Facebook ban for CHORD manager


The contract manager in charge of the £6.6m project to regenerate Helensburgh has been forced stop communicating with the public via social media.

Drew Dunion of MacLay Civil Engineering has been in charge of the CHORD project since it started last year.

The work has been dogged by controversy including delays and design changes, but Mr Dunion’s regular updates on practical issues were seen as helpful by members of the Helensburgh Community Opinions Facebook group.

Last week though he said he could not longer continue communicating in this way.

“Due to circumstances outwith my control I regrettably will no longer be available on this page to comment or provide answers to your questions in this forum,” he wrote.

“I wish the group success in their aims. I can be contacted in person within the site offices if required.”

There were mote than 50 comments from local residents and businesspeople, all condemning the move and saying how they had appreciated the information he provided.

Argyll and Bute Council said Mr Dunion’s ‘hefty workload’ was the reason, and weekly updates about the work in Colquhoun Square, West Princes Street and the seafront would soon be provided.

“We welcome any initiative which keeps the public informed of how the works are progressing but providing information through social media is a significant additional responsibility,’ said a statement.

“With a focus on ensuring continued progress the Maclays public liaison officer and the council will be working together to continue the information flow.

“As well as the monthly newsletter we are making arrangements to provide weekly updates, which will appear on both the council and Maclays websites as well as the local library.

“The development work will deliver significant benefits for the people of Helensburgh and we understand that residents and businesses want to be informed of progress – the council and Maclays will be working together to maintain the flow of information.’’


  1. Weekly updates from the CHORD project team will be interesting; however, they won’t replace what was achieved by the responses from Mr Dunion on the Community Forum – and that was to quash the rumours which were plaguing the town – unless A&B Council and the CHORD team offer a platform where questions can be asked and answered promptly.

    I am certain that Mr Dunion was quite aware of the responsibility for the quality of the answers he provided and that his answers had the potential to put his own job at risk. I believe that his responses on the https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelensburghsCommunityOpinion/ forum allayed the fears of the retailers and residents promptly and effectively.

    I would request that A&B Council offer a discussion forum on the CHORD Project so that they can pick up where Mr Dunion was forced to stop commenting.

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