I think it is safe to say Education …

Comment posted McCuish announces details of ‘team fit to build recovery in Argyll and Bute’ by Integrity? Not in the CondemAll.

I think it is safe to say Education has been kept as to be concluded until after the result of today’s election. I don’t know Michael Breslin but, from what I have heard, he is the obvious candidate for the role.

I thought George Freeman might by appointed as Deputy Leader due to his somewhat lengthy experience (sorry George!) within the Council however, that said, John Semple is a fine candidate for the job and I have no doubt he will support Roddy McCuish superbly.

A number of other very sensible choices. Good to see George returning to the role of Housing Spokesperson. It was shamefully stripped of him and his knowledge in this area means he is comfortably the best man for the job.
I am also very pleased to see James Robb as the Finance Spokesperson. He has proven he has a fine grasp of LG finances and it is unlikely that some of the financial errors made in the past two years will get by him as easily as they got by the previous administration (deliberately or otherwise).

The staff liaison role, if the anecdotal (I put that in for Simon) evidence that ARSN has picked up over the past 18 months is anything to go by, is a very welcome and overdue idea. Dougie Philand is an ideal choice, approachable, very fair and a track record of putting the job before himself.

Other choices which were no brainers based on previous experience and clearly communicated commitments are Anne Horn as the Adult’s Champion, Elaine Robertson as Carer’s champion and Louise Glen-Lee’s spokesperson role.
All in all it would appear the right people have been selected for the right jobs and it is good to see that the majority of the deputies are new councillors – hopefully this aid in development and stand them in good stead for future roles

Good luck to all of them.

And as a last point – James as Chair of H&L Area Committee – fantastic! Cllr Dance always liked to lord over any position of authority she had, somewhat satisfying to see she has next to none now.

Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the CondemAll

  • Stuart Hill challenges Supreme Court to test security of jurisdiction for Shetland
    You may well be correct Thorfinn. It was a little while ago I read about it so there may well have been a subsequent council decision since.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  • Stuart Hill challenges Supreme Court to test security of jurisdiction for Shetland
    Thorfinn

    My apologies for going totally off track with this post but I was wondering whether you might be able to provide a little insight into how the people of the Shetland Isles are reacting to the council’s consideration of selling off Sella Ness.

    No worries if you don’t want to respond. I’m just curious, no hidden agenda.

  • Russell writes to councillors on Castle Toward decision tomorrow as some are denied a vote
    Oban Worthy

    Apologies for the delay responding, I only just noticed your response. You are correct that there is some flexibility which is why I said predominantly. There are always gray areas over whether an item is revenue expenditure or capital expenditure and I would wager there isn’t a council in the country who don’t have some revenue expenditure funded from capital.

    The classic example used in old accountancy days is replacement windows. If you replace like for like it is arguable revenue expenditure as it is maintenance but if you replace single glazed for double glazed then it is an enhancement therefore capital. However the argument for it being revenue falls down a bit if new windows extend the useful life of the building (which they would do if they old ones were in such disrepair).

    However the extent to which it can be done is limited and I don’t see dumping a £750k capital receipt into delivery of services as something which could be classified as being ‘around the margins’

    Sokay, in answer to your question about Mike Russell’s statement I certainly wouldn’t be minded to make a call on reasoning for it. Only he could answer that. As far as I know he doesn’t have an extensive background in finance/accountancy and the restrictions on capital receipts and accountancy rules about revenue and capital budgets are a bit of a nerdy techie thing!!

