NOTEBOOK by BILL HEANEY
Councillor Jonathan McColl is proving a bigger embarrassment to the SNP than anyone thought would ever be possible.
He must be – or most certainly should be – blushing tartan blood at the new league table which has been produced in West Dunbartonshire for attendance at councillors’ surgeries.
Inevitably, Cllr McColl is at the bottom of that table and in other places that would make him a candidate for relegation from the basket case local authority that we, the local taxpayers, have had to suffer under for the past two years.
Indeed, it makes him a candidate for resignation, if not at this moment in time from the council itself, but most certainly from its leadership.
Martin Docherty-Hughes, the sitting SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire, must wish that McColl would go away and not return until after December 12 when we are destined to go to the polls.
The MP knows who to blame if his campaign goes pear-shaped.
He won’t have far to look for Cllr McColl. who appeared to have found his rightful place in local politics a few weeks ago, running the SNP tombola stall at Moss O’Balloch Park during the Highland Games there.
It has always been accepted that councillors’ surgeries are part and parcel of the job for which our local authority members are well paid.
Especially people like McColl, who hold important posts such as the leadership, committee convenerships and the Provostship, which these days has itself been reduced to a joke befitting a Christmas pantomime.
Oh, yes it is!
We still have a Bailie in West Dunbartonshire drawing an enhanced allowance because, after some political horse trading, Denis Agnew agreed to to keep the SNP in power by voting with them.
Provost Wee Willie Hendrie and his elves on the SNP benches would be funny if the situation in Church Street and Hall Street were not so serious.
The ladies have managed to giggle their way through a whole host of austerity cuts – even First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told him these were not needed – which have driven hundreds of local families to living off food banks while these fat cats draw their expenses for doing little and saying almost nothing.
McColl, by the look of him, doesn’t live off food banks and we know that senior council officials certainly don’t following the drip, drip of evidence in the form of restaurant receipts and taxi bills – there was one for £85 for taking a “worse for wear” person from Glasgow to Dunbartonshire after an outing involving a contractor in the market for work and fine dining on food and wine! – being posted daily on social media by Cllr Jim Bollan, who is currently the victim of an internal witch hunt.
He has been reported to the Standards Commission for making “inappropriate remarks” about the performance of Chief Executive Joyce White and her management team.
I myself have no words for the Council and the SNP arrogance in the way they have dealt with The Democrat, banning and boycotting us.
Well, maybe a few words, although I have already used one for which I have been banned and boycotted by these incompetent time servers who are best described in the Louis Macneice poem, Bagpipe Music. Google it.
Drew MacEoghainn, a member of the Community Party who supports the SNP’s campaign for a second referendum, posted on social media that the voters of McColl’s Lomond ward – Haldane, Balloch, Jamestown Rosshead and Tullichewan – are being “being totally let down by the SNP leader!”
He said the 18 surgeries McColl did have “is not good enough. Even worse, is he embarrassed? Is he hell?”
McColl’s response to complaints about his pathetic performance is “Councillors’ surgeries are a remnant of a bygone age when the public were forced to go to a specific place at a specific time to see their local elected representatives.”
And MacEoghainn’s reply to McColl was this: “No Jonathon, being bone idle and not taking time to listen to people’s needs and aspirations is a remnant of a bygone age and hopefully your tenure as leader will soon become part of the past.”