Argyll First have told us that there is …

Comment posted Challenge to ALL ‘Independent’ council election candidates by newsroom.

Argyll First have told us that there is ‘No way will we join a coalition with the current Alliance’. They sent us this statement to clarify their position.

From: Argyll First

Argyll First is a non political group of like minded individuals who have a common purpose to put the interests of the people of Argyll First.

We feel that it is important to re-emphasise the Aims and Objectives of Argyll First given that a number of candidates standing in this weeks election have expressed an interest in joining the group should they become elected. http://forargyll.com/2011/06/argyll-first-ready-to-recruit-like-minded-candidates-for-2012-election/
 
Some key points worth considering.
 
Argyll First are not registered with the Election Commission to do so would undermine the whole point of the group
 
Members of Argyll First have a free vote on all issues
 
Argyll First put people before politics
 
Argyll First have been the only 3 elected members  to take a !0% pay cut during the term of the present Council
 
Argyll First have been totally consistent in their support of viable Rural Schools
 
Argyll First have argued the case on two occasion in the Council chambers in an attempt to   return democracy to Argyll and Bute Council

The motion put forward in 2010 received support from just three Councillors
 
The motion put forward in 2011 received support from eleven Councillors
 
We are pleased to note at long last our calls are being heard and that other groups are now coming on side regarding the scrapping of the undemocratic executive Committee
 
If reelected we intend to put a motion forward in 2012 and look forward to achieving one of our many goals by receiving the necessary support required from a new administration in 2012. 

Argyll first want to abolish the centralised Planning and Licensing Committee and reinstate decision making to the local Area Committee thereby making your local elected councillor responsible for decisions affecting your local area.
 
Argyll first are delighted that on the 15th of May they have been invited to make an oral presentation to the petitions committee at the Scottish Parliament in support of their petition  Sign for the A83.
This to our knowledge is the first occasion that Councillors from Argyll and Bute have been invited to do so

Members of Argyll First have mutual respect and a good working relationship with our Msps in the Scottish Parliament in particular Mike Russell  and Jamie McGrigor
 
Argyll First look forward to continue working in positive and constructive manner for the benefit of the constituents of Argyll and Bute.
 
For further information on Argyll First please contact.
 
Cllr Donald Kelly 07977327751
Cllr Dougie Philand 07554012163
Cllr John Mc Alpine 07594550853 

newsroom also commented

  • People contacted us Neil because they overtly did not just want to know how each Independent stood on these issues – but wanted to see them commit to a position in public. Our audience makes us the most public platform in Argyll by some way.
    The wish to see Independent candidates commit to an individual position on this matter did not, in what we saw, reflect distrust of the candidates but a general suspicion of likely manoeuvres that the experience of Kilmory has taught them to expect.
    They seemed to want everyone to see where candidates stood on this – we guess to limit their wriggle room afterwards.
  • You are largely right – but we have to leave open the possibility that some current members of the Alliance may change their position.

