How Argyll & Bute Works: Budget Update

I have given my views on the secretive and undemocratic method proposed and defended by Cllr Walsh to discuss possibly the biggest cuts in the history of this council. If you haven’t read this, start here¬†and read subsequent posts about this process.

In the post here, I had put it to the external chairs of the council’s audit committee (Martin Caldwell) and performance review and scrutiny committee (Ian Ross) that perhaps a joint meeting of these 2 committees should consider the secretive method used by Cllr Walsh. I regret to say that both have confirmed they are satisfied with the process being followed. I have politely but firmly disagreed with them both.

I have also been asking officers if they can confirm they are satisfied that this is “good governance”. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants (CIPFA) refer to this phrase in their guidance to audit committees. I have not yet had a reply to this question but the council’s monitoring officer, Mr Hendry, has said he considers this to be “adequate” governance. I have asked again if he can confirm it meets CIPFA’s “good” governance but so far I have not heard back.

I will publish his reply and all related correspondence when I get it. Meantime the secretive show goes on.


  1. “Adequate” governance! What the hell is that? Keep pressing for Mr Hendry’s reply. ”

    By the way, in the interests of clarification, perhaps you could confirm whether the decisions of Mr Walsh’s exclusive, “secretive” committee and attendant financial implications will be considered and voted upon by the full Council of 36 members or are these decisions a fait accompli?

    Aye, Iain

    1. Yes, all councillors will have a formal decision to make on all of this but the later that decision comes, the less chance there is to amend what has been discussed in secret. To be fair, the pressure is clearly telling on Cllr Walsh because as I reported, there is an unscheduled seminar on the budget this Friday. I plan to publish more after that seminar.

Leave a comment