MSP gives backing to independent investigation of Argyll and Bute Council


Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has given his backing to an online petition demanding a full and independent investigation into allegations of bullying and intimidation at Argyll and Bute Council.

The petition, started by Trevor and Susan Chandler of the Castle Toward Supporters Group, calls for an investigation “of, among other things, a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff, past and present within Argyll and Bute Council.” The petition has amassed over 2000 signatures on the campaign website 38 Degrees.

On hearing of the allegations, first published by Common Space in February, Mr Russell wrote to the Chief Executive of the Council, Sally Loudon, asking her to investigate. However she has refused to do so.

Commenting on the petition, Mr Russell said:

The allegations of bullying and intimidation surrounding Argyll and Bute Council are of a very serious nature. The dysfunctional relationships between Council management and their hard-working and long-suffering staff, highlighted by Common Space, require thorough and serious examination. I have a particular concern about the issue because I receive regular complaints from employees about these matters.

“There is no doubt that the anti-democratic actions of Argyll and Bute Council in recent months have brought the Council as an organisation into serious disrepute. Persistent reports of bullying and intimidation by senior officials and members of the administration are underscored by a litany of policy failures by the Council. These failures include the secretive and underhand manner in which the Council administration has blocked the purchase of Castle Toward by the community.

“I am sorry to say that it is becoming clearer by the day that the collective management culture of the Council is failing the people of Argyll and Bute.

“I have urged Council management, including the Chief Executive, on several occasions to get their house in order and address the allegations directly. As they have failed to do so, I am giving my support to this petition and will push for a full, independent inquiry into the allegations made by Common Space.”


  1. Long overdue investigation so thank you Mr Russell. When the Americans left one thought ‘new blood’ in Dunoon, as outsiders moved into the American housing, would reform the in fighting and improvements in Council mentality, but it now as always. A higher overview much needed.

  2. Well done! There is a history of this type of thing all over Scotland. Take a look at the sale of Southannan Estate in Fairlie where an attempted community purchase was thwarted by North Ayrshire Council. You will walk a long country mile before finding a bigger disgrace than that!

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