    However, after the block vote on Thursday night last where they agreed to try to impose a specific political managament device on an incoming administration – there’s no evidence of any change of heart anywhere.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Thank you.
    Re your airport idea – do you know if there is a viable berthing location at the airport?
    If there were and if Loch Lomond Seaplanes [or Skye Seaplanes as it now is at its new Skye base] were interested, there has always been a lure in a high-end charter pick-up service for arrivals at the airport to fly them off to Loch Lomond, Arran, Kintyre, Oban, Islay…
    So if an airport stop was achievable and the seaplane service went for this business opportunity, that would get double value from a river bus airport pontoon. It would be logical for Glasgow City Council to put in and maintain the infrastructure – under advice from experts including Brisbane City Council – and lease it to operators.
  • CalMac: the Douglas Fraser teaser
    The CalMac experience wiht CMAL over the Ballycastle-Rathline tender was one that we had originally included in this companion piece to this article and then edited out as it distracted from the main focus on CalMac’s early-days thinking about a Clyde River ferry. [http://forargyll.com/2014/04/interesting-business-scotland-interview-with-calmacs-martin-dorchester/]
    The Rathlin tender affair could not provide better evidence that the Scottish Government allowed CMAL to behave proactivey against CalMac’s interests in fighting to retain their Rathlin contract. This underlines the essential utter independence of the two state owned Scottish companies, one from another.
    The competing bid was an unable one. The bidder did not even have and could not find a boat to serve the route.
    CMAL stepped in and OFFERED him the use of the MV Canna – the very boat that CalMac was using for the service.
    This qualified the competing bid and made it look more capable. It won the contract.
    What CMAL and the Scottish Government were up to in shafting a state owned company, wholly owned by one of them and a sister of the other, also wholly state owned – is anyone’s guess. It looked very much like a backstairs political deal between the two governments concerned, with the Irish possibly interested in ‘Irishising’ the service.
    We are aware from authoritative sources in Northern Ireland that CalMac had – and knew they had – a strong legal case to challenge the award of the contract but were instructed by their sole shareholder not to do so.
    This curious incident does, though, underscore the fact that the CMAL fleet is CMAL’s asset and CMAL’s liability – and that CalMac has no ‘ownership’ or business reason to try to help out in finding ways to deploy CMAL’s upcoming surplus and ageing tonnage – an argument we make it the companion piece linked above and which just might apply in the case of the tender possibility punted as a possible CalMac itnerest in this article here.
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    As you say, it is all about the right sort of service – and you too seem to feel that the right service could work.
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    The airport link is a great idea 0- and for arrivals, what a way into the city?
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  • Tarbert VIllage Hall now a conference venue
    This is sad news.

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28 Responses to Argyll First have told us that there is …

  1. I believe that I have demonstrated by my actions in the past that I am truly “Independent”. That applies whether I am a member of a political group or not.

    I can confirm that if I am re-elected, I have no intention of joining the “Alliance” or any “son of the Alliance”. Why would I want to work with people who lied about me in the past? There are at least six members of the current Alliance who most members of the current opposition have stated that they would not work with.

    If re-elected, I hope that the Argyll & Bute Independent Councillors Group will be reformed and would welcome other like minded newly elected independent councillors to joint me in that Group. Members of that Group are free to vote and speak on any issue as they see fit.

    I would also be hopeful that such a Group would be happy to be part of a new administration (certainly not the Alliance). I certainly do not see such a set up compromising my “Independent” stance in any way. It is by being part of the administartion that councillors can achieve much more for their constituents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. As a sideline I understand that at least one member of the Alliance of Independent Councillors has been seen delivering the leaflets for himself and another Alliance member. Maybe it was an eco-friendly move to save on the petrol!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Susie Will ,standing as Independent candidate for Lomond North Ward 9.

    In response to the above,I would like to state that I am not considering No.1 option.
    No2 option can be considered after meeting all current members of the group,therefore being able to make an informed decision.This decision would not be aligned to a party which has a formal or informal whip system.
    No3 Is therefore at this present time my current status.
    Thank You Susie Will

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Susie makes an extremely valid point regarding the whip system and it ties in with what George refers to in his post.

      Argyll First and the Argyll & Bute Independent Councillors Group have clearly demonstrated that they do not have a formal or informal whip system however the Alliance of Independents quite clearly has an informal one and candidates need to be aware of this when considering their allegiances.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Come one Indies, nail your colours to the mast!

    Anyone not willing to do so cannot have any principles at all and that in a nutshell should tell you how un-vote-worthy these charlatans are!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Interested in the bit I have copy and pasted below.

      The Tories don’t want Marshall to be in Walsh’s regime but they are OK with Mulvaney and Kinniburgh following Walsh like lost sheep but wearing a Tory badge. They are also OK with Donald Kelly being in Argyll First. So what is it that the Tories don’t like – my guess is that it is Marshall and who would blame them!

      ‘However, Mr Marshall was forced to revert to his ‘Independent’ tag after his party’s Argyll & Bute constituency association refused his reinstatement request – because he insisted on being allowed to CONTINUE aligning himself with Mr Walsh’s regime.

