This could be said to be an almost …

Comment posted Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in by newsroom.

This could be said to be an almost perfect line up of the numpties. Authoritative? Hardly. But no doubt it will be sufficient, along with a side dish of pak choi.

newsroom also commented

  • We understand that it is practically unheard of for Councillor Danny Kelly, who is chairing the hearing, to overturn the planners’ recommendation. If he were to do so on this occasion, it would be strange.
  • So where did the recent survey majorities FOR a retail development on the pier head come from – as quoted by Sainsburys in the letter we have published?
  • 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.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • Council Leader reshuffles the pack
    And Fergus Murray has no specialist expertise in economic development.
    He happened, as an experienced senior planner, to have expertise more adjacent to economic development than anyone else in the council.
    Argyll in an area where sustainable economic growth is the single – and challenging – determinant of our survivability.
    Yet this hopelessly unfocused council thought it was fine to appoint a waste management specialist as Executive Director for Economic Development and what what used to be Strategic Infrastructure – who had experience of neither.
    And while Fergus Murray runs himself ragged as the plate-spinner extraordinaire of Kilmory, the Executive Director for Economic Development and Infrastructure spends her time making plans to combat the rate of employee absences due to sickness.
    This cannot be part of the brief Sandy McTaggart, her predecessor, fulfilled. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the economic and infrastructural development Argyll desperately needs.
    This sort of issue would normally be handled by the HR Manager and the CEO, but they may have less time on their hands.
  • Appeal for local knowledge from Kintyre
    We were wondering the same thing.
    It’s so mysterious.
    The Merchant OF Three Pedlars.
    Why ‘OF’?
    Would a merchant have supplied pedlars?
  • Tactical voting in Argyll and Bute: Alan Reid the most likely pro-union consensus candidate
    You could not be more accurate in identifying the Holy Loch and hinterland area in Cowal as an example of single-cause crash decline from which it has never recovered.
    The Trident argument apart, the damaging economic impact on Helensburgh and Lomond resulting from the closure or lesser role of the HMNB Clyde is unarguable.
  • Tactical voting in Argyll and Bute: Alan Reid the most likely pro-union consensus candidate
    On a point of information, For Argyll is on the record as saying that the Liberal Democrat position on Trident is hopelessly ill informed. We have shown the operational necessity for four submarines if Trident is retained. Anything less than four means that Trident is not actually a Continuously At Sea Deterrent [CASD] which makes it redundant as a potential first strike deterrent – if that action would ever be taken.
    But you miss the point:
    of the genuine crisis for democracy we are all looking at;
    of the operation of tactical voting itself;
    and of the analysis we have put forward which has led us to iddentify Alan Reid as the candidate around whom the pro-union vote can most comfortably coalesce.
    This is a much more basic situation than party policy.
    Those who cannot see above party policy or party affiliation will be part of the nexus that takes Scotland first to being a one-party-state and then to being an independent one-party-state.
    It actually makes no matter which unionist candidate is the subject of the tactical vote – only that all those voting tactically can put their pro-union votes in a common place.
    Otherwise, they simply split the unionist vote on a different axis.
    The point is which unionist candidate is most likely to be the acceptable focus of consensus – and we hold firmly to the result of the situation analysis that has led us to identify that candidate as being Alan Reid.
    Alistair Redman is a young man who is barely known across much of the vast territory of Argyll and Bute. He is therefore an unknown and untried candidate who will not be the natural or even the logical point of unionist coalescence at this critical time.
    Alan Reid has been the sitting MP for 14 years, he is a moderate centrist with wide recognisability across Argyll and its islands – because he has worked to maintain that recognisable presence as part of his job as a constituency MP.
    And unevolved as we think it is – and are saddened by – Labour is not large enough to be willing to vote for a Conservative candidate, although some may vote for a Liberal Democrat.
    Tactical voting is an extreme solution to extreme situations.
    We believe firmly and have shown just why Scotland today is in just such a situation.
    Those who cannot rise to the need of this occasion may condemn Scotland to a deepening divergence from democracy.
    We all have to hope that the level headed common sense of most people allows the recognition of a genuine emergency; and the willingness to take the only possible action to arrest it.
  • Tactical voting in Argyll and Bute: Alan Reid the most likely pro-union consensus candidate
    The Tactical Voting Wheel was created – as we have consistently made clear -by Scotland’s BIG Voice’s sophisticated predictive model. It has always been presented as a guidance and not as an instruction from anyone to anyone.
    It is up to pro-union local voters in each constituency to decide on local knowledge which unionist candidate is likely to come second to the SNP and vote for that candidate.
    For Argyll is telling no one how to vote.
    We are offering our straightforward analysis as to which of the unionist candidates is most likely to be the most effective gathering place for the pro-union vote in Argyll and Bute – and showing openly why we have come, by reason, to that conclusion.
    We are warning of the consequences of the one-party-state to which Scotland is headed at speed and which will defeat the democracy of which you speak and for which we care deeply.
    This country – with its state determination to drop the need for corroborating evidence to secure convictions; with its enforced appointment of State Guardians for all young people from birth to legal maturity; with its Police armed without even notification to the Scottish Parliament; with children subject to Police ‘Stop & Search’ routines which were supposed to have been stopped – - is not a democracy.
    We accept that the evangelised cannot see that. They never can. They are in anoher place, in a Scotland of the mind.
    But bad stuff can happen anywhere – not just ‘elsewhere’.
    Some it it – and the seed of more – is already here.
    Everyone who can still see what is happening and can understand the consequences of what is a fast developing situation, needs to do all they can to arrest it.
    The reality is that Scotland today is a division of two groups of people of broadly equal number who, with equal right and with equal purpose, are trying to take ‘their’ country back.
    The separatists are trying to take ‘their’ nationalist Scotland back from the England they feel stole it from ‘them’ over 300 years ago.
    The unionists are trying to take ‘their’ Scotland back from the nationalists who have effectively hijacked it in the last few years.
    If the country is broadly 50/50 on the separatist-unionist issue, this is exactly the picture one would expect to see – but it alienates any one 50% from the other 50%. One 50% is actively driving the situation, the other 50% has been in passive defence mode for several years now.
    What we are trying to do is to show those silent in the dugout that there is plenty of room to come out to play, plenty of reason to be proud of having an equally strategic intelligence, plenty of reason to put that to good use – and every reason to enjoy doing it.

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37 Responses to This could be said to be an almost …

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.
    http://glasgowmerchantcity.net/regeneration.html
    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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