    Anyway this is all a bit after the lord mayor’s show now as the decision has been made (the wrong one in my opinion). Whilst I say the wrong one I say so based on the arguments put forward on here by people who are far closer to it than I am (and also people who I have respect for). It would be a better scenario if those councillors who opposed the sale would be forthcoming about their counter arguments. However as we have seen many times in the past elected members ed by the nose by Cllr Walsh are rarely forthcoming in their opinions

  • Russell writes to councillors on Castle Toward decision tomorrow as some are denied a vote
    It is maybe worth highlighting that the sale of the asset and the money received (whether it be £750k, £1.75m or something in between) has no impact on the revenue budget as has been suggested on here. Councils are restricted in the way they spend receipts from the sale of assets.
    Predominantly they are only allowed to use capital receipts on further capital expenditure and not for routine revenue expenditure – the revenue and capital budgets are very distinct (albeit with some overlap due to the need for the revenue budget to take account of incurred interest costs and ongoing maintenance of capital assets).

    So the £1m ‘discount’ will not impact on the revenue budget of any area. What does impact the revenue budget right now is the ongoing maintenance costs which have been mentioned many times.

    Whether it is a paper transaction or not is debatable. I am assuming the valuation of £1.75m is based on open market value however that might not be the case. If it was available for sale on the open market would it realistically fetch £1.75m and would there be potential buyers? If the answer to either of those questions is ‘no’ then it isn’t really a £1m discount.

    Someone else suggested a risk that a buyer could get future planning permission on the land and turn round a tidy profit. As far as I know there would be nothing preventing the council putting a clawback clause into the sale contract which would protect them against such an event. Some sort of sliding clawback (i.e. if the buyer resells the asset for a profit within 3 years then 70% of any profit goes back to the council, between 3 and 6 years, 40%, 10 years 20% etc etc). Such a clawback has been used by Scottish Ministers in the past so I assume it would be an option open to the council.

  • Outright win for John Armour and SNP in South Kintyre
    The low turnout doesn’t surprise me. I think the referendum has exhausted people of politics temporarily and whilst I do think there will be a short term increase in the support for SNP candidates in local elections as a show of support this is slightly tempered in A&B because, quite frankly, the local SNP in A&B have been something of a shambles.

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37 Responses to I think it is safe to say Education …

  1. Is it not a bit odd to announce the Chair of Cowal and Bute Area Committee before one third of that area has even had a chance to elect its councillors?

    I realise Roddy is trying to steal a march here, and this sort of manoeuvring is to be expected. But is it not a bit disrespectful towards the people of Dunoon that their councillors are – by dint of timing – not even in the reckoning?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. I note ‘education and learning’ has been kepy open for mr Breslin or another? Another day would have been better, but new admin very keen to get off starting blocks.

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  3. If this is going to be a truly progressive alliance they will need to tackle the iniquitous social care charging system as a matter of urgency.

    An independent survey has shown that it charges some of the highest rates in Scotland. It seems to regularly bill service users for services they haven’t received and appears to have been designed by the finance department for the finance department and not for the service users or their care managers.

    Either by luck or design the Progressive Alliance has made an inspired choice in Anne Horn as the champion for vulnerable adults. I hope that her sound understanding of their problems, allied to her well known propensity for hard work, will start to overcome many of the problems of social care and bring more fairness to the system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Totally agree,
      I spoke to councilor McCuish last year about the deliberate exclusion of service users in any crucial engagement regards charges for service provision and he was shocked that there was no dialogue regards charges with clients.

      I suspect the officers done the deal with well paid mangers in the voluntary sector and the commissioning team.If so, it’s absolutely shameful by Loudon.

      Through ForArgyl, I again challenge Sally Loudon, Douglas Hendry, or Jim Robb (Adult Care)to a proper consultation in the Corran Halls with the appropriate councilors. True to form they have run away. Cowards!

      I would urge Councilor McCuish to order a review of these charges immediately. I am being charged 75% of my disposable income.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Luck is always a useful component when engaged in government but I can assure Bob Chicken that her colleagues and friends are well aware of Anne Horn’s abilities and her suitability for this appountment.

      Apropos Mairi’s comment at #1 I suspect that Roddy is not banking on Mr Walsh’s support!