      Mr Marshall – fighting to retain his seat in a field of nine hopefuls – said: “I wanted to stand as a Conservative but I reserved the right to remain part of the Independent group – and that didn’t wash.

      “Donald Kelly in Campbeltown stood as a Conservative then formed the Argyll First group within the council. He is standing as a Conservative again and I told the constituency chairman that if he can do it then surely so can I.’

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. This is a question that really only applies to potential new councillors. The position of existing councillors is well known. The strictures of each group will be a matter for those elected as “independent” to explore before deciding.
    It is the basic principle of accountable, open and transparent democracy that has become the defining issue in these elections. New members will have to decide between supporting a continuation of the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat-Alliance of Independent Councillors Coalition or the alternative Democratic Coalition (the current Opposition groups plus new “independents” and groups with shared democratic values).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • You are largely right – but we have to leave open the possibility that some current members of the Alliance may change their position.

      However, after the block vote on Thursday night last where they agreed to try to impose a specific political managament device on an incoming administration – there’s no evidence of any change of heart anywhere.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Argyll First have told us that there is ‘No way will we join a coalition with the current Alliance’. They sent us this statement to clarify their position.

    From: Argyll First

    Argyll First is a non political group of like minded individuals who have a common purpose to put the interests of the people of Argyll First.

    We feel that it is important to re-emphasise the Aims and Objectives of Argyll First given that a number of candidates standing in this weeks election have expressed an interest in joining the group should they become elected. http://forargyll.com/2011/06/argyll-first-ready-to-recruit-like-minded-candidates-for-2012-election/
     
    Some key points worth considering.
     
    Argyll First are not registered with the Election Commission to do so would undermine the whole point of the group
     
    Members of Argyll First have a free vote on all issues
     
    Argyll First put people before politics
     
    Argyll First have been the only 3 elected members  to take a !0% pay cut during the term of the present Council
     
    Argyll First have been totally consistent in their support of viable Rural Schools
     
    Argyll First have argued the case on two occasion in the Council chambers in an attempt to   return democracy to Argyll and Bute Council

    The motion put forward in 2010 received support from just three Councillors
     
    The motion put forward in 2011 received support from eleven Councillors
     
    We are pleased to note at long last our calls are being heard and that other groups are now coming on side regarding the scrapping of the undemocratic executive Committee
     
    If reelected we intend to put a motion forward in 2012 and look forward to achieving one of our many goals by receiving the necessary support required from a new administration in 2012. 

    Argyll first want to abolish the centralised Planning and Licensing Committee and reinstate decision making to the local Area Committee thereby making your local elected councillor responsible for decisions affecting your local area.
     
    Argyll first are delighted that on the 15th of May they have been invited to make an oral presentation to the petitions committee at the Scottish Parliament in support of their petition  Sign for the A83.
    This to our knowledge is the first occasion that Councillors from Argyll and Bute have been invited to do so

    Members of Argyll First have mutual respect and a good working relationship with our Msps in the Scottish Parliament in particular Mike Russell  and Jamie McGrigor
     
    Argyll First look forward to continue working in positive and constructive manner for the benefit of the constituents of Argyll and Bute.
     
    For further information on Argyll First please contact.
     
    Cllr Donald Kelly 07977327751
    Cllr Dougie Philand 07554012163
    Cllr John Mc Alpine 07594550853 

