Good Islay malt keeps ‘overloaded’ councillor going

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Fears have been expressed that a long-serving Argyll and Bute councillor is being ‘overloaded’ with work – but he insists he is enjoying it.

Councillor Robin Currie was made the authority’s new policy lead for roads and infrastructure services in September, as well as becoming chair of the environment, development and infrastructure committee.

He also sits on the policy and resources and planning, protective services and licensing committees, as well as the Argyll and Bute licensing board, and is chair of the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Isles area committee.

That led Councillor Jim Findlay to ask the full council on Thursday, November 28 if deputy policy leads are stepping up to the mark.

However, while appreciative of the concerns, Councillor Currie from Islay insisted he was relishing his many roles – and even invited more work.

Councillor Findlay said: ‘We are in a position where we have deputy policy leads. Councillor Currie has stepped up to the plate to be policy lead for roads and infrastructure services.

‘But I can’t help feeling that there is a shortage of councillors willing to take on commitments, and I wonder if that is overloading on Councillor Currie.

‘Is this unfair on him, as well as the community that this council is elected to serve?’

Council leader Aileen Morton responded: ‘I would highlight that this is an issue which should have been raised when decisions were made two months ago.

‘Councillor Rory Colville has picked up on parts of Councillor Currie’s remit, as has Councillor Gary Mulvaney in relation to municipal waste.’

The leader added that there was no update in the council papers from Councillor Alastair Redman, policy lead for economic growth, due to his current suspension by the Conservative Party.

Although Councillor Redman did attend the meeting, he never spoke. His deputy as policy lead is Councillor Jim Anderson.

She added: ‘On depute policy leads, Councillor Anderson is fulfilling that role. I have spoken to him a number of times in the last few weeks. He is progressing the work and will be more able to fulfil that going forward.’

Councillor Currie, who has been a member of Argyll and Bute Council since its inception in the mid-1990s, then said: ‘I appreciate Councillor Findlay’s concern.

‘But I give assurance to the provost [Len Scoullar] and the full council that I am thoroughly enjoying the expanded remit. Bring it on – bring more if you want.

‘It keeps you going as you have to know when to switch off, and a good Islay malt whisky will keep me going.’