Current council coalition seeks to impose future political management

In a quite stunningly undemocratic move, the current ruling coalition of Argyll and Bute Council forced through a vote at its last meeting on Thursday 26th April which tries to imposes the status quo of the discredited political management arrangements on whatever administration emerges from Thursday’s vote in the council elections.

Nothing could demonstrate as sharply the fog of unreality in the bunker at Kilmory – and nothing could reinforce so strongly the need for urgent answers from ‘Independent’ candidates to the challenge from voters which we have published today.

At the last meeting, the current coalition of the Alliance of Independents with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, tabled a paper making recommendations on the future political management of the Council.

All councillors agreed that this was a matter for the new Council.

So when Helensburgh Councillor, James Robb, proposed ‘continuation to the next ordinary meeting of the Council, it was a shock to both audience and opposition members to hear the Council Leader, Dick Walsh, move an amendment ‘to recommend the new Council implements the proposals’.

Despite concerns being raised by Coalition councillors themselves, all went on to voted the proposal through en-bloc in support of the Council leader’s amendment.

The Council Leader’s amendment arose from the submission to council of the report of the Short Life Working Group that the Executive had set up to review the matter of political management arrangements. The full report is here: $PMAReportforCouncilApril2012draftv2.docxA

The Liberal Democrat, Independent and Conservative councillors believe that the current arrangement – whereby the Executive Committee, of only 16 of the 36 elected councillors, makes 80% of Council decisions – is ‘fit for purpose’.

Others believe that elected councillors should all take and be accountable for all council decisions.

It is this basic principle of accountable, open and transparent democracy that has become the defining issue in these elections.

It beggars belief that any outgoing administration should even attempt to constrain its successor in such a bald way, by dint of current force majeure.

Should the current coalition – or its leading group, the Alliance of Independent Councillors, survive in power, it will be their prerogative to implement the recommendations of their working group in this matter.

However, that it should make so naked an attempt to hogtie the next administration now, would appear to be an admission that it may not survive the election and is making a last ditch and vindictive attempt to confine its successor – with Argyll left to bear the collateral damage.

Will new Independent candidates contemplating their possible election be prepared to commit to supporting this voted recommendation – even if they choose to remain on the cross benches?

Voters have an irrefutable have a right to know this in advance of casting their vote.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • I smell blood…

    WONDERFUL!!!

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    Crazy She-Bat April 30, 2012 1:50 pm Reply
    • Crazy She-Vampire-Bat!

      Last days in the bunker moving the non-existent divisions around. Only four days now until the good guys tanks are parked on the castle lawn. I wonder if they will find any interesting skeletons in the ruins of the doomed Administration?

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      Dr Douglas McKenzie April 30, 2012 2:03 pm Reply
      • Not so much a question of “if” Dougie, more a question of “how many” hehehe

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        Crazy She-Bat April 30, 2012 2:08 pm Reply
        • Reminds me of ‘the Grand Old Duke of York’ – an army that’s marched up a hill can get marched down again – particularly if the Grand Old Duke of York is no longer in command of the troops.

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          Robert Wakeham April 30, 2012 2:22 pm Reply
  • I’m not familiar enough with some of the procedural stuff relating to this story – how can the current Administration tie the hands of the new one? If they vote now to ‘recommend’ the retention of the Executive Committee, can a new ruling group not simply ignore the recommendation after the election, if they want to?

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    Tim McIntyre April 30, 2012 2:22 pm Reply
  • So, the Council pass a motion recommending (ie not binding) a structure to the incoming council and Newsie spins it “which tries to imposes the status quo ” and starts foaming at the mooth again.

    There is no story.

    Settle down dears – still 3 days to go…. πŸ™‚

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    Simon April 30, 2012 2:23 pm Reply
    • So why d’you think Dick Walsh pushed through his amendment spiking what seems to a very rational proposal, Simon?

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      Robert Wakeham April 30, 2012 3:36 pm Reply
    • They might have been better employed checking on the lifeboats.

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      Ken MacColl April 30, 2012 4:22 pm Reply
  • Tim !!! I’ve told you before – stop thinking for yourself!!!

    Jist rage against the cooncil!!!

    πŸ˜‰

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    Simon April 30, 2012 2:25 pm Reply
  • Robert, given that “the Executive had set up [the Short Life Working Group]* to review the matter of political management arrangements” it seems only reasonable that the Council comes to a decision on the matter before it is dissolved.

