LOMOND North Independent Councillor George Freeman repeats his call for more transparency on Covid-19 statistics in Argyll and Bute in this week's Councillor Column.


Readers may recall that in my previous column, I highlighted that I was unhappy with the statistics being made available to the public relating to Covid-19 within Argyll and Bute.

My concerns on this issue were raised when I discovered the death rate from Covid-19 in the Argyll and Bute Council area, at 7.5 deaths per 10,000 population, was over three-and-a-half times higher than the figure for the Highland Council area, at only 2.1 deaths per 10,000 population.

As a number of constituents had asked me how the figures for the Helensburgh and Lomond area compare with other parts of Argyll and Bute, I asked the Chief Officer (CO) of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) if she could provide me with the figures for each of the council’s four decentralised areas.

READ MORE: Devil is in the detail of Argyll and Bute Covid-19 figures

I have now received a reply from the CO in which she confirms that the figures in Argyll and Bute are higher than the Highland Council area and states that this is to be expected due to our proximity to Glasgow and Inverclyde.

While the CO has confirmed that there are “more cases in South Argyll and Bute than North”, she has refused to give me the figures for each of the four decentralised areas and states that, “even with a FOI (Freedom of Information), this is not public information”.

As I do not accept the original reason of “patient confidentiality” for withholding this information, I now intend testing this through the Freedom of Information process.


DURING the lockdown, constituents at Luss and Arrochar have experienced serious problems with people ignoring the lockdown rules on the five-mile travel limit and pouring into their villages and creating chaos.

READ MORE: Council issues parking and litter plea after 86 penalty notices in Luss and Arrochar

This has included drinking in public, disregarding the social distancing rules, anti-social behaviour, abandoning cars on trunk roads and village streets.

Thankfully, if we have anything to thank Covid-19 for, it is that after years of pressing by myself and the Community Council, the council has been forced to introduce a temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) at Luss, with a permanent TRO to follow, to control traffic and parking at Luss.

We also now have Transport Scotland introducing a TRO at Arrochar to address the major problems of cars being abandoned on the A83 by drivers who then disappear into the hills for the day.

Progress? Time will tell.

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