Council Meeting: resounding endorsement of Council Leader as inclusive way forward agreed

[Updated below 22.30] The full meeting of Argyll Bute Council this morning, 27th June, spent 90 minutes debating the relative merits of a motion from the Argyll and Bute for Change group and an amendment to that motion from the SNP group.

These were effectively two opposing motions – a rather arcane device which does have the merit of deciding comparatively between two – or possibly more?  – proposals in a single vote.

We will progressively provide all the details shortly, flagging these up in an ‘updated’ note at the head of this article.

Put rawly, the Argyll and Bute for Change motion:

  • was not competent in providing properly for the council to exercise its due legal responsibilities properly from today until the August meeting;
  • and was markedly exclusive of a major group of councillors in its proposals.

The SNP amendment:

  • allowed for the ongoing management of the council without let or hindrance;
  • and was inclusive of all groups in the chamber.

The amendment carried the vote, which will see:

  • the Leader and all current senior councillors continue to exercise their responsibilities until the August meeting of the Council
  • a fully cross-chamber Short Life Working Group of 12 members established to deliberate and consult and bring to the August meeting a proposal to take forward constructively political management arrangements and structures of the council.

Three councillors were absent, the Provost, Councillor Isobel Strong [Depute Provost Douglas Philand was in the chair]; Councillor James Robb of the SNP group; and Councillor Donald Kelly of the Argyll First Group. That left 33 to vote.

In the vote, the two SNP councillors  – Gordon Blair and Robert E Macintyre – who belong to the Argyll and Bute for Change group, proposers of the motion, registered ‘No’ votes.

Councillor Michael Breslin, now an independent, elected as an SNP councillor but resigning from the party in a particularly slapstick incident in the last year’s  pantomime, hesitated for a pronounced period before voting for the motion. He is a leading member of the Argyll and Bute for Change group.

The two Argyll First councillors present, Dougie Philand from the Provosts’s chair and John McAlpine, voted for the motion – and that group now has serious questions to answer about the credibility of its stance.

The Argyll Lomond and the Isles group supported the amendment unanimously, with Councillor Ellen Morton, in the preceding debate, raising a laugh in saying that she ‘could not be accused of hanging on to power since, sadly, I have none’.

The 14 who voted for the motion were Councillors: Breslin, Dance, Hall, McAlpine, Macdonald, Macdougall, D Macintyre, Macmillan, McNaughton, McQueen, Marshall, Philand, Scoullar and Walsh.

The 17 who voted for the amendment were Councillors: Colville, Corry, Currie, Devon, Freeman, Glen-Lee, Horn, Kinniburgh, McCuish, RG Macintyre, E Morton, A Morton, Mulvaney, Robertson, Semple, Taylor, and Trail.

Both those who supported the amendment and some who supported the motion spoke voluntarily in respect and support for Council Leader Roddy McCuish and what they described as his strong and trustworthy leadership – to a flurry of ‘Hear hear’s’ and desk thumping.

Indeed, a few of several moments of comedy in the debate saw the Argyll and Bute for Change group attempt, in midstream desperation, to steal the clothes of the amendment and even to adopt Councillor McCuish as Leader within their notion – which had proposed to dispense with him.

It has to be said that this last novel notion was not put forward by Councillor Duncan Macintyre who leads the Argyll and Bute for Change group but by Councillor Scoullar from Bute, who, in the heat of the moment, had clearly forgotten about his group leader’s personal ambitions.

The other thing to record at the outset, and before working through notes to add the detail here, is that the Argyll Lomond and the Isles group, who were summarily excluded from the proposals in the Argyll and Bute for Change motion, showed their intrinsic merit and worth in no small measure.

Councillor Ellen Morton, currently Leader of the Opposition, produced a concise series of points of order which absolutely demolished the credibility and utility of the Argyll and Bute for Change motion which under scrutiny, was surprisingly unable and frankly shambolic. Council law and governance officers supported the authority of Councillor Morton’s point.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, in a skillfully ameliorating contribution, noted that what was unifying was the wish of the entire chamber  for change, crediting the motion with getting that ball rolling before going on to note the impossibility of supporting a motion which would see the council at genuine risk of of being unable legally to function for two months.

Councillor John Semple who proposed and spoke to the SNP amendment was concise, focused and measured. He began by offering the chamber the observation that Zebra fish share 85% of the genetic make up of humans. Members clearly wondered where he was going with this. He wasn’t. Hen wanted simply to give them an opportunitiy to laugh together – and succeeded. The atmosphere lifted.

Council Leader McCuish, spoke with his usual authority and noted that he was not burdened with ambition but ‘just wanted to see the right thing done’.

He did.

The vote for the amendment and the many personal testimonies to his leadership were a long-overdue victory for fidelity as well as for leadership.

Councillor McCuish has fought for his party to deliver on the responsibilities to Argyll and Bute they were elected to accept rather than run away from them for party political reasons. In this he has been immovably faithful to the electorate and to his party – a spirit that was not reciprocated. He has also been faithful to individuals across the chamber whom he has personally seen, in private negotiations as well as in public actions, work to be constructive in the interests of stable governance of this council.

