The Argyll First group of councillors, now part of the new coalition administration of Argyll and Bute Council, are celebrating the end of a campaign they were the first – and last – to fight, staying the course until they had won.
The group’s statement,. issued by the their three members, Councillors Donald Kelly, John McAlpine and Dougie Philand, says:
‘Today’s Council meeting proved to be a momentous day for the Argyll First Group on Argyll and Bute Council.
‘After nearly two years of campaigning by the Argyll First Group, Argyll and Bute Council agreed unanimously as part of new political management arrangements, to scrap the undemocratic Executive committee and return power to the full Council.
‘In 2010 The Argyll First group brought forward a motion to the Council to scrap the undemocratic Executive which consisted of 16 Councillors who made 90% of all Council decisions leaving the remaining 20 elected members on the sidelines with little or no input to the main business of the Council.
‘The motion in 2010 only received the support of the Argyll First members and therefore was defeated.
‘In 2011 we again submitted a motion to return democracy to the council – on this occasion it was supported by a mere 9 Councillors.
‘After the election in 2012 Argyll First agreed to form a coalition with a view to running the administration of the Council on the clear understanding that the Executive would be scrapped early in the life of the new Council.
‘We are therefore delighted that on this day, the 28th of June 2012, democracy has once again been restored to the Council allowing all 36 Council members to participate in all Council business.
‘We will continue to campaign for more powers to be devolved to local area committees and look forward to working with our partners as part of this process.’
It is to the credit if the entire council that this decision has been a unanimous one.
It is in the interests of all elected members that it is the full council of which they are each an equal part, that makes the decisions on actions and policy.
Argyll First are to be congratulated on having held out for democratic principles in this matter.