    An incoming Council of whatever hue need of course take no notice of the recommendation – regardless of the nonsense spin Newsie tries to put on it. But by ensuring the Council voted on it Cllr Walsh was ensuring also that his admistration concluded on a bit of business that it had set up.

    Everything else about this story is just so much froth and some who should know better are getting their knickers in a twist over nothing at all other than Newsie’s over-wrought and cooncil-conspiracy-ridden imagination..

    Hope that helps πŸ™‚

    * my brackets

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    Simon April 30, 2012 4:21 pm Reply
    • Simon, I find myself in the odd position of thanking you for answering my question. I will try not to let it happen again πŸ™‚

      Are you feeling nervous about the future?

      Have a nice evening!

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      Tim McIntyre April 30, 2012 4:58 pm Reply
  • Tim, why would I be nervous mate? I’m not employed by the Council, I’m not a councillor, not standing for election nor a member of a political party. What have I got to be nervous about?

    It’s those who are making fairly rash predictions and stupid promises that are nervous and they might yet end up with egg on their faces. And post-election I guarantee Neurotic Newsie will either a) be praising the electorate for their good sense or b)dammning them for their stupidity….

    I will have a good evening thanks Tim – you too πŸ™‚

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    Simon April 30, 2012 5:08 pm Reply
  • The motion to continue meets all of Simon’s points about concluding a piece of business. So why should Cllr Walsh and his Coalition feel any amendment necessary.
    It was just infantile politics for the Trinity knew that no opposition member could recommend the proposals to any future administration.

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    James Robb April 30, 2012 5:44 pm Reply
    • James is right. This was just petty and a waste of everyone’s time. The paper should have never been submitted as an agenda item.

      What the Council should have been doing (as others have) is pulling together some different models of governance delivery and then presenting these options to the administration (whatever its make up) after the election.

      This is the stuff of school playgrounds.

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      Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll April 30, 2012 6:08 pm Reply
  • “Tim, why would I be nervous mate? I’m not employed by the Council, I’m not a councillor, not standing for election nor a member of a political party.” – Simon

    Well if thats the case, bearing in mind all the inside info you have, begs me to ask, are you Sally bin Loudon’s husband then? πŸ™‚

    I asked before and now I hope you have had a chance to read through the snash from the candidates, so who are you voting for?

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    Crazy She-Bat April 30, 2012 5:49 pm Reply
  • James, ‘infantile’ is being unable to muster enough votes to win a vote and then whining about it afterwards. πŸ˜‰

    Have you thought that mibbie Tricky did it – just because he could??

    CSB – don’t be a silly-crazy – no. As to who I shall vote for – well having read various leaflets, party pamplets (including absolute tripe from one candidate) and listend bored out my skull to a snp advocate – I shall be voting Independent. πŸ™‚

    And you??

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    Simon April 30, 2012 6:22 pm Reply
  • Hmmmm, not Sally’s husband… are you actually a bloke? Stranger things have happened lol

    Postal vote already away, I voted for:

    1. An INDEPENDENT Independent
    2. An INDEPENDENT Independent
    3, 4, 5, 6 – can’t remember the exact order
    7. Danny Kelly

    Anyone but Danny πŸ™‚

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    Crazy She-Bat April 30, 2012 8:04 pm Reply
    • If the ‘Gay girl in Damascus’ blogger was a ‘mature’ American post-graduate student in Edinburgh, ‘Simon’ could be just about anything.

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      Robert Wakeham April 30, 2012 8:26 pm Reply
      • But probably not a gay female, American post graduate student in Damascus. For starters “Simon” is rarely mature.

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        Dr Douglas McKenzie April 30, 2012 10:20 pm Reply
  • Gawd you lot are obesssed. Robert you’ve cracked the Damascus gay female one before and trust me it wasn’t near funny the first time either.

    “doc” predicatable as ever – trying to make a funny – but obviously that operation he had was a humour by-pass.

    Crazy-living up to her name as per…

    Still, ah know you’re all excited! Not long to go now – but calm down dears (honestly it’s just like talking to the kids before Christmas…. πŸ™‚

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    Simon April 30, 2012 11:29 pm Reply
  • csb. that’s brilliant. get the snp to save your school then ignore them at the election. lol!

