How Argyll & Bute Works: Budget Cuts

I have written before about the proposals to address the council’s budgetary issues and in particular the fact that alternatives are there if councillors wish to take them. Read here to see what these might be.

On Thursday last week the administration led by Cllr Walsh started to show its first cracks, with the Argyll First group (part of the Walsh administration) putting up an amendment to the budget proposals. The amendment was ruled incompetent on the day and not voted on. It was ruled incompetent because clause 2 wasn’t specific enough. If you wish to read their amendment, it’s at this link: argyll first amendment 22 oct 15

The Argyll First group did not vote at all on the budget vote so nobody knows where they really are on this. Let’s hope they can be won over to an alternative approach.

The SNP Group had been approached by me 2 days before the council meeting to see if they would support our amendment but we assume they didn’t like it because they proposed their own. The first draft of it we said we could not support and on the day they submitted an amended version which is at the link below. The key problem with it from my point of view was that it still recommended putting the current proposals on cuts out to public consultation. I do not think that makes any sense at all because it seems to imply they support the proposals.

SNP Amendment: snp amendment 22 oct 15

The administration motion can be found here: walsh motion 22 oct 15

The Reform Group, myself, Bruce Marshall and Vivien Dance, was reduced to two of us since Bruce was on holiday. Our amendment got 2 votes, our own, but we were quite happy because we believe we were the only 2 to completely reject the cuts package. Our amendment is shown below. Walsh’s proposals will now go out for public consultation since his followers all followed, as usual. Even if those opposed to the cuts had all agreed on something on the day, Walsh still has the numbers to defeat us so any stuff you hear to the contrary is simply untrue. If you bump into Cllrs Walsh, McQueen or McNaughton, you might want to ask them what they think they are doing to their community with these proposals.

Amendment agenda item 6

1 To reject recommendations a, b, and c.

2 To ask the Scottish Government to carry out an independent and urgent evaluation of the council’s financial projections over the next 5 years and also to consider the long standing need for the council to receive special islands needs allowance.

3 To agree that the council as currently structured is wasteful of resources and to agree on the principle of maximum decentralisation of decision making and service delivery.

4 To convene a series of 1 day meetings of all elected members, on at least a weekly basis, from November onwards to examine the budget line by line, with  no budget lines excluded, in order to establish a new range of options for savings. Wherever possible these meetings will be open to press and public.



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