The official opposition to Cllr Walsh and his group is the SNP Group. There are 4 other councillors who are not in Cllr Walsh’s administration: myself, Vivien Dance, Bruce Marshall and Neil McIntyre. There has been no approach to any of the 4 from the SNP as far as I am aware but there have been approaches to the SNP Group. However, nothing has as yet happened that would form a wider opposition to the secretive Cllr Walsh.
A week ago on Friday Vivien, Bruce and myself agreed to form what we have called the Reform Group. We have also formed a wider Reform Alliance. The alliance is there to allow councillors who broadly subscribe to our aims to remain in the group he or she is in as well as being a member of the alliance. Councillors are not allowed to be in more than one group at a time, hence the need for an alliance.
The aims of our Reform Group are shown below. I will update you on the shenanigans at yesterday’s council meeting on Monday.
The Reform Group has one key aim: To initiate a thorough reform of Argyll & Bute Council to ensure it works for, and is answerable to, the people of Argyll & Bute.
The group recognises that it needs to attract as much support as possible from elected members and it has also created a Reform Alliance which has the same key aim. The Alliance will work to achieve this aim by:
- Moving decision making to local areas to the maximum possible extent.
- Ensuring that councillors are accountable to their communities for decisions made.
- Maximising the skills and abilities of councillors of all views provided they wish to contribute to reform.
- Listening and responding to the views of local communities.
- Minimising bureaucracy to bring democracy back to people in a simple and straightforward manner.
- Is open to any elected member, including members of political parties, provided there is a broad commitment to reform.
- Will seek to get agreement in as consensual manner as possible. Disagreement on issues will be respected and not shunned.
- Will ensure that all issues that affect the citizens of Argyll & Bute are dealt with as openly and fairly as possible. The use of exempt items for council business will only be used when absolutely essential.
- Will be swift and open in dealing with complaints, be willing to accept fault where fault is found and it will learn from any complaints made.