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I noted Cllr Robb’s reference to the council …

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

  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    Who is stating that it won’t go ahead, all be it in a revised form?
  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    And they would have got away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids…

    (I’ll get my coat)

    The extent to which it is defective must be marginal if it got as far as appeals to the Supreme Court.

    Be interesting to see how much any revisions are actually material in terms of what is rolled out but my gut feeling is that they will be marginal and a lot of people happy at today’s ruling are going to be spitting blood.

  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    My personal view on this is that we are better without the thumbs up and down. They don’t mean anything and they just clutter the page. I think they are more of a trivial facebook/twitter thing than something for a forum.

    You also get people who simply use them just because they don’t like the poster regardless of what they say. I am pretty sure if Malcolm or NCH posted a story about a lovely old lady being recognised for her lifetime commitment to helping retired guide dogs there would be someone petty enough to give it a thumbs down!

    However I appreciate people might like them.

  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    It is probably worth being clear that this will not stop it being implemented – it just means there will be some amendments to it. Amendments which could have been got to without a stack of cash wasted on legal battles if politicians could be a little more grown up and a little less obsessed with never admitting they don’t know everything.
  • What now for Scotland?

    Like indy1 it was a campaign packed with untruths from both sides and it further demonstrated that our politicians will say anything to hoodwink the public to voting their way. We are already seeing the Remain camp back pedalling on two of the claims they pedalled relentlessly in order to get votes.

    I think you’re pessimistic in terms of the number of previous NO voters that this will swing. Hardly scientific I know but I have been very surprised at the number of friends of mine who have already said they will now vote yes, some of them who were staunch No voters before. However I’m not basing this view on what a few of my mates say! There is just an inherent logic that such an issue is bound to cause a degree of swing toward Yes and we know that swing doesn’t need to be substantial.

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