For Simon, there is no change in the …

Comment posted The shape of the new council by Councillor George Freeman.

For Simon, there is no change in the allowances. Just the same as the ConDemAll administrtaion. The legislation restricts the number and total amount.

Recent comments by Councillor George Freeman

  • Meeting of interested parties on A83 makes Oliver Twist move on Transport Minister
    As the Rest and Be Thankful is in my Lomond North electoral ward, I was surprised to read about this meeting which I had no knowledge of. Firstly, we need to remember that, although there are landslips beyond the Rest in the Cowal Ward in Argyll, the major problems with land slips are on the Rest itself, which is part of my Lomond North Ward, which also falls within the Arrochar & Tarbet Community Council area. Having said that, it has been the norm over recent years for local Ward councillors and the Community Council to be ignored when the problems at the Rest are being discussed.
    Following the report on For Argyll, I tried to contact the other two ward councillors to confirm if they had been invited to the meeting. As I was told yesterday that Councillor Corry was currently in Sweden and was not available, I contacted Councillor Robert G MacIntyre, who also happens to be the Council’s Deputy Lead Councillor for Roads Issues, to ask if he was aware of the meeting. Councillor MacIntyre confirmed that he was contacted late on Thursday by Council staff to ask if he could attend the meeting. Given that the meeting was being held the next morning (Friday) at 10.30 am, this clearly gave him no time to consult with other ward councillors or the Community Council on what was due to be discussed. Given the short notice, it appears that the late invitation to Councillor MacIntyre to attend Friday’s meeting was an afterthought. How could Councillor MacIntyre be expected to speak on behalf of Argyll & Bute Council when he had not been given the opportunity to consult with the Council on the issues that were due to be discussed?
    Most people tend to forget that the Rest and Be Thankful is NOT in Michael Russell’s Argyll & Bute constituency but is in Jackie Baillie’s Dumbarton constituency. Having contacted Jackie Baillie yesterday, she has confirmed to me that she “had not heard about the meeting”. I wonder what Michael Russell’s reaction would be if Jackie Baillie arranged a meeting in Arrochar to discuss an issue that was of major importance to Michael Russell and his constituents but did not give him the courtesy of an invitation or even informing him of the meeting? I doubt if Mr Russell would be been very happy.
    It appears to me that the Scottish Government is still not taking the problems at the Rest seriously and are determined to spend as little as possible to try and keep the residents and businesses of Argyll & Bute happy. Would this sort of response be acceptable if this was happening in the central belt? I believe that it certainly would not be acceptable and that the Scottish Government would throw as much money at it as was required to resolve the problem. There again, I am sure that some of those in power think that this is only Argyll, a remote rural area with a small population which does not justify the expenditure required to provide a permanent solution to this problem.
    We have heard in the past that there was no money allocated in the Scottish Government’s capital programme to provide a permanent solution at the Rest. That may have been acceptable within the three year spending review period at that time, but could not justify the Scottish Government failing to make provision within the new 3 year spending review period.
  • Argyl and Bute Councillors in trouble for non-payment of – Council Tax
    For the avoidance of any doubt, and to reassure my constituents, I can confirm that I am NOT one of the councillors referred to in the Sunday Post yesterday as having had Council Tax arrears.

    My Council Tax has always been payed on time and I have never been in arrears with Council Tax or any other payments to the Council. That reduces the number of councillors in Argyll & Bute to 35 that the Sunday Post could have been referring to.

  • Pro-indy Sunday Herald seen utterly to concoct smear on Labour
    Neil, given the report in the Sunday Herald, it would appear that, in their opinion, you are now Leader of the Council? Either that, or it is down to the poor quality of the reporting in the Sunday Herald who obviously do not check their facts before running with a story.

    It is good to note how disciplined and united your Group is within the Council under your leadership.

  • Council by-election result: Labour takes first seat in Argyll and Bute Council since 1999
    Warmest congratulations to Neil MacIntyre for a successful campaign. I look forward to working constructively with him over the next three years.

    We will now have four MacIntyres on the Council which will no doubt cause a bit more confusion. I just wonder if we will have another MacIntyre standing in the upcoming by-election in Ward 5 – Oban North and Lorn to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Louise Glen-Lee?

  • Will Argyll and Bute Council change its name?
    Question, on that basis, Argyll no longer exists so why are we using it and why are folk promoting it?

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24 Responses to For Simon, there is no change in the …

  1. First class selection and the point that Ann Horn should have a depute is a sensible suggestion. Her work load will be considerable, and she is the person to bring much needed effective change to this aspect of council activity.
    The balance appears to be just right and should ensure the new council administration goes from strength to strength.
    We need to give Roddy McCuish and the rest of this new administration the time to get the council moving forward. A realistic observation must be maintained, not just reaction to the problems of the past. We all hope we can see quick effective action as soon as possible but this must be tempered with time to create the new atmosphere that is required within the council.

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    According to report Walsh’s comment of “embarrassing” hit home as McCuish was unprepared and out of his depth at his first meeting. Seems he had to be rescued by officers all the time as he had no understanding of his brief. 6 months now probably too optimistic. The turn-coat Tory picks up his additional twenty pices of silver.

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    • The only person who should be “embarrassed” is Mr Walsh. Previously leading this council area to the brink of destruction.

