Councillor Gary Mulvaney writes for the Advertiser with the view from inside Argyll and Bute Council.


The council’s budget simulator is now live and can be found on the Argyll and Bute website ( - just pop “budget simulator” into the search box on the home page, and you will get there.

With more than £40 million in savings required in the next four years, there are undoubtedly some tough choices to be made.

The tool is easy to use and simply shows that if we increase or even maintain spend on one service, we have to reduce spending on another.

It’s as simple, and as difficult, as that. Your choices will help every councillor understand your priorities.

Closer to home, engagement sessions for the final phase of the Helensburgh waterfront project concluded at the end of June after two weeks of meetings and sessions with many different groups from across the town and area.

Consultants are now writing up their findings.

The eventual investment at this site will create several opportunities for residents including new facilities and jobs whilst providing a boost to the local economy and helping to keep spending local.

On a national level, with Humza Yousaf’s first 100 days as First Minister having come and gone, I am not sure that any of us, including some erstwhile nationalists, are much looking forward to the next 100.

Courtesy of their completely useless Green partners, we have had screeching U-turns on the deposit return scheme and no-fishing zones and I cannot be alone in wondering why the Green ministers still have a seat at the cabinet table.

Their extremist anti-growth, anti-monarchy, anti-wealth, eco-zealot approach is simply at odds with most Scots.

The FM could make a bold start to next session by dissolving that toxic partnership.

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The strains within the SNP are not just confined to Holyrood, with seven SNP MPs now having announced they are to retire and running for the hills and a stushie having blown up within the party around alleged bullying.

For Unionists, this is not the time to sit back, watch and rest on our laurels. We need to demonstrate the value of the UK, togetherness, and the benefit of Scotland’s two governments with their separate remits.

And nearly 25 years on from devolution, a review of that very framework is necessary. Never more so when we hear that £150,000 of taxpayers' money was blown on COP27 for SNP ministers who had no official role.

Money is still being spent on independence work despite the Supreme Court ruling. And former Nicola Sturgeon splurged £1,200 of taxpayers' money on a farewell Loose Women TV trip to massage her ego.

A more robust, well-crafted and less woolly Scotland Act is need to neuter nasty nationalism once and for all.