Some days, the good guys win. This was one of them.

Audit Scotland commissioner were in attendance and cannot have been blind to the fact that the two key planks in Councillor Duncan Macintyre’s summing up for his group’s motion were both genuine features of instability of governance  – and were both ‘managed’ from outwith the council.

Councillor Macintyre instanced:

  • instability in leaderships – correct – with each SNP leader since May 2012 undermined by his own party machine;
  • abdication of responsibility – correct – with the SNP party hierarchy, local MSP at the helm, driven to get its local councillors out of power and into the happy irresponsibility of opposition as fast as possible.

With the unedifying year at the SNP-led Argyll and Bute Council as evidence, Audit Scotland cannot avoid its own responsibility to provide guidelines governing the relationships between ‘political’ groups in local authorities and their political party principals elsewhere.

The determining principle in creating such guidelines must be the interests of good governance of the local authority in question.

We would suggest that such guidelines be embedded in the Code of Conduct of Councillors.

22.30 updated material below

We are including the texts of the motion and the competing amendment below, with a note on the characteristics of each that were highlighted by members and council officers at this morning’s meeting. These illustrate the reasons why the vote today went the way it did.

We will deal with the analysis of the emerging situation, along with significant detail of the meeting, in a separate article to  be published later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Argyll and Bute for Change Motion – and embedded problems

31.  NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER STANDING ORDER 13

That the Council confirms the Argyll and Bute for Change group as the new Argyll and Bute Council Administration group.
That all the senior political positions currently held within the Council with the exception of the Provost and Depute Provost, are removed with immediate effect.
That an interim arrangement of nine (9) elected members is put in place to liaise with the Chief Executive, Executive Directors and Heads of Service on Council business and to take forward a review of the political management structure of the Council with a report back to a special Council meeting in early August.
That a review of the senior member structure is carried out,with proposals for change being presented to the special Council meeting in August.
That the interim nine (9) Member arrangement comprises of the following members:-
Duncan MacIntyre; Vivien Dance; Dick Walsh; Michael Breslin; Gordon Blair; Iain Angus MacDonald; Dougie Philand and two members to be notified.

Moved by Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Seconded by Councillor Iain Angus MacDonald.

Agenda Item 31: SNP Amendment

This Council recognises that it is the wish of members to see change in the political management arrangements and structures of the Council.

This Council also recognises that fundamental change to political management arrangements and structures of the council is an important issue for all members, and that all members should have an opportunity to influence the forming of new structures.

The Council agrees the following:

  1. A short life working group shall be established to consider proposals for new political management arrangements and structures.
  2. Membership of this group shall be 12 drawn from across the Council in order to represent as closely as possible the political make-up of the council.
  3. The Chair will be the Leader of the Council who, in consultation with the Chief Executive, will identify resources and schedule meetings in order that the findings of the group are reported to the August meeting of the Council.
  4. As an interim measure, there will be no change to the political management arrangements and structures of the council until the Council has considered the findings of the short life working group at the August meeting of the Council.

Moved by Councillor John Semple. Seconded by Councillor Sandy Taylor.

Relative strengths and weaknesses

The motions strength was that it broached the agreed need for change.

Beyond that it proved insupportable on competence grounds.

Councillor Ellen Morton demonstrated this in short order before the debate even began. She put a series of forensic points of order, accurately identifying serious deficiencies in the motion. They were:

  1. That a council ‘administration’ has no legal status [as For Argyll recently discovered in scrutinising Argyll and Bute Council's constitution where the term does not appear] – yet the motion proposed that Argyll and Bute for Change should be confirmed ‘…as the new Argyll and Bute Council Administration group’. The constitution mentions only the Provost, the Leader and senior responsibility positions.
  2. That in proposing to remove the Leader and all senior responsibilities, the Chair of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee would  be removed, leaving the council with no legal authority to approve, for example, occasional licenses for alcohol over the months of July and August.
  3. In the absence of any authority the envisaged circumstances would dictate, delegated responsibilities go to the Council CEO but in the frame of the motion any emergency situation would require the recall of the full council for a meeting to deliver the required decision taking authority.
  4. The proposal ‘does not secure the rights of all members to participate in decision taking’. The motion proposes a delegated group of 9 – 7 of whom are named and from the proposing group, wiht two to be added and one large group of councillors [Ed: Argyll Lomond and the Isles, with 10 members] simply disregarded.
  5. This group of 9 would be delivering none of the council’s necessary senior responsibilities [which the motion would have left vacant for the duration] but would purely be looking at proposals for political management arrangements.

The amendment – or the alternative proposal – left the Council Leader and all senior responsibilities in post for the duration, covering the council’s ability to function legally in all eventualities; and the degree of cross-chamber inclusivity in its planned composition of the Short Life Working Group was a constructive change away from the adversarial traditions of local government.

