For Argyll has a copy of the minutes of the recent SNP group meeting – published below.
This was the meeting where, with Council Leader McCuish the sole objector, the majority voted to enter talks with Argyll and Bute for Change.
Some SNP Group members were not even informed of this meeting, yet have somehow been recorded here as having submitted apologies [?]. Others were misled as to what its agenda was to be.
Anne Horn , Isobel Strong, John Semple , Richard Trail, Sandy Taylor, Robert Macintyre, Roddy McCuish and Gordon Blair.
Mary Jean Devon, James Robb and Louise Glen - Lee
In Attendance Ian McLean, Bob MacIlwraith
Councillor Taylor welcomed all to the meeting
1. Councillor Taylor asked someone to act as secretary as Louise had tendered her resignation as Group secretary. Anne offered to act as secretary and this was accepted by the Group.
2 As the last meeting was informal there were no minutes recorded.
3 The Way Forward
Discussion followed with regard to the Group working with Argyll and Bute for Change (ABFC).
Roddy added that he had spoken informally with Duncan Macintyre and that there is pressure
for the SNP Group to join ABFC. Roddy had discussed with Duncan MacIntyre the issues if he
were to be leader. It was agreed that it is important that the SNP Group should if possible stay
in administration and that the Group should decide whether it was the view of the Group
that talks should start with ABFC with regard to forming a partnership.
It was agreed by the Group that since we had already left a Coalition with the Independents it
must be a robust agreement.
Robert proposed that Sandy should speak with ABFC to arrange a meeting
and this was seconded by Gordon.
Ian McLean advised the meeting that SNP Members expect the Council Group to have parity of
Administration with ABFC. John added that Kintyre Branch did not express these views.
Bob MacIlwraith added that he was impressed with the standard of debate and that grassroots
Members want the SNP to have a high profile.
The Group agreed by a majority to enter talks with ABFC.
It was agreed that the Group Leader, Depute Leader, Anne Horn and the Provost should be
Present at these talks
a Area Committee
John spoke to his submission for the SLWG and explained the content. Area Lead Councillors
would hold Officers to account on local issues and if connected to Council strategy this would
connect to Lead Councillors. Members contributed to the discussion and it was then agreed
that the paper should be submitted to the SLWG
Richard added that he had concerns regarding funding of Area Committees in the
5 Council Agenda
This would be discussed at the pre-agenda meeting on Thursday 15th August.
5. Date of Next Meeting
26th September 2013 – 10.30 until 12.30 and all Group meetings will commence at
10.30 am unless otherwise notified
- that Argyll and Bute for Change is in the driving seat – the supplicants are the SNP group, willing to stay in administration in some guise – ‘if possible’ [the emphasis in the text of the minutes is ours], meaning ‘if Argyll and Bute for Change let us’;
- that Councillor Glen-Lee, one of the doughty four who have persisted in trying to make the SNP group deliver on its responsibilities to its electorate, is removing herself to the periphery of the group;
- that there were no minutes from the previous ‘informal’ meeting – the standard device of chicanery: leave no trace;
- that Councilor McCuish discussed with the man himself the ‘issues’ arising from the possibility of Councillor Macintyre becoming Council Leader – typical straight-from-the-shoulder McCuish.
- that the SNP Groups’ earlier performance is described as ‘leaving a coalition with independents’. The reality was that the independents in partnership with them had been unequivocally loyal and supportive throughout prolonged and extremely difficult circumstances with the SNP group eating itself and with party central interfering from all quarters to get them to leave power.
- that talk of ‘a robust agreement’ with Argyll and Bute for Change could not be more hilarious. The SNP Group have no leverage in discussions – because they WANT not to be responsible.
- that neither the SNP Group nor Provost Isobel Strong herself appear to have any awareness of the degree of detachment that is a fundamental obligation of that role. She has been seen knowingly to be party to discussions openly excluding a major group of councillors – the Argyll, Lomond and the Isles group – when Audit Scotland were assured that the chamber was moving to collaborative political management. It is hard to see that the Provost can now have the universal trust of the entire chamber, as is a baseline requirement of her job. There is a real case here for requiring the Provost to stand down.
And the band plays on.
The discussions at the SNP Group’s meeting this coming Tuesday will be interesting – as will what comes to pass at the Council meeting on Thursday.