Argyll and Bute summit: highly successful or a waste of time?

The speakers at the Argyll and Bute economic summit held at the Queen's Hall in Dunoon on October 29. James Sprint, managing director of Bute Fabrics, is third from the right in the back row.
The speakers at the Argyll and Bute economic summit held at the Queen's Hall in Dunoon on October 29. James Sprint, managing director of Bute Fabrics, is third from the right in the back row.

An economic summit for Argyll and Bute held last month was “a highly successful event”, according to the local council - though that description doesn’t quite marry up with the views of two of the day’s Bute delegates.

The event, at the Queen’s Hall in Dunoon, was held on October 29 to look at ways of tackling the economic problems caused by the area’s declining population.

A report for Argyll and Bute Council’s policy and resources committee describes the summit, held at the Queen’s Hall on October 29, in glowing terms, stating: “The Summit was a highly successful event that attracted nearly 200 delegates drawn from a the public, private and voluntary sectors that helped identify a number of key messages that now require actions to be taken forward through genuine partnership working.”

However, at Bute Community Council this week, the view of two Bute residents who went to the summit was rather less positive.

BCC secretary Mick Common said: “I attended the summit, and I left early. There may have been amazing ideas or splendid revelations after I left, but I doubt it.”

And local Argyll and Bute councillor Robert Macintyre - a member of the authority’s ruling administration - told BCC members: “Nobody really came up with any answers as to how to arrest the decline we’re experiencing. In my opinion the best speaker was [Bute Fabrics managing director] James Sprint.”