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71 Responses to Council Meeting: resounding endorsement of Council Leader as inclusive way forward agreed

    • No Neil, it is a disaster for communities and elderly care.

      the ConDems,Mulvaney,Currie,Corry and the Mortons, are the controlling faction in “Bluey McCuish’s” blueprint for Argyll and Bute.
      You are his sycophant, a slave of the cult of the individual and share his unrepresentative views, I am not surprised that that the new administration slogan is “Work out the maths. We are all Tories now”

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 10

  1. Blair and MacIntyre not supporting SNP Council Leader McCuish again! If they had any honour they would leave the SNP.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 24

    • McCuish and Co supporting Tories and Lib dems again! If they had any honour they would leave the SNP

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

  2. Agree about treacherous Blair and MacIntyre. What will H2O say? Who cares – but seriously.
    After this great display of leadership and co-operation will Michael Russell put aside his personal agenda and allow the stable coalition between SNP, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives demonstrated today. It is without doubt what we need.
    Will Donald Kelly keep taking the money for doing nothing?
    Any comment from SNP spokesperson and Russell mouthpiece Mrs Baird?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 29

    • So SNP leader (in name only) gets into bed with the Tories and lib dems. He must need the money more than I thought.

      Based on SNP policy he must be expelled from the party.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 19

  3. So is this a long term fix or just something to get us through the holiday period? As I voter I thinks it shameful and prob the start of the next disaster no matter how its written, it will just to have calm through the holidays. See it for what it is

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 4

    • In our view, this is a very different situation now.
      We’ll all have to see the make up of the cross-chamber 12 strong Short Life Working Group which the Council Leader will propose – but we have no doubt that it will be genuinely representative of all groups. Every member of it will need to be very capable.
      The thing is that today this was effectively a competent pledge, made before Audit Scotland [who are now keenly interested in the conduct of this council], to deliver to the council meeting in August proposals from an inclusive group for new political management arrangements and structures to take the council into better governed times.
      Today it was clear that Roddy McCuish is the only councillor who can genuinely unite the council because he is universally trusted, is seen by everyone to have become a strong leader, has let no one and nothing down and is consensual by nature.
      The Short Life Working Group he will now appoint will be a properly constituted committee of the council and will be able to talk with executive authority to senior officers.
      Its members will know that they will all be under scrutiny by the electorate, by Audit Scotland and by their fellows to deliver a workable, inclusive, capable and acceptable approach to these issues – and not to find reasons why they cannot do this.
      They simply cannot afford to fail.
      There was another, perhaps more interesting, revelation at this morning’s meeting.
      The markedly more capable councillors were supportive of the amendment and some key supporters of the motion were significantly less competent than we had assumed and less competent than they used to be. Evidence for this is the failure – with plenty of time – to prepare an able proposal; and what were often erratic, unfocused and rambling performances in arguing the case for it.
      We will be dealing with these matters in the additional material to be added to this article [in advanced preparation as of now']; and in a second piece to be published later tonight or tomorrow morning – an analysis of the current situation and the relevant detail of the debate.
      Much of these will shed light on the insights from the debate to which we refer above.
      There are no guarantees but at the moment we feel more hopeful than we have done.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 18

      • I think that the universaltrust in Roddy has gone unless your buying that trust with lead jobs. It would have been better for Argyll to have the everyone step down and them see how they vote for the next leader. were in this situation becaue of poor leadership and and greed of money.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  4. Anne, like I said elsewhere, you’re just offensive. My views as expressed here are my own. If I was speaking for anyone else I’d say so. As for Michael Russell, I don’t equate him with the mad Moriarty character described on these pages and don’t get paranoid every time he expresses an opinion. Nor do I have any inclination to worship him. He’s one of us. No more, no less.

    I’m pleased that councillors will engage in making changes to the council. I very much hope it’s the path to something better than the managed decline we’ve witnessed over the years.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 11

  5. Now is not the time to gloat but to offer compassion to those councillors who struggle to put anything together that is even competent even with all that so called experience behind them.
    The good fellows behind ever increasing circles obviously have just got dizzy going round and round so they can be excused but as for the rest of Duncan and Dick,s gang well I am sorry folks you just have no credibility left not that you had much before.
    Not to forget Marion who has trained Roddy well over the years and I am sure he will enjoy a wee whisky tonight.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 24

    • Hi Neil,

      I was waiting for the emails that you keep promising to release Maybe thats what did it a threat, Nevertheless my post above holds true Roddy’s now a true Tory . Another few months and he will end up with UKip.All the councillors go into recess at the moment so another breathing space for the officials although the shredders will be busy.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 11

  6. This only puts back to September where we go from here. We need open and transparent Council we need the officials made to toe the line and some proper motions to improve our Council performance.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  7. H2O is back and and with a bang.
    Well if Peter is on the ball will Russell call for Roddy,s head if that is SNP policy?
    If not will Peter resign his membership along with many others in Argyll?
    Just when we thought it would be quiet over the summer break will the SNP internal battle keep us all amused when we are watching ANDY win Wimbledon?
    Will the Blairites ever put a competent motion forward?
    As we have all said before life is never dull down in old Kilmory.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 21

  8. Neil you seem to take this as some sort of funny amusing game of chess? None of this helping in anyway getting Argyll and Bute back on its feet, we have had three various so called leaders a lot of back stabbing and very little done to make the place better. This doesn’t help Struan lodge or any other disaster that SNP are running form.

