Comment posted on Challenge to ALL ‘Independent’ council election candidates by Iain A MacDonald
Iain Angus MacDonald Ward 5 Candidate.
To answer your questions first.
1. Not even if hell froze over. (No!)
2. Subject to consensual debate on delivering improved transparency and accountability, including a waver on formal or informal whip……then possibly.
3. Most likely, as an overview, but the field is wide open and subject to many variations on the “Time for Change” theme.
A number of people have asked me how “independent” I would be as an independent. I have always maintained (as a community councillor) that we are supposed to represent the views of the people who elect us. That would be our communities. Several people have remarked that the only time they see politicians is when they want to get elected. Nobody I spoke to, going round the doors, had ever been approached by their ward councillor during the last term.
My commitment is to change the way we do things, to get things done; any other independent individual or group who shows a willingness to do that will get my support.
The general public are properly hacked off over the contempt it is shown. Those in a position of authority appear to be untouchable, and those elected to serve our communities appear to have their teeth surgically removed on taking office, or worse, as with those currently in power, conspire to consolidate and improve their own political ambitions for reasons that are well understood, and to the detriment of our communities.
I believe passionately that accountability and transparency must be re- established as a matter of priority before we can even begin to re-connect the council with the community, far less start making decisions that will be meaningful to it.
Under that heading must be a review of the effectiveness and accountability of Executive Committees.
There is little evidence that the current administration will show a willingness to adopt such an approach, but there are other current elected members out-with that group, who have.
Those are the people with whom I would be happy to do business with.
Looking in from the outside, it is surely a mad-house, and that’s a bit scary, but then I’m reminded of Alice……………
But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)
Therein lies much hope.
Recent comments by Iain A MacDonald
- Top down Modernisation Plan for Council is accepted
COUNCIL’S MODERNISATION PROGRAMME REPORT.
BY SALLY LOUDON
26 NOVEMBER 2009
Sally Loudon is to be supported and commended for having the courage to acknowledge publically, at long last, that it is not just the structure of the council that needs a radical overhaul, but more importantly, that “a fundamental change is required in behaviour and attitude, to the way the council operates.”
It is unlikely that blame will ever be apportioned for the financial, technical and management fiasco’s surrounding the development of Port Askaig and Oban Airport, to mention only two out of a very long list.
Hopefully lessons will be learned and future projects will be delivered in a spirit of honesty, integrity and transparency, in full engagement with communities involved, designed and delivered with the best interests of the end user in mind, and not the corporate self perpetuating and protectionist ethos so popular in the past.
The existing senior management of Argyll and Bute council are now required to undertake an external competency evaluation. Whether or not the assessment will have any bearing on the ability of those managers to adapt their management style to conform fully to national policies of community engagement and public participation, remains to be seen.
As for the likelihood of immediate change, for some reason the mighty leopard springs to mind.
Consequently, Mrs Loudon needs all the support she can get.
Iain A MacDonald
Ardchattan Community Council
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