of
    A&BC’s culture and of the reputation it projects to its public. The value of “doing the right thing” derives from the fact that it has a powerful influence on the confidence, trust and loyalty people, both within and external, feel. To gauge that value, consider the contribution “doing the right thing” makes to A&BC’s success, the effectiveness of its operations and its ability to implement strategic change successfully when needed. With regard to compliance, The Data Protection Agency (the ICO in the UK) has a duty to ensure that the public’s interests are protected by all organisations holding personal information within their jurisdictions. Compliance commonly requires a wide range of controls to ensure not only that data is secure from theft or loss but that it is gathered only under suitable conditions and used only under suitable restrictions. The value of personal information here arises from the possibility that a breach of legislation could lead to censure, reputational damage, fines, restrictions, and in the future even jail terms for senior executive personnel.
    Will the Executive’s current actions carry the day – Not a chance. Why? Essentially, calling in an Independent Examiner without terms of reference points to a serious breach of the Data Protection Act. This breach needs reporting and it is for the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to examine and decide the level of breach and consequences. All Data Controllers have a responsibility under the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure appropriate and proportionate security of the personal data they hold. (DPA 1998 7th Principle). The fact that an employee has been suspended for allegedly covertly collecting and perhaps using information on data subjects (potentially all of us) surely requires reporting to the Information Commissioners Office on the grounds of an alleged serious breach. Serious breaches are undefined but may cause potential harm to the data subjects as follows: *exposure to identity theft through the release of non-public identifiers e.g. passport number; information about the private aspects of a person’s life becoming known to others e.g. financial, medical and relational circumstances. The extent of harm, which can include distress, is dependant on both the volume of personal data involved and the sensitivity of that data. Where there is significant actual or potential harm as a result of the breach, whether because of the volume of data, its sensitivity or a combination of the two, there should be a presumption to report.
    [*Notification of Data Security Breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office v 4 8-7-2010 ]
    The fact that A&BC Executive have chosen at this time not to notify the Information Commissioners Office or that in this case they have not followed the ICO’s directive that “there should be a presumption to report” gives the lie that they do not understand the relationship of executive power with respect to the Data Protection Act, which is a worry in itself, and are deluded as to the long time reputational damage they are inflicting on the organisation as a whole. At some point in time the penny will drop that the ICO needs informing – A&BC Executive, the Elected Council and the Executive’s Independent Examiner live in interesting times – not a tad too dissimilar to News Of The World Executive I would have thought?

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    • “Presumption to report” — yup. ABC **must** report this to the ICO. The word “sensitivity” could be the trigger.

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  6. Democratic Centralism (All power to the Executive Department) has failed in Eastern Europe, but thrives in north Korea,The Vatican, and now apparently the A&BC. The unethical, and unaccountable “Nadezhda Sally” the rusty iron wumman is building a wall of resistance to transparency and being open to engagement. Her authoritarian ego must be crushed or Stalinism will prevail.

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  7. I have posted enough on this thread and I thank the moderators for their forbearance. In my moving on I pass on the Sally Loudon Clan’s motto,Non dormit qui custodit- “The sentinal sleeps not”
    Have a good laugh and a nice day.

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