    It’s all about making it look sorted out till the recess is over and back to shambles as usual. There is no leader still it takes more than a title to be that. It’s all about the money

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 7

  9. News room we’ve heard all this before, I think maybe three times now, same people just moved around with must not understanding what’s going on but happy to play along for the money.

    I don’t think there is any councillor now that any would trust now. It’s just the start of a new game of Snakes and Ladders with mostly just snakes nothing has changed. It’s the the other cheek of the same arse so to speak.

    New balls please (just keeping with the tennis theme) so where are our councillors on holiday this year?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  10. Surely not H20 why would our honest and straight talking councillors worry about simple e-mails.
    Are you implying that they might of been economical with the truth?
    I just can,t believe you would think that of our councillors.
    Although I must admit some of them are a bit special.
    So Roddy to join UKIP well I certainly will put money on that not happening in fact if he does I will vote yes in next years referendum can,t be fairer than that.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 17

  11. For MB
    It is very amusing to me because people voted these clowns in just because they decided to kiss the SNP badge.
    As for the rest of our so called independents that have been there for years they were also voted back in by the people of Argyll with an even bigger slice of the vote.
    Now I can quite happily slag any of them because at least I stood in the last 2 elections because I believe I could do better not that it would take to much.
    So MB whoever you are did you stand or will you stand to try to make things better?
    Argyll,s problems will surely be solved quite easily if all the experts who post on here in disquise will just front up.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 19

    • Neil, I think you may be close to the truth, get elected by a party machine and get all your leaflets paid for by party funds and door knocking activity done by ordinary folks then claim you are the most popular councillor in the area. Lets see how well they do next time when disillusioned folk fail to work for them. This has a long way yet to run.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  12. When will this farce come to an end?
    A ‘funny amusing game of chess’ and then ‘a new game of Snakes and Ladders with mostly just Snakes’, not a bad analysis!

    So what is the way forward for communities in Argyll & Bute?
    How does this resounding endorsement of Council Leader Roddy McCuish as the inclusive way forward sit with MSP Mike Russell?

    Mike Russell’s part in the recent goings on in Argyll & Bute Council is akin to ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burns’!
    The source of this phrase is believed to be uncertain or probably a rumour but there seems to be no doubt in many peoples minds he is to say the least unhappy with how the Snp are leading the council. Why would he have such a desire to undermine his fellow Snp Councillors?

    Perhaps it is now time for some of the Councillors to ‘come clean’ and tell us on FA what their opinions are, or better still, tell us the truth.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 7

    • Why oh Why are they not interviewed by Newsie? If you heard McCuish on Radio Highland this morning, he has all the answers, Why oh why not interview him?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

      • Correct me if I am wrong, but did I hear councillor McCuish say on Radio Highland that he thinks national politicians could learn from how Argyll & Bute Council conducts its affairs?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

      • McCuish has all the answers! I did not hear him on the radio so why don’t you tell us what he had to say?

        Have to say though McCuish and his cronies seem to be more of the problem than the answer.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  13. It would seem to me that life goes on, with or without any effective input from councillors.

    Is it the case then that their only real purpose is to open garden fetes, hand over the keys to publicly donated community transport vehicles, attend school prize givings, etc etc, like some sort of regional, locally based royal family?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8

    • From yesterday’s meeting, it was clear that councillors recognise the force of this argument.
      The gap falls between the fact that the majority see themselves as there only to represent local interests and the fact they have two major and overarching responsibilities:
      - to create the policies for service delivery in their local authority area
      - to scrutine the way council officers implement those strategies.
      Both of these statutory responsibilities require high level skills that few councilors possess.
      Traditionally and by default, most councils are officer-led. The officers make the policies, senior councillors present them, the rest nod them through and no one scrutinises anything, even when there are councillors that could scrutinise effectively – and there are always a few – they don’t do it because the council as a whole relies too uch on its officers and they cannot afford to offend them.
      This is why development plans for elected members exist, why the Iprovement Service exists and why Argyll and Bute’s CEO is now introducing such a plan, with Audit Scotland watching.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 19

  14. Newsie
    Your last comment displays amazing ignorance of Argyll & Bute Council. The problems there are exactly because policies were set by members but a few too many members couldn’t handle that. You are also wrong on inclusion – Argyll & Bute Council is the only council where all members make all policy decsions but that left nowhere to hide for too many. Any change can only lead to less inclusion. Of course that may be actually suit all sides but not the people of Argyll & Bute.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  15. From yesterday’s meeting, it was clear that some councillors achieved their objective of getting their extra payments across the summer recess (which has been their major objective. To hell with Argyll and Bute, good governance, honesty and political credibility)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 8

