Members Day 22nd April

Members Day Inveraray Inn Sunday April 22nd 2018

There will be 2 sessions on the day.

The first will be with our SNP Council Group to learn more about the vitally important role they play every day in promoting the SNP in Argyll & Bute Counci

The group discussion will focus on how we as local activists can work with our councillors to promote the SNP in our communities and how local issues can play into the wider national discussion.
In the second session we will hear from Rebecca Munro and Colin J. Morrison who have been instrumental in the proposed community buyout of the island of Ulva, using the Scottish Government’s Community Buyout legislation.
There is a meeting for branch Convenors, Organisers and Secretaries at 11:00
Between 12:00 and 13:00 there will be a meeting of the Liaison Committee.
Then after a short tea/coffee break, the Members Day will start at 13:30.

Russell calls for fundamental change at Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership

Russell calls for fundamental change at Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership as plans for yet more savage cuts emerge

Local Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has called for major changes to the management and governance of the Argyll & Bute Health & Social Care Partnership after plans for the consideration – in secret – of yet more savage cuts to health and social care provision were leaked to newspapers.

Mr Russell said:

“Across the country Health & Social Care Partnerships have faced up to the challenge of change and worked with communities to ensure that services do so too. As a result in most places the integration of Health and Social care has produced better outcomes and more effective use of resources.

But here in Argyll & Bute too much centralised bureaucracy, ineffective, confusing consultations and misguided, and often futile, attempts to force through unacceptable closures – like that of Struan Lodge in Dunoon – have resulted in an ever worsening financial position.

So despite their spin to the contrary the reality is that the recurring financial problems facing the senior management and board of the Argyll & Bute Health and Social Care Partnership are in substantial part the result of their own shortcomings. They arise directly from their failure to successfully change and develop what their organisation does in order to match changing need in the area. This is compounded by the failure of the organisation to implement effective budgetary control year after year.

I know from my constituency work that local people and hardworking health and care staff are utterly fed up with this situation and with the constant pressures on services.

Now – to make it even worse – many of those in the front line face losing their jobs as a result of a new set of cuts being drawn up a fact to which the trade union Unison has drawn attention in its open letter published last week.

To make matters worse the Partnership is not being open about what it are planning. Whilst they will put a few things on the table next week at their open meeting, they have now admitted to keeping secret a document which they intend to discuss later in private and which details a terrifying further range of options for more cost cutting.

These are believed to include the complete privatisation of all elderly care, the closure of all day centres, a reduction in the number of midwives and other essential staff and yet more pressure on the most vulnerable such as further reduction of the help available for sleepovers.

Yet the Partnership, by its own admission, hasn’t even met its current targets for cost savings, for example on the reduction in the use of prescription drugs.

In addition some of the items in the leaked documents appear to suggest cuts that even those in charge realise can’t work and which they know will be subject to massive opposition. Some may actually be against the law.

To put it bluntly the previous programmes of cuts haven’t worked. Some of the cuts they are now planning can’t work. Yet the senior management’s only answer is to do again what they have done before in the desperate hope it might produce a different result this time.

It won’t. Even if these cuts happened we would be back again next year in the same position. It is the people who are running the show who are the problem because they have the wrong solutions. That needs to change, and change now.

Enough is enough. Regrettably the Partnership has failed to deliver the health services that are required and show no sign of being able to do so. I have therefore written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health asking her to ensure that support and assistance is given to the Partnership in this crisis in order to find a way out and I will be meeting her later this week.

It is essential that some stability is provided, either from within the organisation or from outside intervention so that management and governance changes are made which will produce an organisation fit for purpose, dedicated to supporting those excellent health and care staff across the area who are trying to deliver high quality health and social care and are capable of taking these services forward in a time of great demographic change.

Nobody would say that providing health and social care is easy in current circumstances but here in Argyll & Bute there are many good people on the ground trying their best. The way in which they and the organisation they work for is managed and governed is the problem and that is what must be tackled now in a new and positive spirit.”

Argyll and Bute celebrates Year of Young People

Argyll and Bute Council’s Youth Services Team has created a calendar full of activities and events to celebrate some of the reasons young people love living and growing up in Argyll and Bute, and to coincide with 2018 being the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.


A consultation was carried out with 1,055 young people across the area, where they were given the opportunity to choose the top ten reasons they like Argyll and Bute.


The results were:

1 Safety;

2 Outdoors;

3 Easy to stay in touch;

4 Nature;

5 Quiet and peaceful;

6 Beautiful;

7 Freedom;

8 Sport/recreation;

9 Opportunities;

10 Easy to get involved.

An exciting programme of events was then developed with these in mind and includes a dance show, a photography project, a comedy and confidence workshop, a film festival, and lots more.


The events also coincide with the six key themes of the Year of Young People, which are: Culture, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, participation, and education.


The Council’s Policy Lead for Education  said; “The Year of Young People aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing the contribution they make to their communities, and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.


“Here in Argyll and Bute we have young people to be proud of – young people who are great ambassadors for the area, and who work hard to make Argyll and Bute the wonderful place it is.


“It is fantastic that we will be hosting a whole range of events to celebrate them, their achievements, and why Argyll and Bute is great place to live, work and learn.”


The Year of Young People Plan for Argyll and Bute will be officially launched at the Argyll and Bute Awards in Helensburgh on 31 January 2018.

full list of events in Argyll and Bute,