Council latest: Taylor and Macintyre pull the mat from under Short Life Working Group

Later in yesterday’s meeting of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillors Duncan Macintyre and Sandy Taylor leaders of their respective groups of councillors, Argyll and Bute for Change and the SNP, presented the following statement to the council.

It is effectively a position statement in principle, confirming that, as we have said, there is as yet no agreement between the two groups to frame their intended coalition – but that they anticipate that there will be one.

taylor macintyre statement to council 29 august 2013

 Two fingers to the Short Life Working Group and Audit Scotland

The two group leaders are breathtakingly arrogant in their unequivocal intention expressed here to do as they like.

They will be large enough, in their beneficence, to permit the Short Life Working Group on Political Management Arrangements – established under the eyes of the Audit commissioners – to complete its work.

But when that is done, it is here their stated intent to ignore it for an indeterminate time  – and go ahead and ‘appoint an interim administration based upon the current model.’

We already have ‘an interim administration based upon the current model’.

In fact we have had ‘an interim administration based upon the current model’ since May 2012.

And how ‘current’ is the ‘current’ model they propose? The ‘model’ of today – and how more ‘current’ can you get? – has no Deputy Council Leader.

It is the recommendations of the SWLG that are supposed to be providing the replacement for today’s ‘interim administration based upon the current model’. There is no provision for another variation of an ‘interim administration based upon the current model’.

This thing is like a hydra – constantly regenerating in serial temporary administrations.

How long will it take under the realistic timescales and manoeuvres proposed between the SWLG and the human contraflow of Macintyre and Taylor to see Argyll anywhere near stability?

And the puffed up pomposity of the dual signatures, like a cod international concordat, is the stuff of satire.

While Taylor’s effort looks like ‘A Gadfly’, we note that Councllor Macintyre has already perfected the scaled down scrawl that tennis celebrities use to sign for their fans en passant. This is fame?

This ongoing farce has reached such a stage that a conclusion some electors are already voicing seems the most sane and secure way to put an end to it and start again: a new election for the Argyll and Bute local authority.

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26 Responses to Council latest: Taylor and Macintyre pull the mat from under Short Life Working Group

  1. So now you’re not only a political expert but also a graphologist! Is there any limit to this editor’s talent!?!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

  2. The shanigans at Kilmory used to be hilarious but now it is bloody stupid. We need advice from a “legal eagle” as to how we get rid of this bunch of so called councillors. There must be some legal means of doing this.

    Is there a legal channel whereby an e-petition could be set up calling upon the SG to disolve the Council and call a new election?

    ( As an aside Newsie, why does the Short Life Working Group keep appearing as SWLG rather than SLWG? )

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 6

    • If people power can force the SNP government to upgrade the A83 then why not use it to try to force a council election? Good idea,Jim B – I’ll sign it.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

    • An e-petition along those lines would be profile raising but ultimately pointless. A more interesting exercise would be to consider the elected members’ (as a group rather than individuals) compliance with the leadership’ principle of the councillors code of conduct. It states that councillors ‘hve a duty to promote and support these principles by leadership and example, and to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the Council and its councillors in conducting public business.’

      (the reference to ‘these principles’ is a reference to the other principles set out in the same Code.

      It would be very unusual for an official complaint to be made about a council for breach of the ‘leadership principle’ Most complaints are about breaches of other principles such as ‘Integrity’, ‘Openness’, respect etc etc.

      I have no faith in the Standards Commission to deal with any complaints adequately however it would be interesting to see how they deal with a complaint about an entire administration, for failing in the ‘overall umbrella principle’ of ‘leadership’ with a large e-petition to back it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  3. Jim B yes there must be a way to restart after what has been a series of failed administrations. We’re basically left again with a leader that’s not a leader and his party and fellow SNP MPs don’t want him in power. They should all go into opposition and not into any lead jobs because they vote a certain way because they get paid more to do as they are told.

    Shocking for Argyll and anyone who voted for SNP who turn out can’t do the job they were shouting about?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  4. It may be difficult to make a complaint stick if it’s based on the fiction written here. You may actually have to get some facts.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  5. Come on Anne, even you must recognise that A&B Council has been a shambles since the last election and that nobody seems to be leading it. Certainly the SNP aren’t and I am not trying to make a political point here, the situation is too serious for that after all this time.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  6. Thanks for the suggestion integrity but that sounds like a slow way to make progress.

    I see on the Scottish Parliament website that you can set up an open petition and collect signatures on line. With help from local newspapers/sites it should be possible to publicise a petition quite quickly. Look how quickly the school meals blog went viral.

    At the end of the day, personally, I don’t really mind that much whether we get a new election or scare the hell out of the existing
    mob so that they get their act together and get on with the job.

    Anyone who would like to discuss getting something done can email me at

    I agree Lowry – the same image entered my brain too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  7. Jim B, the council has actually done a lot of good work. Problems with politics don’t alter the fact that some talented lead councillors changed things for the better. You are quite right that the politics have been disrupted but the SLWG is a sensible way to address that. What isn’t needed is any kneejerk response or some hastily cobbled together system that would be as shaky as the last one.

    Please take the time to talk to some councillors before you kick off your campaign. What I see and hear bears little relation to what appears on this site. Things are moving on positively and I’m very hopeful about the change that’s taking place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

    • Good grief Anne, what planet are you on?
      Please be specific and give me an example of the good work this council has done – yes one example will do. (I don’t expect an answer as I don’t think you answered Simon’s question dating back to the election.)
      Are you able to answer the simple yes/no left for you on another thread?
      As for a hastily cobbled together agreement, this council has been in existance for nearly 18 months and should have sorted things out ages ago.
      The SLWG was probably a good idea, if late in coming, but it appears to have been hijacked or are you going to tell me it hasn’t? You keep hinting at things but never come up with anything solid.
      At the time of the election I remember remarks about the SNP having WON the election and how wonderful things would be under their (your) administration.
      You may be “very hopeful about the change that is taking place” but I dispair for Argyll & Bute. We deserved better, much better. The really sad thing is that most people, and local newspapers do not care.
      At least Newsie tries to keep us informed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      • The SNP did not win the election they returned 13 councillors out of 36. @ have gone west leaving 11. 25 other councillors have the same degree of responsibilty to bring stability to the council Unfortunately James Robb and Helensburgh mafia have not intention of doing anything that does not suit them. He is still in charge of finance and that is scary. They all need to work for the betterment of the folk in argyll and Bute. Why have we not got an enquiry into the record 12.8 Million pound surplus and what will happen to it. %.6 Million in cuts when we have a surplus that is twice that beggars belief.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Lets not have a knee jerk response because we might end up with Dick Walsh and the SNP back running the council so lets give the councillors plenty of time to come up with something better.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  9. Knee jerk!! How much time have they had? How much chaos have they caused?

    I’m with Jim on this – a new election is required. If the electorate vote back Walsh et al so be it, but at least let’s be given a chance to get rid of the rot that’s causing the current appalling mess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • You are denuded the only way to get a new council is to get all of them to resign causing 36 bi-elections. Too many vested interests and not only SNP ones for that to happen.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Devastating, Macyntre will put the final nail in Oban’s coffin. More time and money will be squandered with his indecision. We will be back to the plans for a transport hub which will not bring anymore people to Oban, if anything it will only help them pass through even more swiftly. The man appears devious, manipulative and with no morals, with only his own interests and ego in his thoughts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. What are you complaining about you have your fantastic international airport where hundreds of thousands has been spent/ wasted!
    Remember flying from the old gliding school. The idea that it would attract enough people to Connel and Oban has always been pie in the sky. Better the monies spent on the rail network in my view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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