    • What rubbish from Dave McEwan Hill. Just because the SNP bullies in Edinburgh and Mike Russell could not get their own way to try and force the SNP councillors to work with Tory Donald Kelly and closet Tory Duncan MacIntyre, they throw their toys out of the pram.
      I have spoken with these councillors who will not toe the SNP Edinburgh bully boy line and they were all willing to give up any additional allowances rather than be bullied into working with Duncan MacIntyre and his Tory Colleague Donald Kelly who did not even have the guts to turn up at the Council meeting on Thursday to try and make sure that the Duncan MacIntyre bid for power failed.
      Why should the SNP bullies in Edinburgh and Mike Russell be telling the Argyll & Bute SNP councillors who they should work with and who they should not work with in the Council? This whole farce has been created by the SNP and has been a real eye opener for the public. I voted for an SNP councillor last year and expected him to work with all other councillors for my benefit and for the good of Argyll & Bute.
      It is now obvious that the SNP bullies are not interested in Argyll & Bute but only in trying to get a YES vote next year. Any chance of getting a YES vote from me has certainly now gone.
      Thank goodness that Roddy McCuish, Mary Jean Devon and Louise Glen Lee have the guts to stand up against these SNP bullies.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

      • They are going to give up their allowances and their pay,.Fantastic news.
        Now how much will that be since last election. Must run into a £thousands.
        All monies to “Save Struan Lodge campaign ”
        Glen Lee etc have latched onto Roddy as their meal ticket and know nothing nor care for nothing other than the next wee pay cheque.
        Can you confirm Glen Lee Devon McCuish Semple etc how much money you have you have donated to date?
        Ps As for bullying much of it has came from the McCuish and Robb era with supporting roles from the above.

        For Oban sorry For Argyll confirm monies donated to date. It’s called investigative journalism!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  16. McCuish gets cross party and independent support. Davie Hill and H2O should be proud of the SNP Council Leader. Tories and Libs support for no extra money.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 19

    • Not my leader. Can’t speak for those with noses in the trough.
      How any so called SNP member can cuddle up to the cons and lib lies tells me that they and the others have been using the SNP to get their foot in the door.
      In Oban the other day life does look different with the council sponsored airport nearby compared to the closure threatened Struan Lodge.
      I really hope that SNP HQ realise that the chances given to McCuish etc has been thrown back at them several times over. If they don’t act then there is something murkier going on behind the scenes. Time will tell.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

      • H20: the SNP was set up as a cross party organisation with the purpose of gaining independence for the “nation” of “Scotland”, unfortunately somewhere in the past it was taken over by psychopaths and turned in to a political party (a very dangerous one) with the sole purpose of enforcing “corporate” policy (legislation) on the people of “Scotland”
        I must say I do find your comment “How any so called SNP member can cuddle up to the cons and lib lies tells me that they and the others have been using the SNP to get their foot in the door” very sad! We are “Argyll” people and we should be working for what is best for us! Not some legal entity political party.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 13

        • Keith,
          you refer to a sizeable proportion of us as “psychopaths”. How to win folk over!
          Elections involve political views and of none.
          If Roddy McCuish and his ilk had proposed the closure of Struan Lodge as part of the election spiel then fair enough. But he did not, nor did any other SNP councillor promote tory and lib dem policies nor did they say they were going cosy up to them.
          Of course those currently in charge forgot to tell SNP HQ and other snp colleagues who they deem as an enemy.
          The sad thing is this is in part due to money or their lack of it. It is my view and many other activists that some may have joined the snp to get a meal ticket and were never interested in pursuing the SNP polices that they were elected for. If they are not removed for deliberately going against SNP policy then as activists and Branches we have the right not to leaflet or support them in any shape of form in the future.
          So Councillor’s John Semple,Councillor James Robb, Roddy McCuish, Mary-Jean Devon, Louise Glen-Lee etc, enjoy the extra cash over summer while the residents and staff of Struan wait to hear their fate.
          You are a disgrace to the party and the electorate who took the trouble to vote for you.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  17. I note that with the standards of accuracy we have come to expect from For Argyll it has reported that Blair and McIntyre registered a NO vote. They in fact registered a no vote (abstained), which is entirely different.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 9

    • Mr Hill , Newsroom then goes on to give the breakdown of the 17/14 vote. If you are looking at the small print detail Dave then LOOK again.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 16

  18. Spot on H2O it’s all about the money nowadays, these councillors that we have are unemployable anywhere else Barr one or two. It’s really just a sub pension plan or top up scheme now. I think half of them didn’t even think for a minute that they would get into power. We the mess left by labour and Tories not really a option up here the only other thing left was SNP and yes candidates as H2O says correctly used it as a easy way in the door not really knowing much about politics or what’s going on found them selfs in power by mistake and its been one mistake after another. This so called leader has had three hits at the ball and been unable to do anything but mess it up because he promises everything to everyone to remain popular. When he’s finally removed things could move on. Until then we have no leader.

