Comment posted Council candidates, election battlegrounds and serious choices to be made by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.
Today I saw the latest version of the Lib Dems FOCUS pamphlet which is actually a leaflet written by the Aileen Morton to get people to vote for her.
After reading it the only question is ‘Vote for what?’
It makes major reference to the Helensburgh Pier Car Park ‘Masterplan’ , New Council Offices, money being spent on Kidston Park (which includes a reference to Al Reay and ‘other Lib Dem Councillors’ – a pretty embarassing attempt to make political gain from Cllr Reay’s recent passing) and the award of oney for Helensburgh’s winter festival. As a candidate who has not actually been a Councillor before I fail to see what any of this has to do with Aileen Morton (or if it does it isn’t explained).
However all is not lost, turn over the leafelt and we discover the true strength of this candidate – here is what Aillen has done that should fill you with confidence that she is the person to vote for:
1. Wrote a letter to Scottish Water about the condition of a building
2. Wrote to the Council about some damage to the pier
3. Encouraged people to donate unused bikes
Well well well I take it all back – the future of Helensburgh is clearly in safe hands if Aileen gets elected!
Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll also commented
- Today I saw the most disgusting lie of the campaign so far. In the Helensburgh Advertiser this week the Helensburgh candidates each got a slot to promote themselves. Vivien Dance lowered herself to claim she deserves credit for saving Parklands School. Anyone who was in any involved in the schools closure issue will be more than aware that she lied through her back teeth about the Parklands parents and it is utterly abhorrent that she now claims to have supported the school.
That one claim alone makes her an entirely odious human being and even more devoid of human decency than she was when she betrayed the most vulnerable children in the ward she is supposed to represent.
She has no place in local politics and, to be frank, no place in a decent society.
- So do I get my answer now Simon? Whether you like her answer or not there is no doubting Anne has given you one.
So, in true Simon fashion, here is the question repeated.
Throughout the schools issue you found it near on impossible to accept criticism of the Council. Now that the Rural Education Commission have publicly stated that the Council’s arguments to support their educational benefit statement are without any foundation (something ARSN and others were telling them from day one) are you prepared to do what the Council won’t do and acknowledge they got it badly wrong and by ignoring clearly sound arguments wasted a whole stack of public money and resources?
- What you mean by that is Anne answers your question in a manner you are happy with which is entirely different from her answering your question.
Not sure why you need an answer to your query before you will answer a question about your own opinion but whatever makes you happy I guess.
Anne is more than capable of speaking for herself (as she already has) and so I offer this as my take on the question rather than in support of Anne or as an ARSN member.
Personally I don’t think any service should be necessarily maintained or terminated based on a simply vote which is engaged with by, relatively speaking, a limited number of service users. If for no other reason than the fact that not all service users will, engage and therefore any such method would not necessarily represent the full population of service users.
However what is vital is that the authority responsible for the service, and potential removal of it, conducts itself in a way that is focused on quality of service delivery, parity for all rather than central hubs of populous (and hence voting power), compliance with legislation, honesty, and possibly even a little humility.
This does include proper consultation, does include admitting when you have got things wrong and taking the appropriate steps to correct errors rather than deny them and it includes an administration that is prepared to challenge Council officers rather than bend over and accept that what they propose is beyond scrutiny and challenge.
The way the Council (Officer and Administration Councillors) conducted themselves throughout the schools fiasco (proven once again by the Rural Education Committee as being flawed arguments for closure) should concern everyone irrespective of whether the school issue was a priority for them or not. If social care for the elderly is your priority what makes you think this administration and executive team will be any more competent and act with more integrity when it comes to cutting them. Why would they be prepared to trample all over schools with scant regard for quality of argument and not do so if it comes to libraries, or swimming pools, or third sector support? The answer is they won’t.
