Reform Group on council publishes alternative budget

The Reform Group of three Argyll & Bute Councillors – Michael Breslin, Vivien Dance and Bruce Marshall – has worked up and published its own alternative budget.

This is not just a budget. It’s a new way of operation at the council designed both to reduce core operating costs substantially and engage all councillors much more fully and differently in the business – and the responsibility – of local government.

This is serious and complex of work – full of challenge, risk and controversy- but with much of the risk and challenge offering serious gains in efficiency, focus, calibre of work – and job satisfaction for all concerned.

Not all of it would work – and its authors recognise this – but much of it could and all of it is a potential game changer for the better, capable too of putting Argyll and Bute in the lead in a constructive revision of local government.

Parts of it owe something to aspects of the thinking in the paper produced by Councillor Iain Angus MacDonald in the heady early days of the SNP led coalition administration of 2012, which was famously destroyed by its own party hierarchy for political reasons.

That paper, Ever Increasing Circles, proposed a new way of working for elected members which was gloriously impractical but inspirational in its concept of universal engagement a matter picked up again in this Reform Group proposition.

The willingness to think again about the operation of the council where significant core costs are avoidably incurred – including this in a budget that seeks to lose the £10 million that Finance Secretary John Swinney’s austerities for local government requires Argyll and Bute to cut – but to secure a future where such cuts will no longer be applicable and core services will be protected – is ambitious, exciting and deserves serious attention.

For this reason For Argyll is saying no more about this paper at the moment; but will interrogate and evaluate it thoroughly before writing on it in the very near future

The proposal – costed and with council officers currently putting those costs to the test – is due for discussion at the full Council meeting on 11th February.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Newsie, did you not once describe Cllr Breslin as ‘unable to work with others’?, Bruce Marshall once a Tory, then an Independent with Tricky (much to the chagrin of the local Tories) and now a founding member of the Reform Group along with Vivien.

    Vivien Who?

    Anybody want to bet just how far this “gloriously impractical” keech from these Three Amigois will get?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 8

    Simon January 21, 2016 7:49 pm Reply
    • Interesting that Simon surfaces yet again when something related to me is published. My theory, based on evidence of repeated interventions by Simon, is as follows.

      Simon is either a single very senior officer of the council; or a group of very senior officers with access to the email ID used; or someone very, very close to a very senior officer.

      Whoever it is has a serious overdose of cowardice when he, she or they hide behind anonymity. Best advice I have is to ignore these extremely vested interests hiding who they really are.

      The interests of Argyll and Bute take precedence over Simon.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

      Cllr Michael Breslin January 22, 2016 7:42 pm Reply
      • Careful cllr B – your paranoid slip is showing.

        So, AGAIN, for the record, I don’t work for the Council, not at any level, I am not multi-personality, neither does my husband/wife/civil partner/neighbour/barmaid/cobbler work for the council. Nor do I have access to email ID. So you can let that go, but I’m betting you won’t.

        The majority of people who post on here post under pseudonyms – including some who support you.

        So my question is this – how come you it is only me you single out for posting anonymously?
        Touched a raw nerve have I?
        Or is it because I’m just not a wholly committed signed-up member of your fan club?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

        Simon January 23, 2016 8:35 pm Reply
  • What a lot of words to tell us you not going to tell us anything.
    True “for argyll” waffle
    If this is going to be discussed at full council meeting on Feb 11th should it not be available in the council website soon?
    So if you are going to try and influence people by your usual long winded “for argyll” piffle you better hurry before we all have access to this paper and form our own opinions.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 11

    Keitho January 21, 2016 8:04 pm Reply
    • Go for it Keitho! Can’t wait to hear your clear and decisive comments on the proposals.

      https://brezzyboy.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/budget-paper-20-january-16.pdf

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

      John M January 21, 2016 8:26 pm Reply
      • John, thanks for the link, the proposals make interesting reading and I am sure they will generate some interesting debates.