    It’s not what we will vote for next time. Maybe Neil could give us his thoughts once he’s tucked Roddy in bed for the night?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 10

  19. Come on folks give poor Roddy a bit of slack, look how much money he will save the council in expenses now that he can walk on water. Every cloud has a silver lining.
    Cheers Neil.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

  20. Blair and McIntyre abstained. That is the fact.
    I feel very strongly for some of the SNP council group who find themselves being dragged into bad places on a call to their loyalty which of course keeps political parties functioning. This recess gives a respite which may allow some to escape from the predicaments they find themselves in. They have been ill served indeed by successive leaders but have to accept the responsibility of having chosen them in the first place.
    Having been made aware of Roddy’s haverings on radio yesterday (advising the Scottish Government on how to do things!)it is now pretty evident that he lives on a different planet to the rest of us and likeable though he is he just doesn’t get it. Any notion that he is in charge is debateable indeed and it looks like the power base of Roddy’s empire is to the east of Argyll. However, as I pointed out earlier, he (and a couple close to him)can enjoy their extra payments in the meantime.

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    • I think that most of us would prefer to live on the same planet as Roddy McCuish rather than the bully boy planet that Dave McEwan Hill and his Edinburgh SNP friends live on. At least we know that Roddy and his colleagues in the Council from all political parties and none are not in it for the money. The same cannot be said of Duncan MacIntyres band who are continuing to complain that they want more money.

      MacIntyre and his colleagues are now a laughing stock having broadcast for weeks to everyone who would listen that they were going to take control of the Council and then, twice in the space of a month, having lost the vote in the Council. This is clearly an inexperienced band of individuals who are out of their depth.

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      • We do already it is called planet Earth.
        You are a comedian Roddy is not in it for the money!! Based on your post above he is giving up his time for nothing. What a joke. Evidence please not fantasy.
        As for voting options on the day certain individuals decided to keep with the money rather than represent their electorate.
        Should they day come around for another election who will deliver the leaflets for Roddy etc. Of course word on the street that for some they will stand down — so lets take as much out of the system as quick as possible–

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  21. This is a snide and thoroughly unpleasant little communication – only too typical of your party machine’s all-purpose ‘clog the man’ strategy when you cannot participate in a rational argument and cannot win it.
    Anyone who knows Councilor McCuish knows that he is pre-eminently not to be moved or bought by inducements of any kind.
    During the school closures war he was offered a senior responsibility position to change sides and, rightly, dismissed it out of hand – where his needs are as great as anyone’s. He has been offered more inducements this time to abandon his insistence on integrity of practice and on fulfilling responsibilities to the electorate.
    We are aware from third parties that he has been actively seeking other jobs to supplement the basic councillor’s salary he knows he may return to if his own party’s machinations – which you clearly expect to see continue in the July recess – finally bring down what he is trying to do.
    On the issue of competence and leadership, you are clearly out of the loop.
    One major good to emerge from the chaos your party hierarchy has carelessly inflicted on Argyll and Bute for the past year has been the emergence of a genuinely strong leader who can unite the chamber.
    Councillor McCuish, as a leader, has been forged in the worst of furnaces since May 2012 – in flames bellowed into life by his own party principals outside the council at every opportunity – most of these manufactured by those same principals.
    You were not in the chamber on Thursday morning.
    It is optimistic to imagine that you would have been silenced by the manifest strength and breadth of support and the respect for Councillor McCuish’s leadership.
    It is equally optimistic to imagine that you would have been capable of seeing just how obviously wide was the margin of competence between Councillor McCuish and ALL of those supporting the SNP amendment – and those of the Argyll and Bute for Change alliance, whose motion was fundamentally unable.
    You and the plotters and schemers to which you clearly belong have been outflanked by sheer capability, genuine leadership, a will for consensus and collaboration across much of the chamber, loyalty and respect at a level which you appear unable to envisage.

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    • Totally concur with Newsrooms take on Cllr MacCuishs character and standing. Where Mr Macewan-Hill is coming from i dont understand.
      Cllr McCuish has and will continue to cross boundries in a true desire to do well for the whole of the electorate. Difficult decisions ahead but from Roddy i feel you will get honesty and the facts.
      Why some of his own party have turned on him is hard to comprehend other than the fact he is well liked and jelousy has taken over those less able individuals whonow appear to be destroying that which they succesfully built up over many years.

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  22. Sorry Larry I had to look up sycophant but what are you doing posting under Fiery Dross for, don,t be daft just use your own name. It is us cult followers that get rid of our names.My official name in the group is Elvis who is really the one and only King.
    Blair and MacIntyre abstain so they haven,t a clue what to do I thought these councillors were experienced operators.
    As for Louise you made the right decision never mind what Iain wanted you to do. Enjoy your ice cream.
    Cheers Neil.

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  23. Thanks Neil, The Fiery Dross pseudonym is a rebuking comment in itself regards the irrationality of some right wing nationalists such as Councillor McCuish who believes he can outride the storm of condemnation of his Tammany Hall politics that he is now indulging in.