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    • Arnie is that not virtually the same comment you made on the other thread?

      Robert is right – grapes, not pears. Big soor ones.

      Your comments don’t seem to be making any particular argument, but are just bitter personal digs. How personal are we getting here? To feel so vehemently, it would suggest you are incredibly close to the situation… perhaps that of the now ousted administration… perhaps even its leader… perhaps finding a little more time on his hands now… and realising he has finally lost… and that his salary is going to drop SIGNIFICANTLY.

      Just a theory ;)

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  3. No idea what the ‘embarassing’ story is but would be willing to wager it is being blown out of all proportion by some bad losers.

    If you want to talk about petty embarassing moments in the chambers lets recall Cllr Marshall strolling in late to the Council meeting where Sandy Longmuir tore the council figures apart then challenged Sandy about his credentials. Safe to say we chuckled form the viewing gallery when Sandy obliged him.

    I am optimistic that this new administration will be welcoming to external challenge and be more than prepared to amend council papers where errors are highlighted. Something the previous administration, and the current CMT, were never prepared to do. To err is human, what defines a person is how they manage the error.

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  4. Well done ForArgyll for such thorough and quick reporting. All eyes will be on this new administration and it looks good to me with good ‘attitude’.

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    • It’s a sure bet that all councillors in all councils need all the luck that they can get, when you look at the increasing social and economic challenges facing them.

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  5. Good luck to the new council.

    Now, can someone – anyone – tell me how many people under this regime are getting additional repsonsibility payments compared to the previous administration?

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  6. Thanks Cllr Freeman – I appreciate that. One of the ‘like’ ticks is from me. :)

    So, I guess the fact that the new admisitration has exactly the same number and total amount (of allowances)as the previous admistration really just exposes, yet again, Newsie’s biased blog.

    If she keeps inventing rubbish stories like this (you must remember the never-ending ‘rag-bag alliance’, ’30 pieces of silver’ and ‘noses in the trough’ crap) she’ll get her press accreditation in no time….

    Have a nice night and sleep safe in knowledge that you have a new Council. :)

    ps You’ll be pleased to learn that the Samaritans have been stood down.

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    • Simon – distributing responsibility payments as a form of patronage to councillors who are then expected to toe the line and flip-flop on demand is rather different to allocating responsibility payments to those who are expected to successfully rise to the challenge of their extra responsibility – and I very much hope that time proves we’re in the latter scenario now.

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  7. Well Robert, we’ll see what we’ll see. ;)

    Remember you have those two serial flippers Mary-Jean and Robb on board. And of course the whole snp group who were in the admistration with Tricky and Co.(before mike russell told them to get out…)

    From the look of things all those who jumped into the SNP-led rag-bag alliance have been rewarded with special repsonsibility posts. I’ll say one thing for them – they’ve got their noses in the trough early this time… ;)

    Have a nice evening. :)

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    • Simon – just as bitter as usual. At least this group of councillors are expected to bring change and hopefully improvements to the folks of Argyll and Bute. We can only judge by performance. The outgoing regime despite the same allowances and payments did little or nothing for this area, actually took retrogressive actions and wasted monies for little or no apparent reason. I am sure if you gave up the amount of time that this new administration will need to and did some of the traveling that they do, you would expect nae demand recompense. Irrespective of political background or persuasion councillors should be given stipends and allowances, we as an electorate just need to be more selective as to whom we select to represent us. If you dislike Mary Jean Devon and James Robb as much as you seem to why did you not stand for election give us your background and let us vilify you?

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  8. Simon seems to have forgotten that many members of the previous administration did a complete somersault on their previously stated and widely supported position in order to grab the extra shekels. Many voters did not forget however, and the only surprise is that several of these unreliable specimens managed to get re-elected.

    On the other hand several of this new progressive administration gave up substantial extra payments and high positions on the last ruling administration on a matter of principle.

    Extra allowances for extra resposnibility is hardly a surprising component of councillors remuneration.

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  9. Actually, I am all in favour in paying councillors a decent allowance and extra for additional resposibilities.

    What I was doing of course was comparing and contrasting newsie’s treatment of councillors’ allowances in the previous adminstration with this new one.

    I recognise that there is a financial cost to democracy – regardless of who is in power. And unlike newsie (and some of the more vociferous on here) I don’t choose to rail against councillor’s allowances if the elected administration is not my first choice.

    Have a nice day. :)

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    • Sorry Simon, we have consistently said that councillors must be paid a decent rate for the job we expect them to do. £16k a year is derisory. And we said that when the previous administration was in operation.
      All we are interested in in competence and integrity in all quarters.
      While one would hope to see integrity whether or not people were paid at all, no one is entitled to expect or demand high levels of competence and dedication on low pay.

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  10. Simon Councillors are now paid wage.
    This has been the case since the 2007 election.
    ABC has a Leaders fixed wage(£31/32k) based on the size of the Council and the total budget.
    There are 9 Senior Councillors(£24/25k) usually including Senior Opposition leaders based on the results of the Councillor groupings.
    The remaining 16 Councillors are paid a set wage(£16/17k)
    Additional expenses are reimbursed to all Councillors.
    Councillors in each Ward should meet with officers to agree how they will represent the people in each Ward.
    This information and agreement to be communicated to the people.

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