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

        Richard January 21, 2016 8:43 pm Reply
        • I’ve just read the report.8 glaring inaccuracies spotted in 15mins.
          Dick,don’t bother even looking at it.You economical capabilities are inept!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

          Hugh Jazz January 21, 2016 9:30 pm Reply
          • Jazz, As your so bright perhaps you can enlighten everyone on the 8 glaring inaccuracies.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

            Richard January 21, 2016 10:57 pm
  • Breslin left the snp because he couldn’t take instructions by the snp group although he wanted everyone to follow him all a Tory in independents clothing. Same idea that Kieron Green is doing. Cant get elected as liebour so I will pretend I am something else. Dance what can I say? Nope can’t think of anything. Breslin is pally with Russell who is pally with the owner of For Argyll!! The cunning plan is get more deserters from Walsh over the next year. Independents are like that as they can jump from one responsibility payment to another and remain independent. Then Russell will use his influence to get
    some support from the snp group and get a coalition snp in chargye. Can think NEWSIE will not like that. Breslin for king will not be acceptable by snp members

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

    No Cheese Here January 22, 2016 8:25 am Reply
    • NCH sorted that for you 🙂

      ‘Breslin will not be forking acceptable to snp members’

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      Simon January 22, 2016 6:37 pm Reply
  • whether the document is indeed the answer to A&B’s current issues or not and if it is as radical and risky as you infer then nothing will be done about it until the current leader steps down, until then!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    mike January 22, 2016 9:53 am Reply
    • Mike, at least an alternative has been put forward, instead of continual criticism maybe NCH, Jazz, Keitho etc have some constructive alternative suggestions.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

      Richard January 22, 2016 12:21 pm Reply
      • I have a suggestion Dick.Kick out all the Yoonionist following councillors(as they obviously know squat about business,as does the Wastemonster cohorts)
        and replace them with people that have Scotland’s interests at heart.
        And while I’m at at,for the 6th time,who’s going to lead the naw mob in the next Indifer?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

        Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 12:40 pm Reply
        • Jazz, The answer is the same as before, ‘a Scot who cares about the people of Scotland’ not a dream at any cost.
          Maybe you missed this:-
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35375303
          Get on and call a referendum, you will get a shock and it will be the end for the SNP.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

          Richard January 22, 2016 2:00 pm Reply
          • 65% of Scots intend to stay in Europe,latest polls reveal!
            That screws up your bigoted,little Britain,Johnny English attitude.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

            Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 4:02 pm
          • Jazz, the figure you quote is certainly not the one I have seen, as far as I am aware there is very little difference between the people of Scotland and England.
            It’s obvious that you haven’t read the link or given any thought to what is happening in Europe, member states want borders closed, the sheer volume of migrants will permanently change the society of those countries, there isn’t employment for these people and the social/health care will come under emerge strain.
            As the French premier pointed out this also leaves the Euro under even greater pressure, the European countries want Greece and Turkey to seal their borders, Greece is a monetary basket case and Turkey will want a lot of financial support.
            Cameron was right, the problem must be resolved at source.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

            Richard January 22, 2016 4:49 pm
          • To be fair though Richard because of UK opt out’s we won’t have the same issue’s as mainland Euro countries.

            Europe is certainly changing, as are politics world wide. The internet has made the world a very small place and we appear to be going through a state of change which is being witnessed and experienced at a national and international level.

            Do we respond as a knee jerk reaction or do we maintain the status quo for a few years until we can figure out what the hell is going on?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

            John M January 22, 2016 6:00 pm
  • Yet another rational, carefully considered and elegantly delivered contribution from comrade Jazz.
    I know I’m getting old and slow, and as a consequence have just realised the relevance of his tag. Jazz, a by word for improvisation, and make it up as you go along!

    Regarding your questions to Richard, regarding the leader of better together in the next Indyfer (sic).
    I doubt if there is any rush, the next, if there is one at all, is so far away that any potential leader will not yet require to have be been born.

