How argyll & Bute works: giving councillors the mushroom treatment

I have written before about the excessive secrecy within the council so let me give you a brief update with some further examples of this:

Budget issues

Officers have refused to provide me with the budget pack which was taken off me at the end of the budget seminar in June, see here for more information and subsequent posts on this subject. Officers are not giving me the pack but they are saying this is not their fault but that of councillors. Cllr Walsh says he never told them to do this so who did? To make the position even more ridiculous, officers got someone to go through the pack taken off me and to type out my notes, which they then emailed to me. What a waste of staff time.

Castle Toward

I have asked several times what due diligence was carried out on the purchasers of Castle Toward to ensure that they have the resources, financial and otherwise, to complete the development they say they will do. In particular, I asked where the very high number of jobs created came from and from what bits of the business. I  am still being told I can’t get this so today I have made it a Freedom of Information request, rather reluctantly. The danger in this is that they can then say they can’t release it due to commercial confidentiality so I will probably never get the information I am looking for.

Alcohol & Drugs Partnership (ADP)

A number of councillors have been asking a lot of questions about the contract for addiction services that the council tendered for in 2014. I plan to do a separate post on this subject but, for the moment, you might like to know that officers have refused us access to an internal review of the tender carried out by officers (ie officers arguably investigating themselves) and they have refused access to the external legal advice sought on the tender. They won’t even tell us what questions were asked of the external legal advisers.

The question I have to ask is this: to whom are these officers accountable if not to us, the elected councillors? Answers on a postcard please.


  1. Mike.. is this essentially saying that Councillors do not have access to business transactions that the Council undertakes???

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