Comment posted Argyll First endorse Michael Breslin in Dunoon vote by Integrity? Not in the CondemAll.
You may well be right David regarding the New Schools for the Future Grant. I believe this was matched funding of 50% and therefore the Council had committed 50% of non funded capital expenditure to the project (which could clearly either be used elsewhere or removed from the capital programme).
As I haven’t see any award letter from the SG for this funding it is not possible to comment on what terms, conditions and restrictions were placed upon the SG’s 50% award however that is something that councillor Walsh should have been asking officers to determine.
I am not sure what the timescales are but I notice there was a paper that went to full council on April 19th which discusses the Funding of Schools for Future Projects and the proposed school facilities in Dunoon and Campbeltown. It states in it that the SG ‘have set out the key conditions and guidance for procuring bodies receiving revenue finance and the conditions and guidance have been accepted by the Council’ It would therefore be interesting to see what these conditions and guidance were as we could then be in a better position to judge whether the SG were ringfencing a portion of the funding to the Dunoon project and the Dunoon project only.
Integrity? Not in the CondemAll also commented
- Good for her. It will be nice to see an independent councillor in an A&B administration actually be allowed to be independent without being thrown out of a party that doesn’t officially exist!
- Dougie is correct and any argument made by Cllr Walsh along these lines is either demonstrating his ignorance and that of those supposed to be advising him or (and this is what I suspect) is a feeble attempt to score political points.
As much as A&B’s financial work around the school closure left them open to criticism there is no way they are not fully aware of how revenue support is made up and the very small portion of it that might be subject to ring fencing. It is common knowledge in local government finance.
Put simply revenue support from central government has three main components.
1. Ring fenced grants (a very low percentage of overall support) which are awarded with fairly clear instructions about what they are to be used for and often tie in with more national policy. There used to be a lot more ring-fencing than there is now but it was reduced significantly when the Concordat was first introduced.
2. Non –domestic rates which need little explanation.
3. The general revenue grant – which is the big pot given to the Council to use as they deem appropriate. Out of that they have to pay for service delivery, servicing of debt etc etc (basically pay to operate)
Cllr Walsh has been in the game more than long enough to be aware of this and the corporate management team are aware of it too. Any claims that he didn’t know are utter nonsense and suggest he feelt the electorate will just believe him because they don’t know better.
Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the CondemAll
- Jackie Baillie to lead Holyrood Labour group for the time being
The same can be said for just about all political parties.
lets look at the SNP as there really are only two parties of note in Scotland just now.
Salmond stands down – there only ever was one potential replacement. Sturgeon was a shoeing for the job because nobody had a hope of beating her. Not because she is outstanding and the rest only great. But because she is good and the rest either average or poor.
Equally about being challenged from within. Don’t tell me for one second that Salmond stood for being challenged from within. He probably tolerated it less than any other leader in the country.
You are simply describing all parties there, not just Labour.
- So who’s in the SNP Council Group today – and should they be?
I am not a fan of the multi member ward system. However whilst I would welcome it being abandoned I tend to think that is simply papering over the cracks. Local Government in Scotland needs a far more dramatic overhaul than that.
32 local authorities is a ridiculous number to have for a country with a population only just exceeding 5 million. There are over 1,200 councillors in Scotland with the geographical area for local authorities ranging from about 25 square miles to about 12,500 square miles! Similarly the population ranges from about 20,000 to well over half a million.
Cutting the number of councillors is going to make an insignificant impact to costs in the grand scheme of things. For example the total cost of councillors to A&B in 2013/14 made up about 0.7% of total employee costs. So yes there are some savings that could be made but they are not going to deliver radical savings or a material reinvestment in service delivery.
I would kick start a major overhaul of local government by reducing the number of councils in Scotland from 32 to maybe between 15 or 20. Once we have a more manageable number of local authorities then proper consideration can be given to devolving power to them, and reintroducing more fiscal control at a local level (which should begin with abandoning the council tax freeze and reversing the centralisation of policy making that is associated with the freeze). Councils should be given the appropriate levers to determine what is strategically best for their area, reflecting local needs, in terms of increasing or decreasing taxation (and not just council tax).
Having less councils wouldn’t totally rid us of the issue of some councils having relatively small populations compared to others (due to the geography of Scotland) but it would mean there is less power hoarded by the two big city councils. Hopefully this would result in more meaningful efforts at partnership working and shared services without the ‘little guys’ being muscled out by overpowering large councils.
It always seemed strange to me that Scotland was moving toward being an independent country at the same time as there being ongoing centralisation of power within Scotland itself. It is a contradiction in democratic will.
- When is Argyll and Bute going to publish its mini-count breakdown of the indy referendum vote here?
I can understand why some people would be interested in seeing a breakdown however I personally fail to see any great value in it. We don’t need to encourage further division, quite the opposite. It was a national vote where every vote carried equal weight, I think it’s better leaving it as a national result.
- Lifeline for wildlife – 5p per carrier bag in Scotland from today
I have no problem with this law. If anything I don’t think it is steep enough. I was amazed at the 80% statistic and find myself questioning it’s credibility as I wouldn’t expect 5p to be much of a deterrent. I would have preferred total removal of plastic bags and the adoption of something more in.line with French supermarkets.
- For Argyll challenge to candidates for Thursday’s Oban North & Lorn by-election
That’s right, never mind promoting the credentials of the candidate – as long as they have the same gender!
I don’t know Stephanie Irvine and am not for a second suggesting she is or isn’t a credible candidate. However I would wager if she is credible she would prefer for people to vote for her on the basis of what she can bring to the post rather than simply because of ‘women supporting women’
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