A range of credible sources have it that:
SNP party group leader, Councillor Roddy McCuish intends to stand down as party group leader today and will resign from the SNP. This would be a typically clean-cut, no-nonsense decision from a man who is universally respected for his honesty.
New leader, novice councillor Sandy Taylor appears to have lost or ceded control already. All group decisions – of elected councillors – apparently now have to be signed off in advance by local MSP Michael Russell Russell and by the SNP Constituency Convenor.
Some SNP councillors may leave the group over this – a stance which would be welcomed by the public.
We understand that Councillor Mary Jean Devon is under pressure from her local constituency to leave the SNP and return to being an independent councillor.
Councillors Breslin and Hall are back in the SNP group.
Local MSP Michael Russell has had disciplinary action against Councillor Blair dropped.
After leaving the SNP-led administration on party instructions, Councillor Glen-Lee is said already to be to be back working for local MSP Michael Russell at £15k pa – taking her political earnings to £31k pa.
As a novice councillor given a senior responsibility, she would have been earning something around £24k pa from her formal council work.
The current alleged situation would support the validity of our earlier information that she had been offered just such financial shelter in exchange for walking out of her party’s lead administration at Argyll and Bute.
She refused to accept a new job in the administration and refused to take a pay cut in a senior responsibility top up and walked out on former Council Leader James Robb, who is said to be likely to absent himself from today’s meeting.
The major concern here is the tightening, not the slackening, of he party’s grip on elected local councillors. This certainly accords with the local MSP’s public statement on looking foward to ‘working with the new administration’.
Deals in the proposed coalition
More information on the deals being done between on the allocation of senior responsibilities is coming to us from several sources. The situation is not without its own troubles.
Councillor Breslin is slated to return to Education but we are being told that the Council’s Head of Service will leave in this eventuality.
As we have already published, Councillor Glen-Lee is down to return to Tourism. This will also be regarded as unhelpful by council officers in a section which has been working particularly well with the industry.
Unlike salmon farming – which employs far fewer people and sees profits exported to corporate owners abroad – leaving not only Argyll but Scotland – the tourism sector is a major employer and its earnings largely stay right here in Argyll.
It would seem foolish to disrupt relations in the single area of success bringing genuine economic development to Argyll – and the potential for a great deal more.
There will be other senior responsibilities that could equally well occupy the wide ranging Councillor Glen-Lee and which would carry a lesser risk for the focused operations in a key industry sector.