How Argyll & Bute Works: Castle Toward again

I am unable to say much about the deal to sell Castle Toward because it was an exempt item at last Thursday’s council meeting. The paper was tabled on the day and we only got to read it just before the item was taken.

Readers may recall that I take the view property sales should be handled by the area committees of the council because that is what I believe the constitution says. However, the sale of Castle Toward has never gone near the Bute & Cowal Area Committee for reasons that remain far from clear.

I have been pursuing this because, if I am correct and it should have gone to the area committee, someone is playing fast and loose with the constitution. Despite much time and effort I have made no progress at all. The correspondence has today been passed to Audit Scotland and you can read it at the link below. If you can’t be bothered reading it all, here’s a wee gem from it.

I was told at one point that it was deemed a “strategic” property and that “strategic” properties could only be sold by the full council. I was also told that this decision had been reached some time ago by the council. I asked to see the minute of this meeting but regrettably they could not find it ! How odd.

area committee and castle toward issue


  1. Michael.
    When I started working for the Ministry of Denial (MoD) as a civilian, the letter of acceptance for the position quoted a reference number that justified the MoD sending us to war zones without any compensation at all.
    After a couple of years, several of us tried to find the referenced document previously quoted and, after several months and red faces of management, to be told that no such document existed. This point opened up a huge ‘can of worms’ resulting in our Terms of Conditions having to be rewritten. It would appear that such an important minute has been lost on purpose because it never existed.
    It’s reassuring to see that you’re determined to get answers to your questions.

    1. Thanks Alistair. I don’t know if it ever existed of course and I could not possibly suggest such a thing. No doubt there would be yet another complaint about me if I dared to suggest this. But one does wonder!

  2. Mike,
    Have you asked the Estates Office, which I believe is in Helensburgh, to confirm the policy/guidelines on the approach to be taken by it when dealing with the disposal of properties considered “strategic”? It presumably prepares the relevant Council papers on the basis of specific instructions for dealing with such cases stemming from the original minuted decision.

    Or, am I being a foolish optimist ?

    Aye, Iain

  3. Mike,

    Nothing like doing a bit of digging!

    I recall suggesting you contact the Estates Office for its advice. It surely must be aware of the basic policy and administrative arrangements for processing the disposal of so-called “strategic” properties. If not, its another sad, sad, sad indictment of ABC.

    Aye, Iain

    Sent from my ASUS MeMO Pad

    Michael Bresl

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