So I don’t believe any service group should be given a power of veto however I do believe that every service group deserves a fair and honest ‘hearing’ and deserves to have their views respected and considered without a childish Council that responds with ‘we are right, you are wrong and it doesn’t matter if we can’t prove it’.
And just to save you a post about flawed schools legislation – the argument about whether it was flawed, or extent to which it is flawed, is somewhat irrelevant with regard to A&B’s debacle – what is relevant is that it was the legislation in place at the time and the Council failed miserably to comply with the fundamental requirements of it.
Your turn to answer a question Simon. Throughout the schools issue you found it near on impossible to accept criticism of the Council. Now that the Rural Education Commission have publicly stated that the Council’s arguments to support their educational benefit statement are without any foundation (something ARSN and others were telling them from day one) are you prepared to do what the Council won’t do and acknowledge they got it badly wrong and by ignoring clearly sound arguments wasted a whole stack of public money and resources? Hopefully you will answer this here so I don’t have to go around random threads posting the same question.
The needs of all the potentially affected children were ignored, not just the special needs children.
A&B Council made noise, and probably still are, that educational benefits were at the heart of their policy making but it is utter nonsense. Every argument they made to support their educational benefit statement was challenged througout the process and not once could they respond to the challenges with anything other than ‘because we say so’ and you’re wrong.
Eventually we got to the rural education commission meeting in Lochgilphead where the commission members confirmed that the key arguments put forward by the Council were erroneous and unspportable. Campaigers had, of course, been saying this for 18 months and constantly ignored by the likes of Sneddon, Loudon, Walker, and all the Councillors in the administration.
Sneddon was at the Commission meeting along with Walker and Cllr Hay so heard first hand that their educational benefit statement was, frankly, garbage yet we are still to hear an apology for the time and money they, and the rest of the ConDemAlls wasted by ploughing ahead with clearly flawed papers. Cllr Morton wasn’t there – despite being Education Convener she obviously had something better to do than be present at a meeting which was discussing the way the Council approached school closures under her direct guidance.
As for the specific question about children with special needs you are right about they being ignored. The Council didn’t even bother to find out what special needs there were in the schools they recklessly pushed toward closure. There was a claim made by them that that was OK because they would do that ‘later.’
As far as I am concerned it is much worse than ignorance on the part of the majority of the Administration Councillors. For a few ignorance may have been a contributory factor, but for a large number they knew exactly what they were doing and cared not about the damage it would do to communities across A&B – they cared only for the chink in their pocket kindly provided by Cllr Walsh’s appointments.
Note Cllr Morton’s daughter is also standing in the upcoming election. Heaven forbid we end up with two of them!
Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll
- Argyll and Bute Council: Councillor McCuish leads again
I heard (but this could be wrong) that the vote was 18 to 17 which does suggest one absentee meaning the vote carries. An unfortunate vote to miss. However this would still leave an ongoing 18 vs 18 when it comes to full council decisions. This will be interesting and challenge both parties to demonstrate that they are really made up of a collection of independents rather than a party in all but name.
- Argyll and Bute Council: Councillor McCuish leads again
Hmm that makes 18 in oppositon however there are only 36 councillors so in poker terms we would have split pot. I am guessing this isn’t the case so was there maybe a late change of heart by someone?
Oops Ignore this – just seen the comments at the end of the article
- Radically new council group changes all the dynamics: party politics dead in Argyll
Ia m hearing that Roddy McCuish is back as leader with Dick Walsh still leader of the opposition. The new ruling group being along the lines of what is set out in the e-mail above.
- First Minister’s choice not to condemn mob behaviour proves Farage point
Not sure if I agree with putting fascism and Islam on the same shelf (as it were).
However interestingly, and a little ironically, if there is a massively generalised criticism of the Islamic faith it is its traditional resistance/opposition to multiculturalism – a criticism that could be made of UKIP with little difficulty.
- Walsh to lead all but Lib Dems, Conservatives and George Freeman
‘more honest and upfront’
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