Comment posted Misleading journalism from Dunoon Observer by newsroom.
A straw poll would be interesting.
And in this case, we’re talking about a council where proposals were put forward to close rural schools without any evidence that anyone, however senior, had read the 2010 School’s Act 2010 enough to understand it. And that was primary legislation not minister’s speeches or the Scottish Architecture journal.
It’s not impossible that no one at ABC knew that the Schools for the Future fund also supported refurbishments. While there may accusations of laxity and incompetence in this, Government information on this is clearly opaque and that is not helpful.
newsroom also commented
- So, as a previous editor, we can take it that you would also have published this particular piece as it stands and would have been content to support its interpretation and use of the basic text to which it refers.
- It would be interesting to have examples of instances where ‘consultations’ in any quarter operated in the spirit of openness to evidence.
- Point of accuracy – in his quoted letter to Councillor Bruce Marshall, Mr Walsh did not discuss ‘stopping’ the planned joint primary campus for Dunoon but simply, post election, asking for the plan to be suspended pending clarification on funding options not previously known to him.
- Speaking purely for ourselves – the frontline presence of this fund says new build.
It would not occur to us to ask if a fund that purported to support one thing might actually fund something else. We would expect the targets a fund supports to be upfront or easily discoverable.
We accept that we have a particularly straightforward attitude to most things but we are experienced readers and analysts of information.
It is reasonable to assume that this information is comprehensive.
We are working, as we try to do, to be fair in this and there is no doubt that the available information is not fully lucid. No one should have to play guessing games with government information and this information does not hint at anything that would even prompt a guess.
- On 25 October 2011 the online journal Scottish Architecture carried an article entitled: ‘Scottish Schools for the Future programme expanded’.
It’s opening paragraphs said: ‘An announcement made on Sunday (23 October) by First Minister Alex Salmond outlined plans to build or refurbish 30 schools as part of the next phase of the school buildings programme – 12 more than originally planned.
This will see the total number of projects built under the £1.25 billion ‘Scottish Schools for the Future’ programme, which aims to provide high quality facilities for pupils and their teachers, rise to more than 60.’
However, to be fair to Mr Walsh, anyone who went straight to the horse’s mouth – as practical people would do – to the Scottish Futures Trust webpage for Schools for the Future, would find it hard to distil any sense that this is other than a new build initiative.
Is it reasonable to expect senior officers and council leaders to hear all minister’s speeches to parliament and to be au fait with specialist magazines? Maybe it is.
However, we ourselves would go straight to what we would assume was the authoritative source – and we have been unable to find anything else on the Scottish Government website. One link that seemed germane – ‘Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland’s Future’ – would not open, recording simply Error 404.
If we ourselves were to go on the basis of the Scottish Futures Trust online material, we would not even ask if the fund covered refurbishments.
So the lack of awareness Mr Walsh claims may have been enabled by poorly managed public communications.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Oban North Pier development – try this
Thank you, phill.You’ve always been a markedly fair contributor – and that includes when you are critical of us. We do learn lessons.
- Oban North Pier development – try this
Apologies for forgetting the Regent- which is something of a gem in its own right. We will add it at once to the article above.
And yes – we absolutely support the Macleod enterprise. Not many businesses invest so much of their own money into their own development. The norm is ‘other peoples money’. And these are attractive, high quality businesses that stoutly support the Oban experience for visitors and help to create the foundation for the repeat visits that benefit the town.
Also yes – when we support businesses, the free advertising this does give them is neither sought nor paid for. It is based on our independent judgment and, as such, is a considered endorsement of business initiative we judge to be exemplary and important for Argyll.
If any fell short of our expectations, we would be the first to challenge that negative slide.
Because there is real ability, real quality and real hope in a wide spectrum of Argyll businesses, one of the very positive contributions we can – and do – make, is to bring what they do to the attention of our substantial and lively audience. And, as with the Ninth Wave restaurant on Mull they don’t have to be big businesses.
As for the council, there is no value in gilding a decomposing organism.
As with our positive response yesterday to the Council’s initiative in developing air routes to Argyll and the Isles, we do look for signs of imagination and economic development attack – and support them. Here too we back our own judgment – and some have expressed their very different views on this particular development.
But this is a diseased council with no more trustworthy or any more capable alternative administration – and that is Argyll’s problem.
The best that we can do on anything is to use evidence to arrive at independent conclusions and positions on every issue we deal with – to make available the evidence for the conclusions at which we arrive and the positions we adopt.
There will be no-one and nothing we will not have both supported and offended – because no one and nothing is right all the time or wrong all of the time.
We are honest brokers, like us or detest us.
And. by the way – we were not suggesting putting a roof over McCaig’s tower – but roofing over a central area of it – well inside and below the height of the outer wall – and we did say that this is ‘blue skies thinking’.
We do not expect risk-averse and conservative Argyll to go for this [nor are we saying it should]. And we did not expect people to go for our sugestions of a road extension down to near Gallanach, a bridge there to Kerrera, with road development on the island, building a community there across the bay, with a twinkling night-time conversation going on – and stimulation for all sorts of new businesses.
We still see this as a more giving solution to the future of the bay communities of both Oban and Kerrera than is the frightful, heartless ghetto of the ‘Dunbeg corridor’ plan which will blight the signature deceptive approach to this surprising town, raking down and around its bay.
And at least these ideas, however dismissable, are thought propositions generating both debate and, we hope, new alternative solutions.
- Quarriers who put Easdale Island on the map may do so again
Congratulations on a dedicated and quite staggering volume of work well done – and on a voluntary basis.
We too look forward with excitement to new access to funding that will see this genuinely unique island heritage secured – and to access to expertise and promotional respurces that will see its value much more widely recognised.
Liaison with the Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing will be mutually beneficial.
With scheduling for Easdale and all that it can bring, the Atlantic Islands Centre will have a fabulous living museum, as well as the Slate Museum, on its doorstep to refer visitor to go and see.
- Analysis of Gourock-Dunoon ferry services confirms imperative for change
There is a technical problem with Argyll Flyer which amy account for this.
It is not expected to be prolonged and the company has said that it expects MV Coruisk to sail for her core duty on the Summer season run between Mallaig and Armadale on Skye, which starts on Friday 3rd April.
Coruisk has been acting as winter supplement on the Gourock-Dunoon service since December – as she did last year.
- When is Council going to replace the A814′s missing warning for HGVs?
As the article makes clear – large vehicles canot be prevented from using it because there will always be a genuine need for such vehicles to access a place or a property somewhere along that road.
But a clear ‘limitation of use’ notice puts the onus on drivers and gives Police Scotland’s traffic division reason to stop inquire and act accordingly.
Making the road one way for large vehicles, say south to north, would allow such access, deter casual convenience use by such vehicles and prevent stalemates when two meet.
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