Comment posted 11th April: George Berry chairing hustings for Oban Wards 4 and 5 by Lowry.
Now, what a great idea!
Lowry also commented
- Further to my comment above re. “involuntary carrier”, I found this posting on the Easdale People website. (It was not posted by me). For brevity I have reduced some of the content but it can be found here: http://www.easdalepeople.org.uk/?p=947#comments
“During the previous Local Plan consultation period…, Donald Melville, the then chair of Eilean Eisdeal wrote to A&B Council [on charity headed paper] saying that Eilean Eisdeal had long standing plans to build affordable housing on the land used by residents as allotments. Neither members nor residents were told about this letter….
As I recall, the letter was verbally withdrawn at the inquiry itself…after a few questions were asked about his contribution made on behalf of the charity without any evidence of community support. It may be interesting to note that another director at that time and who also happened to be both his brother-in-law and local builder, Mike Mackenzie (now SNP MSP), also supported the idea of building houses in the same area.”
I will post more evidence later of connections between Donald Melville, Mike Mackenzie and the charity Eilean Eisdeal which have been more than a little questionable. I understand that a copy of the letter mentioned above is still available for inspection.
- “A new involuntary carrier”? By this I assume you mean Donald Melville. I will provide evidence later proving that this is far from correct.
- I take it questions on the details of the breakdown are still outstanding? e.g. How much was paid for community consultation and to whom? Who installed the playpark renewables?
- Yes, perhaps I should have confronted Donald Melville with my views of his lack of honesty, transparency and accountability as a director of a charity. However, as has been pointed out, some folk dominated the evening and the session seemed to be more about the poor performance of A&B council.
The evidence for my accusation can be found on this website. Newsroom has asked the charity for information which has not been forthcoming. Also, questions have been raised about the charity’s funding and answers are still outstanding. Melville is treasurer of the charity. Even OSCR has pointed out the charity’s failings in openness and transparency.
Donald Melville has been involved with the charity for years. This charity has caused a great deal of stress amongst its own community and has also, in my opinion, wasted a great deal of public money by, for example, appealing outcomes of planning decisions made by the council; council decisions which also happened to be in keeping with the wishes of the community. (E.g. Wind turbine applications, Local Plan inquiry). There are recents comments on both Seil Chat and The Easdale People which provide more information.
In my view, no matter which party, a candidate with this track record is extremely unlikely to serve the electorate to the standards that we all expect – despite what he said at the hustings.
- Having just returned from the Oban ‘hustings’ I thought I would give my take on the proceedings too.
The event opened with a very lengthy diatribe from the chairman giving his views on many of the areas of operation within the council. He slated both council officials and councillors and gave an extremely opinionated view on several fronts.
When we eventually heard from the various candidates I noted the following:-
George Doyle left due to personal circumstances.
Fred Hall: He claimed to hate any waste of money. He has concluded that the SNP government could learn a lot from the Welsh administration on sustainable investment.
Roddy McCuish: Although he stated that it was already widely known, when asked to name the person responsible for offering him an ‘incentive’ during the schools closure fiasco (in the interest of being open and honest) he refused. He said that he would tell people in private afterwards. He left very smartish after the event.
Gordon Chalmers: He laid the blame for the Craignure gangway debacle squarely with the SNP government.
Elaine Robertson: A member of the audience criticised her for her involvement in the schools fiasco. She reminded everyone, that the original list of 26 schools had been drawn up by SNP councillors as well as the independents and agreed that a lot of stress had been caused.
Mary-Jean Devon: She focussed on the poor handling of the progressive care unit on Mull and the impact on the island community.
Donald Melville: currently a director of an island charity which has been criticised by OSCR for its lack of openness, transparency and community consultation skills, had the gall to suggest that he would bring about such improvements in the council.
Iain MacDonald: sitting next to Donald Melville, made things even more amusing by quoting the United Nations description of Community Engagement in cases where dictatorships have been overthrown.
Louise Glen-Lee: She agreed with most of those who wanted better services and frequently referred to the SNP manifesto indicating that if we all voted SNP everything will be better.
Ian MacIntyre; He said he would make sure that his Mum votes for him this time.
Towards the end of proceedings someone from the panel declared that there were 60 people in the audience. This amused those of us in the audience who could count as there were only 31.
Finally, the chairman started waving his arms around in disagreement with a member of the audience. By this time everyone else had lost the plot and began leaving. I deliberately asked a few fellow participants, who I had never met before, if their interests had been well received and they had thought not. However I noticed in the foyer that most of the candidates felt that they had done extremely well.
I am sure other members of the audience will have a different take on the evening and look forward to reading their reviews.
Recent comments by Lowry
- Convenor of South Cowal Community Development Company puts last ditch case to all councillors
If councillors cave in and agree to local demand what will be any future burden on the council to help sustain and maintain it?
Will the council be able to wash its hands of the property completely or will the development compnay keep going back, cup in hand, to ask for more money?
I aks because of the hoo-ha that was caused when the council tried to withdraw support from Atlantis Leisure and had to change its decision because of arguments about it being “good for public health”, “jobs” etc. etc. I can see the same thing happening with Council Toward.
- Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
Who needs gas in this anti-carbon, anti-fracking SNP world? Just stick up a few windmills along the front and that’ll sort it.
- McGrigor’s cross party debate on Argyll’s depopulation crisis
You sound like a builder to me, AM.
- Area Committee ‘Evening Surgery’ for Oban and Lorn
This would be an excellent idea if:
- There is a public record of what people have said and
- There is evidence that A&B Council accept suggestions as
valid and realistic.
- There is an evaluation of whether or not any suggestions
make it into action.
- There is an evaluation that asks those who attend whether
they felt the meetings were worthwile.
- And Councillor Dance now resigns from administration over Castle Toward
From personal experience I can understand why she may be unpopular. Good luck to Dunoon if the rumour is true.
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