    He has no control of the factions in the administration. His ginger group has not the guts to challenge the bad management of Sally Loudon and her well heeled money suited butchers of care provision, such as Learning difficulties. Mental Health, children, and the elderly. He is a prisoner to their committees . A man of straw .

    In our neck of the woods; what has he done for social capital and social inclusion? Ziltch. What has he done for the Oban Economy? Ziltch.

    I did get a report about the Corran halls. Instead of doing a public relationship event on behalf of Roddy. You should have got him to insist that officers of the council be present and accountable. Did that happen?

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  24. Newsie
    That would be the SNP amendment actually written by Ellen Morton and Gary Mulvaney. LibDems and Tories reverse Struan Lodge closure. Can Michael Russell do any more to further boost their political standing in Argyll.

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  25. Larry why did you not come to the meeting and ask Roddy and the other councillors these questions..
    Sean spoke well and took on board what members of the public were telling him.Sam especially put his points over brilliantly .There is nothing to stop yourself and the SNP calling a public meeting to put your case across I for one would certainly enjoy it. As for the economic situation in Oban your man Ian wanted Louise to pile in with Duncan and his economic experts what have they done for Argyll and Oban with The Chord money. At least Roddy was honest in his answer to Linda and hopefully we might get somewhere as she has a proven track record on delivery of projects. But I am sure the next Chord meeting will be very interesting I am sure you will come along and put your questions to the board. I certainly will be.
    Tell me the date of the SNP public meeting on the local economy and elderly care and I will certainly come along , should be a great chance for us to hear how the SNP will spend our money.
    Next time your walking the dog give me a shout.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  26. I’m left scratching my head over the views expressed on Councillor MacCuish. My experience of him is that he would support SNP members’ proposals, even when local communities opposed them, and, as mentioned above, I wonder what he has done to improve the plight of Oban during his time in Council. On the other hand, I have watched him listen to groups, take in interest in what they were saying and seem to be genuinely supportive.

    I wonder why, if at all, he seems to have changed his spots? Surely it’s not a simple ‘light bulb’ moment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  27. Neil, Sean and Sam who and who do they represent?

    I have put questions through previous area management committee about Chord.

    I would have to know in writing what the conflict was between, Ian, louise and Duncan before I comment. Maybe “For Argyll” would be the proper platform for such. Personally, I could not care less. It is a distraction. It will probably give us a bit of humour.

    Roddy will tell you that from May 2012 I told him at least four times that leadership in the administration was a poisoned chalice or words to that affect and he should not take it. Anyway who am I to give advice. But do the maths and number crunch and you will know I and most others seen all this developing.

    BTW, he is easily lead by all the officers in Argyll. We know the money suited Clarence Sneddon set him up on the “Mary Meals fiasco” The central figure, a child of
    nine being witch hunted and discriminated by the council leader Roddy McCuish apparently. The facts are before you in “For Argyll”

    I have retained my membership only and have made it clear to the convenor that I will not be attending branch meetings but will do my bit for the “yes campaign” So I will not be seeking a public meeting. I have been in politics for nearly sixty years and I have never witnessed such a bunch councillors so out of touch with their roots

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  28. Well Larry it was you who told me you got a report about the Elderly care meeting in the Corran Halls I just assumed you were told who spoke and what council officer attended.
    Just go back and ask for a more detailed breakdown it shouldn,t be that hard as SNP members from the community council were there.
    It would be so much easier if people who want to see change or have ideas to bring to the table would come to these meetings. The feedback on the night from members of the public and councillors was very positive and personal experiences of residents and carers was invaluable. So it would of been nice if whoever thought it was just a PR stunt for Roddy said so at the meeting. I shall certainly ask everyone who attended the meeting about your information and hopefully whoever was unhappy will tell us what we did wrong.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  29. Neil, Sam and Sean who, and who do they represent?

    Neil, For clarity sake. I told you and “For Argyll” about a meeting on Elderly Care provision and one of the speakers was Sally Loudon. Is that the meeting you are on about in Post (32) Para 1. July 1st at 7:am.

    You informed “For Argyll posters” that you were calling a public meeting and 3 councillors had not indicated they would be attending. You never named them but it is not hard to work out who you were having a go at. So Neil cut out the dross and the smearing of 3 councillors on behalf of Roddy and tell us who Sam and Sean are? Who do they represent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  30. On paragraph 2, Post 32.

    You write, “It would be so much easier if people who want to see change or have ideas to bring to the table would come to these meetings.”

    I cannot see that happening in Community Council time when you are so upfront in your tutelage to Roddy. Nearly every post you buddy him up irrespective of most posters concerns about his lack of leadership.