    Anyway, tootle pip old bean, must dash, my broker is just off the blower, he says tricky times ahead, buy Gold. Keep it quiet though, we don’t want to start a rUn till I get it all tightened up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

    HUGH JARDON January 22, 2016 1:47 pm Reply
    • Interesting to note that you are advising people to buy gold knowing the Osborne’s Housing Ponzi scheme is about to hit the buffers!!
      You must be a very proud Scot,but.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

      Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 4:05 pm Reply
      • Hook, line and sinker.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

        John M January 22, 2016 7:13 pm Reply
        • Well, you see John, the fishing is easy when the fish, whether they’re reading it or writing it, cannot separate fact from fiction. Seems the more absurd one makes it, the tastier they find it.
          I do struggle to hold my water sometimes.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

          HUGH JARDON January 22, 2016 8:06 pm Reply
          • I see it more as a chatroom version of ‘Whack-a-mole’.
            The little blighters keep on popping their heads up… and, well, you know, what else can a man do!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

            John M January 22, 2016 9:06 pm
  • So only one councillor puts up a alternative budget with some good points on growth particularly and getting business back into Argyll.

    I haven’t seen one constructive comment supporting any of it, or one disagreeing with it. Most must be happy to sit back and take it hard and watch Argyll go further down the drain.

    What about some discussing for a change

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

    MB January 22, 2016 2:52 pm Reply
    • How A and B council works.
      Sally and Dick have a wee chat over a cup of coffee on a Monday morning and decide what the weeks business is going to achieve.
      Some posters on her will find that hard to believe. Please believe me.
      Dick the big chief organises his braves for the week and what Sally and Dick had planned over coffee is achieved, job done.
      Any slight variables to their plan are usually accidental and are frowned upon. Sally takes no prisoners so the officials fall into line.
      Dick’s hold over some is weakening, he will think hard about standing again. The Castle Toward fiasco has cost the council dear.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

      Keitho January 22, 2016 5:40 pm Reply
      • When you say Dick,I hope you don’t mean the lunatic that writes on here.
        That would result in an impromptu for sale sign going up at my wee abode in A&B and another 5 people leaving the cooncil area!!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

        Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 7:16 pm Reply
        • Jazz, you really are out of touch, so many employees have applied for voluntary redundancy the council has indicated they will not all be accepted. http://www.buteman.co.uk/news/local-headlines/458-argyll-and-bute-staff-interested-in-voluntary-redundancy-1-3998851
          Maybe you should be living full time in Scotland to qualify for the right to post comments or are you like WOS?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

          Richard January 22, 2016 9:31 pm Reply
        • Down boy! We’d miss you. Although, on reflection, it is all becoming clear. I wonder if your good self, NCH, KEITHO and Mac Millan all reside at the same address? Yes, yes, I see it now, and Janice of the Glen making tea and keeping house. Perhaps even administering a tincture of Laudanum when referendum results disappoint. Please don’t go chaps, we’d have to begin having serious discussions on FA, think how frightfully boring that would be. Tally Ho!!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

          HUGH JARDON January 22, 2016 10:01 pm Reply
    • I couldn’t agree more with youre point re. serious discussion.
      However, It’s so easy to wind up the freedom fighters on here, that I just can’t help myself. Sorry.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

      HUGH JARDON January 22, 2016 5:52 pm Reply
      • Gosh,the wit,the wit!!!”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

        Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 7:19 pm Reply
      • You being the biggest salmon in Christendom!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 8:29 pm Reply
    • MB – The majority of Argyll and Bute residents are quite happy to sit back and accept their lot. Foolish? For sure, but as only one area achieved a turnout in excess of 50% (50.62%) in 2012, probably safe to assume 2017 will be no different.

      Not sure Cllrs Dance and Marshall will appreciate being excluded from your comments but the proposal is critically flawed.

