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

  • On nationalism
    Malcolm – maybe you mis-read my comment. I said ‘developed’, not ‘developing’, though I’m not sure why you have lumped Los Angeles together with ‘murderous African dictatorships’?

    I don’t object to private enterprise – I run one. Again you have mis-read my point. I (personally) think that there is a place for public ownership in the provision of some public services, and that it is one of the principles which underpins civil society.

    “Your last paragraph condemns you” – do you mean if there is a ‘Yes’ vote, then I won’t be able to feel part of Britain any more, even though I’ll still be resident in the British Isles?

  • On nationalism
    Newsie, I happen to disagree with much of the content of your article, and so I posted my own views – isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? – without resorting to dismissing either you or your contributor as ‘arrogant’ or not ‘worthy of respect’ or lacking ‘independence of mind’. So by all means defend your arguments, but it’s a little rich of you to dismiss mine with such phrases, especially when you are so hair-trigger sensitive to the slightest hint of ‘bullying tactics’ from Yes supporters.

    I daresay you may be right about the egg-thrower(s), but please don’t confuse a huge and entirely peaceful ‘Yes’ movement with a single incident involving a tiny handful of over-excited protestors confronting a shouty politician on a soap box.

    I did not engage with the ‘Achilles heels of nationalism’ you describe because I have quite honestly not seen any significant elements of ‘chauvinism, utopianism and incipient racism’ in this campaign – the notion that these are defining aspects of ‘Yes’ is, to use your words, the ‘laugh of the campaign’. I’ve seen plenty of optimism, some of it no doubt misplaced, but not even the most ardent Indy supporters seriously imagine that an independent Scotland would be a land of milk & honey.

    I’ve commented on here before, more than once, that a federal UK would have been a proposition I could have supported, so I agree with you there. Remind me again which political party is promoting that idea, and how much influence you expect them to have at Westminster in the forseeable future?

  • On nationalism
    I’m sure this rather rose-tinted expression of quintessential Britishness lies buried deep within the psyche of many people, including many ‘Yes’ supporters. Unfortunately the principles of political, economic and geographical solidarity which underpinned the feeling of a common British identity have been almost completely unwound by successive UK governments of both colours over the past 35 years or so.

    The opening notion that “It enjoys a certain standard of living” is surely a joke? Isn’t the UK one of the most unequal of all developed nations in both wealth and income (and therefore ‘standard of living’) these days?

    Then there’s the list of treasured public services, all of which have been, or are in the process of being, handed over from common ownership to the tender mercies of private enterprise.

    The irony of this referendum is that for many Scots, a Yes vote is about trying to protect what is left of the values and institutions that many of us used to think of as being British, before they are finally and permanently dismantled and discarded by the UK state, for ideological reasons and the benefit of private equity.

    Oh, and after a ‘Yes’ vote – we will all still be living in the British Isles. We will still share a cultural history, language, common travel area (No Borders!), monarchy and, if a small number of blinkered politicians come to their senses: currency. We don’t need to belong to a unitary state to share all these things and still regard ourselves as British.

  • Thuggish Yes campaign benefits from media’s artificial ‘balance’ as Murphy forced to suspend campaign tour
    Of course they won’t condemn it, JnrTick – it was just an ‘isolated incident’ :-)

    Whereas the cowardly, heinous outrage perpetrated on the gentle, sensitive Jim Murphy can only possibly have been orchestrated through the evil cybernat web controlled by Aleggs Salmonella… etc. etc. etc.

  • Cameron to address Scottish CBI as Tory MP quits for UKIP
    Malcolm – ‘totally open in what he believes’… hmm, you mean like “A pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde” ?

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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.

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  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.

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  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.
    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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