    There is no way people will see change in Oban when you carry on with the cult of the personality and not take him and his officials to task over service provision. Oban Community Council is a tame appendage for him. You should be ashamed of yourself for allowing it to happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  31. Larry the meeting Sally Loudon spoke at was the ROCP conference on the 28th of May.
    Sam Leddy represents the Oban Seniors Forum and Sean Davidson is the Area Manager for the council.
    As for your thoughts on the Community Council and its members I shall pass them on I am sure they will be delighted to find out they are so highly thought of.
    Are the SNP members of the OCC allowed to be part of Roddy,s Cult that surely must be against Policy.
    Cheers Neil.
    PS.Councillor MacDougall was the only one not to appear at the OCC meeting on Elderly Care last Wed.night
    Shame it was a good meeting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

    • Neil,I am also a member of the Oban Senior Forum and I do have the responsibility to represent them. Did Sam Leddy do this on a “personal capacity” If you want a rep, do it properly Contact AVA in the High St. I will be surprised if you did as you do things on the hoof or the spur of the moment. Organise!!!

      Sean Davidson Area manager of what department of the council? Certainly not the executive department, Who in the first place you should be taken to task. Contact Kilmory House next time.

      You and Roddy are using Oban Community Council as a pre-hustings platform .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  32. Neil,

    Community councils should be apolitical and vote for the benefit of the local community and not for any political party be it snp Tory labour or the other lot.

    It’s in the rules but like Roddy let’s ignore them..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • John,

        BOTH !! Cllr McCuish AS LEADER not the person (his gang) and the SNP HQ–

        For the former –ignoring SNP HQ rules and having secret deals with the tories (ganging up on others with different views– in the same party!!)and for the latter for not removing them (asap)as members despite several warnings re their rule breaking behaviour.

        Roddy is now a lost cause by listening to Robb, Glen Devon and out Local IMPARTIAL community councillor McIntyre. At least CC’s aren’t paid for their troubles.

        Roddy is also no match for the Council officials particularly as Toward rears its ugly head again

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

        • Thank you for your reply, I now understand were you are coming from. In my opinion it would help if people identify themselves with their name. I am not saying you are a troll but too often this happens with social media. When I talk to people in the streets I do not hide my face, but if I worked for the council and knew first hand of poor management (I am not saying corruption) of senior officials and many councillors I would hid my identity, so there are justify reasons to hid your true name.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          • Many months ago I was asked for my name. I responded Hamish. Although some of FA bloggers have called me Peter, Dave, Simon, etc.

            Hope this helps

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  33. H20 what are the community council voting for?
    Community councillors have stood and been successful in local elections for the party of their choice so I am not sure why you are against that. OCC has four SNP members that I know of there might be more but it is not something that anyone is interested in or even discuss.
    But I am sure this will be the normal practice all over the country and Oban has been very well served by ex OCC when they stood locally for election.
    Community council meetings are open to the public so if anyone wants to come along and listen and then contribute they will be made very welcome. Even better they are still looking for volunteers to join so let them step up the more the merrier.
    As for Larry it would be good crack if we were to have elections across Argyll to see what people think of the shambles the SNP have made of running the council.
    We might even get them if Russell and the SNP HQ sack their councillors so we will just have to watch the tennis to keep us entertained till then.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  34. If I was roddy i be getting worried about h20′s fascination with him he’s probably hiding on roddy’s back garden as we speak.i also wonder if H20 will be standing in the next elections since he’s the man with all the answers hiding behind his little alterego!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    • eh —not allowed to refer to the Leader of the Administration in Argyll and Bute– Because if you lead the articles from FA and Neil in particular they are very gushing leading towards idolatory.eg Council Leader McCuish, spoke with his usual authority and noted that he was not burdened with ambition but ‘just wanted to see the right thing done’.

      I could give further examples but I do have a weak stomach. In practice the pro McCuish’s and gang don’t like criticism —from any direction

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  35. I am interested in Elderly Care and Disability issues. I dont think for one moment that the OCC has the same vision and drive to hold Sally Loudon and her minions to account. There is also councillors quite happy that it remains the status quo. Roddy is of them.

    He did give health reasons for resigning the first time. He is so much under pressure and justified criticism, he should consider his position, not for health reasons but for his credibility. He is a patsy of his own making.

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  36. The prodigal son “Oddy” McCuish” returned to the Oban branch of the SNP as if his journey into hell was nothing more than a bad dream. You cannot hold a dream accountable.

    After Oddy’s rousing speech all about himself and not a word on policies,Captain Ahab AKA Norman Martin, Admiral of the Hogganfield fleet of paddle boats, kissed him on both cheeks, saying between mouthfuls of bum fluff “This branch knows you are a true socialist, and its Larry Nugent that keeps calling you a right winger.

    The meeting was closed by renditions of “For he’s a jolly good fellow” and three cheers led by Derek. They lifted the roof off, not because of the volume, Alas, Oddy’s swollen head could not get through the door.

    I am also being accused of damaging the Yes Vote. Oh how stupid of them to be looking for a patsy. When the real culprit is Roddy McCuish. Tell me Derek, is it branch policy to witch-hunt a chronically sick and disabled elderly person. Bring it on.

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  37. Wish I had as much spare time as fiery dross does to write little pathetic little nursery rhymes about people grow up its about politics not your little alterego

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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