Comment posted Opposition evaluations of three year council budget by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.
I noted Cllr Robb’s reference to the council selling common good owned assets with the capital receipts being ‘invested’ outwith the Helensburgh area.
It would be interesting to know specifically which of the assets referred to are common good owned and what, if any, restrictions there are regarding the Council’s use of them, or any income they generate.
Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll also commented
- Simon’s scattergun approach to threads trying to catch a fish regarding the support of the administration budget is almost childlike in its disregard for the crux of the matter. I dare say if there was evidence that opposition councillors voted against an administration policy purely because they are in opposition, and despite being in agreement with it, then he would be one of the first to criticise.
As stated by others (in other threads) the role of opposition is not to blanket oppose but to challenge when appropriate. In an ideal situation key policy decisions would be debated maturely and fully by all councillors, with assistance provided by experienced, and impartial, council officers. Theoretically A&B is in the ideal position to provide this model of local government because, at least in name, the administration is run by a group of independents. However in A&B theory and practice are ships that pass in the night – the alliance of independents have shown themselves time and time again, to be a political party with an internal whip just as much as any other political party. The impartiality, and independence, of the higher ranking council officers is also very much open to challenge as evidenced by the manner in which the administration repeatedly voted through appallingly drafted school closure proposals rather than sending them back for rework and challenging the officers to ‘do better’.
The bottom line is that it is essential to ensure there is appropriate democratic representation of communities in the council’s decision making process. For this to happen it is vital that the Council adopt a governance model which ensures there is an effective role for ALL councillors, not just those in ‘power’. It is due to this that there is a need to increases the effectiveness of the scrutiny role (and support for that scrutiny) played by those members in opposition. In terms of the support role I refer to the part played by Council officers and I would be interested in whether the current opposition councillors feel that this is appropriately provided by A&B. There should always be clarity within a Council about the rules and about council staff and the support they provide to the role of elected members. However rules are one thing (and easy to implement – I am 100% sure A&B will have all this in place) but attitude is another. It is the attitude which sets the culture and determines whether sufficient support is afforded to all councillors.
Getting back to the specific issue of agreeing the budget (leaving aside the obvious fact that the details of the budget are kept under lock and key to a ridiculously late hour) there also needed to be consideration of the role of an elected member. Yes they are elected as representatives of a ward but they also have to give consideration to the entire council area when it comes to decisions which have a council wide strategic impact. This can result in what might appear to be contradictory behaviour. It is the need to find a balance between advocating local policy an council wide policy that makes it even more important that budgets are prepared in an open and cooperative manner. We can only live in hope that one day A&B sees this happen.
Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll
- Sunday Times commissioned study on indy setup costs
Isn’t Scotland’s savings on trident what the White Paper refers to as savings from reducing defence and security spending? If so the White Paper has already committed those savings to eight bullet pointed areas of commitment.
If I shop in Iceland instead of Morrisons and save £15 a week I can either buy 4 pints of beer, a DVD or maybe a Sky TV subscription – I can’t buy all three!
- Thuggish Yes campaign benefits from media’s artificial ‘balance’ as Murphy forced to suspend campaign tour
Is the orange march normally televised or are you just referring to clips of it on the news?
- Scottish National Party selects candidate for by-election in Oban North and Lorn
We have secrecy over voting for a good reason. Councillors are entitled to it just as much as anyone
- Jim Murphy hit by eggs in Kirkcaldy
Jim Murphy said this
The spontaneous audiences also produce some characters. My favourite so far was a man claiming to be ‘the Oban Seagull Whisperer”. He turned up in the West Highland capital with the sole aim of persuading the call of nature of said seagulls to disrupt our session. I think the bag of chips in his hand were a bigger calling signal than any of his silent sounds.
If people can’t see that is a joke then heaven help us!
- Jim Murphy hit by eggs in Kirkcaldy
‘Neither campaign’s reputations should be tarnished by the odd imbecilic act or tirade’
Wholeheartedly agree. Overall I believe the campaign on the streets in villages, towns and cities has been good natured and carried out in a good spirit without excessive incident.
Of course there are morons who neither have the brain cells or the common decency to allow a democratic process be carried out without resorting to physical or verbal abuse but then again there are some people who can barely let a day go by without resorting to physical and verbal abuse.
Unless there is evidence that such unsavoury incidents are being deliberately orchestrated by official groups (and I am yet to see any) the then this sort of behaviour by supporters of both sides should be treated as what they are – the actions of idiots, not the actions of the majority.
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