Taxi for Agnew – and make it a Rolls

Bailie Denis Agnew, who thinks Macintosh connection is tenuous.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s Arts and Culture Committee convener, Bailie Denis Agnew, is an enigma.

He sees no merit in promoting any connection between Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Dumbarton, where the famous architect was married at St Augustine’s Episcopal Church in the High Street.

Or that Mackintosh’s wife Margaret’s family home was at Dunglass on the banks of the River Clyde at Bowling.

Or where The Hill House, one of Macintosh’s masterpieces in Helensburgh, was situated in what is really Dunbartonshire.

That was before the town was gerrymandered by government bureaucrats into becoming part of Argyll and Bute, so that the cash accrued from hosting the Clyde Naval Base went into that then Tory council’s coffers.

When Dumbarton community councillor Rose Harvie asked him at a council meeting to think about it, Bailie Agnew said the connection was “tenuous”.

And he referred her to the Civic Trust which is no longer in existence.

He may have a gold chain around his neck but the councillor quite obviously does not have his finger on the pulse.

This week Bailie Agnew refused to take his gold chain along to Dumbarton Public Library to welcome Diane Cronin, the grand-daughter of AJ Cronin, one of the most successful and brilliant authors of the 20th century.

The so-called Independent Bailie Agnew, who along with two Conservative and UNIONIST colleagues, unbelievably keeps the NATIONALIST SNP in power in West Dunbartonshire, told the library staff to lay on tea and biscuits.

He has not been the most popular councillor in the chamber since he held the Sword of Damocles over the library staff’s heads earlier this year when he supported the imposition of redundancies and short opening hours on them.

The library staff were welcoming and receptive despite this and had done a lot of much appreciated research work for Ms Cronin, who is her grandfather’s literary executor.

And who is investigating the possibility of bringing a new series of Dr Finlay’s Casebook back to our television screens.

Possibly even having it made here in Dumbarton at the BBC Scotland studios on the site of the old Strathleven Bond at Gooseholm.

But Bailie Agnew thought Ms Cronin wasn’t worth the bother, it seems.

He can’t claim he didn’t know about it and there was no space in his diary.

I told him about the visit myself as far back as January this year.

Bailie Agnew though has time for anything Clydebank. He seems to be able to find cash for anything to do with the town.

He laid on a civic reception at Clydebank Town Hall for author John MacLeod to publish his book River of Fire, which is about the Clydebank Blitz.

And now, under the guise of it being an event related to Arts and Culture, he is promoting and publicising the start of a Monte Carlo-style rally from deprived Clydebank to mega rich Monaco.

He says thousands will attend this on January 30 but at what time we have not been told here at The Democrat.  We are ignored, banished and treated like 21st century lepers.

The Communications Department will not even tell us the start time for the rally. So how the thousands who are supposed to be going to flock there will know when to turn up, we haven’t a clue.

And would you tell us, Denis, sorry Bailie Agnew, what connection there is between Arts and Culture in West Dunbartonshire and a selection of gas guzzling vintage motor cars heading for the South of France?

We think it’s time for a taxi for Agnew. And make it a vintage Rolls Royce to go with his gold chain of an office that is no longer recognised in local government.

Take him off to the Civic Trust offices which no longer exist either. Tell him what time of day it is and what century we are now in.

Bill Heaney



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