How Argyll & Bute works: update on various matters

Sale of Castle Toward and the Bute & Cowal Area Committee

I am still no further forward with getting any evidence to support the assertion that the bypassing of the area committee for the sale of this property was because it was a “strategic” property and some years ago the council had agreed only the full council could sell it. For the earlier story, read here. I am continuing to pursue this because if a council is to operate properly, then the constitution needs to be adhered to at all times. I have offered officers the opportunity to say they made a mistake but that offer hasn’t been taken up.

Castle Toward and its recent sale by the council

I can’t say too much about this due to the paper agreeing the sale being exempt. However, I have asked officers what due diligence was carried out on the purchasers to ensure they had the means, financial and otherwise, to do what they claim they will do. In particular, I asked from what parts of the proposed development did all the claimed jobs come from. I can’t tell you how many were claimed but I can say it was a very high number. Officers have refused point blank to tell me anything.

You would think that the local elected member should know this kind of thing but in the dark and secretive world of so called democracy in Argyll & Bute, nothing should surprise you.

The plight of the care workers.

The story can be read here. I have been taking external advice on this from a trade union and the STUC and have asked more questions about compliance with statutory guidance local authorities should follow when contracting out services. I have also spoken to 2 more care workers who contacted me as a result of the article at the preceding link. The pattern remains the same: there is strong evidence that there is widespread employment malpractice within the industry locally.

More updates to follow soon.

Author: Michael Breslin

I am no longer a councillor with Argyll & Bute Council but given the appalling treatment I got from the senior officers and a few elected members, I plan to continue keeping an eye on what the council is doing.