Also, the story and the pictures have just …

Comment posted McCuish announces details of ‘team fit to build recovery in Argyll and Bute’ by Mairi.

Also, the story and the pictures have just been on “The Wright Stuff”, Anne Diamond expressing disgust, etc, etc.

Mairi also commented

  • Newsroom – might be worth putting this ‘school-dinners’ side-show in a separate story.
  • Take my word for it, CSB. I hate it when people say that to me, but it is.
  • This is a not-so-little ‘challenge’ for the new chair of education – whoever that may be.

    http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/tuesday-8th-may.html

    This has gone truly viral, and has even been (mis)-reported by the Daily Mail.

    And yes – I know it is a school in Argyll. In the Minister for Education’s own constituency. Expect this to reach the BBC and news outlets today, is my guess.

  • 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?

Recent comments by Mairi

  • Game changing intervention as Labour candidate resolves Argyll black hole for mobile phone signal
    Exactly Clootie!

    You explained that perfectly :)

  • Game changing intervention as Labour candidate resolves Argyll black hole for mobile phone signal
    Thanks, Neil :D
  • Game changing intervention as Labour candidate resolves Argyll black hole for mobile phone signal
    This proposal is not about using TETRA technology, Fiona. Not in any way, shape or form.

    It’s about using a small patch of land or renting a space on a mast for independent transmission equipment. Equipment owned and operated by the usual mobile phone companies. This is something that happens already, but not nearly enough, hence the poor coverage in many parts of Argyll & Bute.

  • Game changing intervention as Labour candidate resolves Argyll black hole for mobile phone signal
    The letter I sent to RBS was not about the closure itself, but rather their failure to confirm when, or even whether, the mobile bank would visit Port Ellen. I did so on the basis of feedback I’d received from customers, and also following discussions with local RBS employees. This was reported correctly in the Ileach.

    I think you’d have a valid complaint, Treble T, if the people who put themselves forward for public service made no attempt to respond to the problems raised by local people. Or were unable to demonstrate how they’d tackle the issues we all face.

  • Game changing intervention as Labour candidate resolves Argyll black hole for mobile phone signal
    Airwave has been owned by MacQuarie for some years now, Keith. It’s not clear to me why BT/O2 oversaw only very limited interaction between its mobile telephony division and its Airwave business. I guess it’s a possible feature of being part of a major conglomerate, when different operating units fail to collaborate. But from what I’ve learned there’s a very disappointing amount of infrastructure sharing in general, and I’m not sure that O2 is any better than the others on this measure.

    On spectrum, you are right that this is a consideration. But it’s not an excuse, as the mobile companies themselves agreed in my conversations with them. Especially now that some mobile companies have bought different spectrum lots in last year’s auctions – both 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands.

    Getting the mobile coverage levels we need is going to take a mix of solutions – and many communities are trying out different methods already (thinking of Tiree and Coll). But to my mind infrastructure sharing is a fast, inexpensive, essential first-step, before we embark on other more elaborate and costly solutions to get the levels of coverage we expect and need. I believe it will give us a major part of the solution, as long as the mobile network operators get serious about infrastructure sharing. As they should, because it’s faster and cheaper than many of the alternatives they’re considering.

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37 Responses to Also, the story and the pictures have just …

  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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

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  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.

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      • 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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