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
- 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’
- General election television debates
Great more debates, just what we need, more mindless chest thumping my quips better than your quip, or fans of both camps claiming irrelevant victories.
I couldn’t care less about arguments over who should and shouldn’t be involved. I’d rather they were scrapped so money wasn’t wasted on a gruesome spectacle which serves no positive value and only paints UK politics in an ugly light.
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