      The report acknowledges some aspects are ‘high risk’ and unlikely to be accepted. The position Argyll and Bute is in at present doesn’t allow for ‘blue sky’ thinking. It needs to come up with an appropriately costed and cohesive plan which addresses present day financial constraints but also plans and looks to the future.

      Is there such a proposal on the table from any group? No, but as the proposal originates from a small group of ‘renegade’ councillors it will simply be dismissed by Council.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

      John M January 22, 2016 7:06 pm Reply
  • Notice how the Britnat wailing has intensified.Their eardrums will burst soon!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

    Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 7:26 pm Reply
    • Another commentator also asked this question recently, what exactly is a Britnat?

      I’m guessing it means ‘British National’ but that doesn’t make sense as we are all British nationals.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

      John M January 22, 2016 7:41 pm Reply
  • All British NATIONALS,but for how long,Mossley?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 8:27 pm Reply
    • Right sorted, so Britnat means British National and you are happy to agree we are all British nationals. So why is it meant to be derogatory?

      Mossley is?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

      John M January 22, 2016 9:18 pm Reply
      • Ask Farage? Ask google?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

        Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 9:52 pm Reply
        • Excellent advice. I type in ‘britnat’ and get ‘Britnat abuse bot’, be honest, is that you Machmaolain?
          If I type in ‘Britnat define’, I get urban dictionary ‘brittany’ definition as ” A girl usually born in American in the 80’s or 90’s”, be honest, is that you Machmolain?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

          John M January 22, 2016 10:04 pm Reply
      • John M – you’re conversing with someone who, for want of real facts to argue, resorts to juvenile personal insult – thereby devaluing the nationalist cause and giving rise to doubt about the degree of maturity and basic intellect of both him and his pals. Sad, really.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        Robert Wakeham January 22, 2016 9:53 pm Reply
        • Robert, what do you expect when their leader has a striking resemblance to one of the ‘Crankies’

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

          Richard January 22, 2016 10:24 pm Reply
          • Would have to disagree with you for a second time today Richard, I think Nippy’s a bit of a looker. (apologies to feminists, religious groups & pc brigade)

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

            John M January 22, 2016 10:38 pm
          • I say old boy,I do hope the leader you have in mind is old Oily himself.
            It would be rather bad form to refer to the estimable Nikki in those terms.
            Although her politics are a tad unpalatable, she is considered, (at this address at least) to be 110 percent, thinking man’s crumpet.
            Thank the Lord she wasn’t at the helm in Sept 14. I’d have found the premise much harder to resist.
            Begone, tumescence.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

            HUGH JARDON January 23, 2016 12:58 am
        • I know Robert, fair comment. And I know you shouldn’t mock the afflicted but in the case of these numpties I’m willing to make the exception.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

          John M January 22, 2016 10:32 pm Reply
          • You should walk a mile in my shoes!
            Numpty is a weegie word harnessed by our southern neighbours. I don’t really think they truly grasped the meaning.
            Anyway,you are not worth the effort to call you names.
            Independence is coming.live with that fact!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

            Hugh Jazz January 22, 2016 10:55 pm
          • Ok HJ, it obviously touches a raw nerve which tbh I was/am unaware of. Could you elaborate on what the word ‘numpty’ means for you?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

            John M January 22, 2016 11:04 pm
          • John M

            2 more councillors elected in by elections for the snp the right wing Britnat – for me more the little englander types yearning for empire hating Johnny Foreigner etcetera

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

            No Cheese Here January 22, 2016 11:29 pm
          • Your off on one NCH. Not sure about the 2 x councillors but I know the turn out was only 20% at one of them.

            Glad you joined us though, does ‘britnat’ mean ‘british national’?

            As for the rest of your post! Nope lost me.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

            John M January 22, 2016 11:37 pm
  • Oh dear, I hope I haven’t left you weeping in your handkerchief Machmaolain?

    If you feel overly distraught I can try and arrange for Janice to come round and offer some comfort. Would that be good for you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

    John M January 22, 2016 11:46 pm Reply

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