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. I am standing as a Independent candidate in Oban south and the Isles and my contact details have been on line for a while.I have have had no contact from anyone on this issue.If it is so important to people why the silence?
    Power to the People.Where are they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Iain Angus MacDonald Ward 5 Candidate.
    To answer your questions first.
    1. Not even if hell froze over. (No!)
    2. Subject to consensual debate on delivering improved transparency and accountability, including a waver on formal or informal whip……then possibly.
    3. Most likely, as an overview, but the field is wide open and subject to many variations on the “Time for Change” theme.
    A number of people have asked me how “independent” I would be as an independent. I have always maintained (as a community councillor) that we are supposed to represent the views of the people who elect us. That would be our communities. Several people have remarked that the only time they see politicians is when they want to get elected. Nobody I spoke to, going round the doors, had ever been approached by their ward councillor during the last term.
    My commitment is to change the way we do things, to get things done; any other independent individual or group who shows a willingness to do that will get my support.
    The general public are properly hacked off over the contempt it is shown. Those in a position of authority appear to be untouchable, and those elected to serve our communities appear to have their teeth surgically removed on taking office, or worse, as with those currently in power, conspire to consolidate and improve their own political ambitions for reasons that are well understood, and to the detriment of our communities.
    I believe passionately that accountability and transparency must be re- established as a matter of priority before we can even begin to re-connect the council with the community, far less start making decisions that will be meaningful to it.
    Under that heading must be a review of the effectiveness and accountability of Executive Committees.
    There is little evidence that the current administration will show a willingness to adopt such an approach, but there are other current elected members out-with that group, who have.
    Those are the people with whom I would be happy to do business with.
    Looking in from the outside, it is surely a mad-house, and that’s a bit scary, but then I’m reminded of Alice……………
    But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
    (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)
    Therein lies much hope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Like Neil above no one on the doorstep has ever asked me as an independent candidate if I am joining a group. The only people who seem to be obsessed with this is the SNP. I know that Forargyll comes across as having an SNP bias and I wonder if this question has come from the SNP group?
    I think it might be helpful if independent candidates are being challenged that they are contacted or it looks like they are in some way afraid to answer the question. I just came across this article accidentally whilst browsing.
    To answer the question:
    If elected, I would be interested in joining Argyll First as the Councillors still have a free vote on any matter and it is looking to make the Council democratic, which none of the big parties seemed to have bothered with in the past when they had the opportunity.
    I don’t want to do a Vince Cable and end up in coalition that strangles my independent stance that enables me to work for my constituents without having to check with Dad or Mum at central office first.

    Standing in South Kintyre.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I am one of those who contacted FA about it and I am not a member of the SNP.

      I would never entertain the idea of voting for any candidate, be they independent or party affiliated, who expressed a willingness to go into coalitition with Dick Walsh’s Alliance group.

      There are apparently others who feel the same way (just as I am sure there are some who wouldn’t agree with a coalition with SNP, Labour, Lib Dems etc etc)

      Your interest in Argyll First, and reason for it, is an excellent stance and one which I am supportive of. Maybe also worth adding that the Argyll and Bute Independent Councillors Group also allow a free vote. (I’m not promoting one over the other – I have equal respect for the members of both parties and it is quite clear they will work together where appropriate)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Deirdre

    Don’t I remember you as a member of the SSP?

    There is no concern with independent candidates per se. The concern is about members of political parties passing themselves off as independents which they are not

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Dave – not quite. The concern is about people standing as independents and then grouping together into a whipped (informally or otherwise) power-wielding group with no common philosophy or manifesto commitments to be held to.

      As I see it, anyway.

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  11. Very nicely put Deirdre. Why would people contact FA if they want to ask me or any other candidate a question. Integrity what could FA tell you that I could n’t? My contact details are there for everyone to see whats the problem.
    I must say the time must be here when we can do away with nicknames. We want our council to be open and connected with every part of the communities across Argyll but when people actually put themselves forward to try to improve things they are put under the microscope by people who don’t even have the decency to tell us who they are.Ask me any question you like but at least have the guts to put your name to it.
    As for a liberal passing herself of as an independent then passing herself of as a SNP STALWARD well who could that be. It’s amazing the sins that get forgiven when you kiss the badge.And us poor independents get asked where our allegiances lie, certainly not three different faces in five years.
    Power to the People.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • People contacted us Neil because they overtly did not just want to know how each Independent stood on these issues – but wanted to see them commit to a position in public. Our audience makes us the most public platform in Argyll by some way.
      The wish to see Independent candidates commit to an individual position on this matter did not, in what we saw, reflect distrust of the candidates but a general suspicion of likely manoeuvres that the experience of Kilmory has taught them to expect.
      They seemed to want everyone to see where candidates stood on this – we guess to limit their wriggle room afterwards.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Neil

      I am not asking FA to tell me anything. I am asking candidates to tell me, just using FA as the conduit. If you elected on Thursday (and for the record I hope you are) then people will contact you (and other members) in the street, on the phone, by e-mail, letter, local paper, and internet. It is good for members to embrace all forms of communication.