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    coracle May 1, 2012 8:46 am Reply
  • Coracle – maybe there is no SNP candidate in Crazy’s area….. πŸ˜‰

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    Simon May 1, 2012 9:18 am Reply
  • snp clainm at least one candidate in each ward – are they telling porky pies.

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    coracle May 1, 2012 9:25 am Reply
  • Simon is wrong. Ken Smith is standing for the SNP in the Lomond North ward.

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    Integrity? Not in the Condemall May 1, 2012 9:35 am Reply
  • Got a lovely leaflet through from Ken Smith last night. He might be third on my list (can’t remember).

    Coracle – I’ve said it again and again – I have no political affiliation and I think it was a little more than just the SNP that saved the school πŸ˜‰

    For the record, there is one person standing in Lomond North who deserves my vote more than anyone and thats the one that stood up and spoke out against the closures on the 25th of November 2010 and was unwaivering in his support of Luss Primary School throughout that horrific and tumultous time – GEORGE FREEMAN.

    I want to vote for someone who has principles, no matter what the personal cost and who will dogmatically represent the views of the people he represents.

    George is my No.1 purely on the commitment he showed to Luss and its primary school.

    I think he flippin well deserves it.

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    Crazy She-Bat May 1, 2012 9:44 am Reply
    • Danny Kelly – 7

      Anyone But Danny 2012 πŸ™‚

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      Crazy She-Bat May 1, 2012 9:45 am Reply
  • well played csb and arsn – that dumb snp no longer required! if i remember right the snp gave up power to save your school – a third place vote is perfect. what do rest of arsn say about this?

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    coracle May 1, 2012 10:49 am Reply
  • ARSN aren’t a political group – why would we have an opinion on CSB’s voting choices?

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    Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll May 1, 2012 10:51 am Reply
  • Yes, I’m an ARSN member – which is a group of parents and community members from across Argyll that have gotten together over a common purpose.
    We all have different political views and backgrounds (mine as I have stated on here before was Labour for many years).
    The above is my personal view on the candidates in my area and nothing to do with ARSN Coracle, but congrats on the nice try at stirring it.

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    Crazy She-Bat May 1, 2012 10:55 am Reply
  • Integrity – oh c’mon off it – “ARSN aren’t a political group”.

    Of course they are. They might not be a political party but their actions are those of a political group. Gawd’s sake even the advert top right of the For Argyll page says ‘Vote ARSN’!!

    Duh!!!!

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    Simon May 1, 2012 11:21 am Reply
    • Political yes but with a small “p”. What Integrity of course meant was that ARSN is not a party political group. I think the correct designation is that we are a pressure group (and seemingly quite good at pressure too!).

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      Dr Douglas McKenzie May 1, 2012 11:32 am Reply
    • And I take it from your response you haven’t followed that link Simon?

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      Crazy She-Bat May 1, 2012 12:20 pm Reply
  • Crazy – what link??

    And “doc” you doing mind reading as well now??? “What Integrity of course meant…. “

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    Simon May 1, 2012 12:55 pm Reply
    • Integrity and I are twins separated at birth and joined by a symbiotic mental link powered by entangled particles.

      Or perhaps it was just obvious.

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      Dr Douglas McKenzie May 1, 2012 2:00 pm Reply
  • Might I suggest that once the election is over Forargyll arranges a Forargyll Lunch for all its contributors this past year (at amodest charge)?

    It could be a great bun fight!

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    Graeme McCormick May 1, 2012 1:06 pm Reply
    • I’d come (and would indeed only charge a modest amount)! “Simon” would need to wear a brown paper bag though (or perhaps more than one…).

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      Dr Douglas McKenzie May 1, 2012 1:29 pm Reply
    • Now that’s a thought. It might have to be a masked ball or, more modestly, a hoodie do.

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      newsroom May 1, 2012 1:30 pm Reply
  • BUN FIGHT!!!! Yes yes yes! Simon, you can wear a disguise!

    Simon, ARSN’s lovely advert top right, click on it. Should take you to the list.

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    Crazy She-Bat May 1, 2012 2:28 pm Reply
    • You would still recognise him as he would need to come as Hydra.

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      Scruff May 1, 2012 2:36 pm Reply

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