Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Council candidates

Some very interesting contests are in the offing, if the people who have told me they are standing are actually standing.

The SNP candidates look to be having a hard time against some ex-SNP independents, which is going to raise all sorts of interesting questions in the minds of the voters; and may explain why the SNP letter writers have been fulminating about (Labour) "Independents" and why you shouldn't vote for "Independents".

I understand that the Labour list will be formally announced later today, or tomorrow, as they are still not 100% certain of their numbers.  Better late than never, I suppose, but hardly the way to run a campaign.

Labour candidates are reported to number anything between 1 and 12, depending on who you speak to, put I think it is going to be in the range of 5-8, if my numbers add up.

As the likely "official opposition" in the new Council, it seems Labour's biggest enemy is Labour, and I foresee wonderfully eccentric policies being expounded, revised and disavowed as the two (three?) sides fight for control of the moribund beast. 

Interesting multi-cornered fights look likely in South Uist & Barra, Stornoway N&S, North Lochs, Point and Broadbay, where incumbency may be as much a problem as an advantage; and where Party candidates look likely to face still opposition from those who have left the Party.

To the victors, the spoils.  Which in this case means severe budget cuts, a centralising Government in Edinburgh, and a very limited set of options for enhanced service delivery.

Good luck one and all.


Anonymous said...

The variety and number of contests is exacerbated by the absurd number of councillors. 31 - or one for every 800 residents.

Compared to all of Scotland, where there's one for every 4,250 residents.

The argument that the Outer Hebrides is rural doesn't cut it; most of Scotland, outside of the central belt, is Scotland.

Council regions such as Inverclyde (81,000), North Ayrshire (141,000), East Lothian (101,000), South Ayrshire (114,000), Angus (112,000), and even Dundee (154,000!) have less councillors than the Western Isles.

It's not just an anomaly, it's completely wildly out of step with Scotland, and the UK. And having this many local councillors, judging from the last 20 years of local government in the isles, the court cases, wasted money, bungled contracts and much more, simply does not work or bring benefit to the residents.

The cut needs to be severe. Even cutting the number of councillors by two thirds to ten would leave more on average than Scotland or the UK.

Less councillors = less political infighting, less expenses and costs being sucked up, less chance of extremists getting a seat at the table solely on the votes of drinking friends, business links and extended family.

The rest of Scotland can, and does, function well at a local level with far fewer councillors per resident than the Western Isles. There's no case to answer for retaining the absurdly high levels.

Lock Key said...

Nice to see the local SNP Candidates for Harris and Pairc come from Stornoway and Tolsta.

Are they standing for us or their party first - question.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post.
The Western Isles are over represented on several fronts and 31 councillors is far too many. 1 for every 800 residents probably equates to about 1 for every 500 voters. A ridiculous situation.
A 50% cut is required asap it will improve efficiency and it will hopefully be easier to find 15 intelligent people than 31.

Anonymous said...

How can a candidate be an independent if he has previously stood in at least two General Elections as a Labour Candidate
Does he think so little of his electorate that he tries to deceive them into believing that all of a sudden he has cut all ties with his lifelong political masters, I think not.
I personally have no political allegiance but I certainly will not be voting for someone who tries to deceive me even if the alternatives available are limited .

Anonymous said...

Everyone is allowed to change their views and opinions. The writer of this blog is a prime example of someone who saw the light..

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:55pm

What about the former SNP candidate who stood a number of times for Westminster and Hollyrood and is standing as an independent councillor.

Anonymous said...

Did the propsal of reduction in the number of Councillors not win 100% backing at the budget consultations, not only by the Electorate but by serving Members or were you too busy blogging to take part?

Lock Key said...

Lock Key here re my 6:39

It gets worse, it appears the Labour Party put their candidate for Harris and Pairc in at the last minute having been made aware only C McD and P McL had registered.

WTF does Ward 3 want with a candidate who is representing his party rather than the ward.

He could have stood after all at home in Shawbost.

Lord Soap said...

@Lock Key

Is South Shawbost near Leverburgh or are you deliberately not saying anything about the Labour guy?

Anonymous said...

"The writer of this blog"? This blog is a committee of unknown people operating on behalf of a local accountant, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

9:05 Talk is cheap. Councillors are expensive.

Until the cuts in their many ranks actually happens, forgive me my extreme scepticism about this overdue necessity...

Anonymous said...

Lock Key 5.50

I totally agree with your comments on the Labour candidate standing in Harris.
But what about the SNP's 2 candidates standing in Harris.
One from Stornoway and one from Tolsta Chaolais.

I think this shows why Party Politics does not work in the Western Isles Council.

Oh by the way is there not an SNP candidate in the Lochs ward living in Kyle now.

Lock Key said...


Covered the SNP Candidates at Comment 2 @ 6:39