      I share your thoughts on members moving house.

      What is key here though is that being an independent in name is different from being an independent in action. An independent candidate who signs up to the Alliance is no longer an independent, George Freeman’s experience will provide evidence of that.

      As for the anonymity thing we have been there before. You know my reasons for being anonymous as I have shared them with you by e-mail, Many others have equally valid reasons for it and do not deserve their opinion to be disregarded purely because they can’t put a name to it (and I offer that to the likes of Simon as well as myself and many others).

      If you are prepared to put people’s jobs at risk by demanding they reveal who they are then you need to rethink our priorities.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. For Integrity.
    Not everbody on here who hides are frightened of losing their job so I think we can put that to bed.As for me having to rethink my priorities I think by actually standing for election is a very positive step and as this is my second attempt I think my commitment to my area is there for people to see.Any one who questions my priorities just needs to contact me in person not through FA or any other source.Look at all the fancy promises in the leaflets I,ll be keeping them so we can look back to see what actually happens.I was warned a few times by my bosses when I worked for the council about speaking out and ripping into what the council were doing or not doing more appropiately but I hate bullies of any sort with a vengeance so I ignore that.The only way to change that threat is to challenge it together.Remember Jo Smith,I won’t be forgetting the silence from the councillors over that.You see big George was’nt important to them but You can bet their leaflets will be looking for his vote.My priorities have never changed in my work for my community over the years so Neil MacIntyre will do for me.It is time for change.
    Power to the People.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Neil – with respect, the question does not arise from any direct suspicion of individual candidates such as yourself who have not been part of the Council before. It arises from the antics of the ‘Alliance of Independents’ during the last council term. Unfortunately this has sullied what should be the perfectly respectable election ‘flag’ of Independent.

      I assume the purpose of this article (& I was NOT one of the people who contacted FA to ask) is to allow those Independent candidates such as yourself to make clear where they stand on this issue by answering the question.

      If you haven’t been asked about it on the doorsteps and therefore don’t believe it is important to your constituents, then of course you don’t have to answer. However, having posted a few comments on the story, you also can’t claim not to have seen the question.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Dave re your comment at 11 – well if we are getting into remembering things…

    Don’t I remember you publicly condenming the SNP for making things worse” with their “toy boats” when they reneged on their manifesto promise of new car ferries for the people of Cowal?

    So, what’s changed then? You or the snp?

    Mmm?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Neil,

    I notice that your banner has been removed from the Black Lynn Bridge off Argyll Square and , at the same time, a different poster has arrived. I do hope that this is a coincidence and that there are not some dark arts being practised in what has been a generally incident free campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. I saw that too Ken…. Harry Potter and the Terrible Threat has nothing on Oban at election time… [ whistle ]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. For Tim.
    When did I claim not to have seen the question?
    I said I have not been asked the question by anyone I have talked to when out canvassing.Again if it was important to you why did you not contact me.FA are not standing,ARSN are not standing, are any of their members standing? Please enlighten us all, so us independents know what we have alongside us if we are elected.ARSN wanted us to commit to protecting our rural schools and communities which I was delighted to do but that doesn’t seem to satisfy some people.
    What will it be next? what shop do I go to or what shampoo do I use. For the record it’s “Head and Shoulders”.
    Interesting times ahead, I look forward to the bright new future that our party candidates are promising.Make sure you keep the leaflets just in case they don’t come up with the goods but I’m sure they wouldn’t tell us a lot of lies, would they?
    Power to the People.
    b

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • You’re quite right….you’ve haven’t claimed not to have seen the question. You have however posted 4 times and failed to answer it though. As for the shampoo…..real poo and sham independent more like.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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