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  4. Oh yes, one more thing on the Social Care agenda. How about planning for returning the unique services of Neighbourhood Networks to our communities?

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  5. I think it is safe to say Education has been kept as to be concluded until after the result of today’s election. I don’t know Michael Breslin but, from what I have heard, he is the obvious candidate for the role.

    I thought George Freeman might by appointed as Deputy Leader due to his somewhat lengthy experience (sorry George!) within the Council however, that said, John Semple is a fine candidate for the job and I have no doubt he will support Roddy McCuish superbly.

    A number of other very sensible choices. Good to see George returning to the role of Housing Spokesperson. It was shamefully stripped of him and his knowledge in this area means he is comfortably the best man for the job.
    I am also very pleased to see James Robb as the Finance Spokesperson. He has proven he has a fine grasp of LG finances and it is unlikely that some of the financial errors made in the past two years will get by him as easily as they got by the previous administration (deliberately or otherwise).

    The staff liaison role, if the anecdotal (I put that in for Simon) evidence that ARSN has picked up over the past 18 months is anything to go by, is a very welcome and overdue idea. Dougie Philand is an ideal choice, approachable, very fair and a track record of putting the job before himself.

    Other choices which were no brainers based on previous experience and clearly communicated commitments are Anne Horn as the Adult’s Champion, Elaine Robertson as Carer’s champion and Louise Glen-Lee’s spokesperson role.
    All in all it would appear the right people have been selected for the right jobs and it is good to see that the majority of the deputies are new councillors – hopefully this aid in development and stand them in good stead for future roles

    Good luck to all of them.

    And as a last point – James as Chair of H&L Area Committee – fantastic! Cllr Dance always liked to lord over any position of authority she had, somewhat satisfying to see she has next to none now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Delighted to see James Robb as Helensburgh and Lomond area chairman. First job: stop the CHORD destruction of Colquhoun Square. Second job: Take charge of the CHORD board.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • ALL CORD schemes throughout Argyll must be put into suspension and reviewed. In fact even the principles behind CORD needs looking into and a fresh alternative brought forward.

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        • This would be wise. Much of the programme is formless and in disarray. It has now lost a key member of staff, its Programme Coordinator. who is moving south to a new job.
          All in all, this has to be the right moment for executive intervention and reform – and no consultants. If council officers are not up to doing this themselves, they are not up to their jobs.

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      • And don’t let Vivien Dance anywhere near the Planning Committee in future! Her close links with property developers in Helensburgh make her unfit to serve on that committee in a proper way. Send her elsewhere!

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  7. Robert MacIntyre as Chair of Bute & Cowal Area Committee??

    Will he stay awake long enough to get past the round of “Good Mornings”

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  8. I suggest Argyll First change their group name to the more appropriate MONEY FIRST . Thirty pieces of silver to betray 305 years of successful Union .

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    • what a vindictive and narrow minded attitude. You may not agree with an individuals politics but you should at least respect their right to have another perspective than yours. At least Argyll First have the temerity to put aside any doctrinal differences for the benefit of the local community with a wish to at least improve and open up the Argyll and Bute Council functions that require serious attention. They also put their names to their comments and actions as do I. ITS A PITY YOU ARE NOT BRAVE ENOUGH to do similar. What have you got to hide?

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    • Islay for ever: No mention of the people and the land of SCOTLAND being sold out to the puppet prince william just for the protection of the engaylish

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        • Islay for ever
          Don’t class me with the Scottish nationalists, the SNP have sold us out just like the lords and lairds of old (look up salmond and agenda21 treaty of Rio) as for a “mask” sorry but I don’t wear one, I have no need of a king queen or Pope LOL as for “ugly racist anti engaylish” well that just has my sides splitting, guess the white settler English in Scotland have had a humour bypass my English business partners have always found the funny side to the “engaylish title or my favourite engerland (German queen)
          But guess Argyll has gone all PC on me since I was away working in England and Wales

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