Council ‘strong, sound and stable’, leader insists

Argyll and Bute Council is ‘making steady progress’, its latest leader has said in response to a damning report by Audit Scotland.

Dick Walsh, who returned to power after the collapse of the SNP-led administration two months ago, said today that the criticism had been ‘a wake-up call’.

Back in power - veteran independent Dick Walsh
Back in power – veteran independent Dick Walsh

“We said at the time that we would roll up our sleeves and get on with the job – and we have started exactly as we mean to go on,” he said in a statement released 24 hours after the council considered the Audit Scotland findings.

He said the current administration was ‘strong, sound and stable’ and ‘making steady progress’, while an action plan will be drawn up to address the issues raised. action plan to address the issues outlined in the report.

“Effective political management was identified by Audit Scotland as a clear need,” he added.

“We have plans for a committee structure which will make our leadership, policy-setting and decision-making processes much more efficient and effective.”

The council’s executive was scrapped last year’s elections and meetings of the full council now have forbiddingly long agendas – yesterday’s ran to 31 items.

A short life working group has been looking at alternatives for many months.

Cllr Walsh stressed there had been no impact on frontline services: “This is an inspiration to us as we work hard to restore Argyll and Bute Council to the driving force we know it can be.”