Great idea – a 21st century Vital Spark! …

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

Great idea – a 21st century Vital Spark!

Recent comments by Tim McIntyre

  • Local MSP claims Argyll landowners ‘blight community progress’ and inflict ‘anti-democratic abuse’
    Huh? It’s not 2 million for the Stonehenge tunnel, it’s 2 Billion, which makes dualling the A9 look like exceptional value for money… probably save rather more lives in the long run, too.
  • Bitter alone, Salmond now a declared guerrilla leader in charge of government
    According to the Ashcroft poll, 14% of ‘No’ voters were specifically motivated by the ‘vow’. Added to the 45% who voted ‘Yes’, that’s a clear majority to see the Scottish Parliament’s powers beefed up substantially.

    Not the least of the problems facing the Westminster parties is the difference between the rhetoric flying around in the last few days before the vote, and what the ‘vow’ actually means, even supposing they can deliver it. Managing the expectations of an electorate which heard terms such as ‘Devo Max’ being used will be a challenge when they wake up to just how little has actually been promised.

    The ‘vow’ itself did not contain any new powers – it was just a timetable for delivering the Devo-Fudge proposals made back in April/May – different proposals from Labour & Tories, but neither amounted to much advance on what is coming down the line anyway by way of the Scotland Act 2012.

    Personally I’m pleased that Alex Salmond has come out fighting on behalf of all of us who voted for change either way – he more than anyone knows just how much noise you have to make to get the Westminster high-command to pay attention. There’s plenty excitement and hand-wringing still going on in London just now, but anyone who thinks that Scotland will stay high up the Westminster priority list once the conference season is over, and they go back to worrying about the Clacton by-election, the rise of UKIP and the 2015 general election is kidding themselves.

  • Bitter alone, Salmond now a declared guerrilla leader in charge of government
    richard – “…the Scotland Act 2012 and why have they never used any of the devolved powers”

    Er, perhaps because the provisions in the Scotland Act 2012 don’t come into force until 2016?

  • Bitter alone, Salmond now a declared guerrilla leader in charge of government
    Alex Salmond never mentioned ‘UDI’ in his interview. UDI, in the sense that this article appears to be inferring, would be not just unconstitutional, it would be utterly undemocratic. Implying that Salmond would follow that course is just mischievous nonsense, as Newsie knows fine well.

    It is, however, possible that over a period of time, the Scottish Parliament would gradually be granted more powers by Westminster until it reached the point where it was independent in all but name. This would take a long time. It’s what happened in New Zealand among other places. New Zealand has no ‘independence day’ because they haven’t got round to declaring it yet. Would anyone jump up & down & shriek ‘UDI’!!! if they did?

    The other perfectly legitimate and democratic route to independence without a referendum would be for a party or parties to stand for election to Holyrood on that basis. As long as voters know beforehand that independence would be the result of those parties gaining an overall majority, then the election campaign would be fought on that basis and the outcome would have to be respected as a mandate to negotiate an independence settlement. It would obviously be a huge political gamble for any party to stake its election campaign on such a huge issue, so it’s unlikely, but not unconstitutional.

  • Scottish severance negotiations: location, batting order, public information
    Simon – “Ae fond X…”

    Another bard, another quote:-

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat.
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    or lose our ventures.”

    (W Shakespeare)

    I hope for a Yes, but good will to all tomorrow, whichever way you are voting.

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37 Responses to Great idea – a 21st century Vital Spark! …

  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?

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    • 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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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    • 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.

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  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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