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Leading councillors and officials have held ‘really positive’ talks with members of the Scottish Parliament on the challenges facing Argyll and Bute, the council leader has reported.

Robin Currie travelled to Holyrood  earlier this month, along with his deputy, Gary Mulvaney (Conservative) and SNP councillor Reeni Kennedy-Boyle.

And a report reveals that the continuing saga with Rothesay Pavilion, along with the need for population growth in the area and financial challenges, was on the agenda.

Cllr Currie’s report will go before the full council on Thursday.

He said this was the first time a cross-party approach had been taken with these meetings  and this was ‘a positive and constructive development’.

Constituency MSPs Jenni Minto (Argyll and Bute) and Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) were invited, together with regional list MSPs.

Chief executive Pippa Milne and executive director Kirsty Flanagan gave an overview of the area’s opportunities and challenges, including the urgent need for population growth and financial pressures.

Cllr Currie added: “We took the opportunity to raise the issue of Rothesay Pavilion with the parliamentarians, who agreed to share the detail with colleagues and to remain in dialogue with ministers, following our own approach to them earlier this year.

Read more – Rothesay Pavilion restoration cost doubles to £30m

“There will be further engagement with parliamentarians on the matter of the pavilion, both arising from this session and through the activity of the lobbying group as the pavilion action plan is progressed in partnership with the Rothesay Pavilion Charity Trust.

“This was a really positive session and all agreed that the forum should continue, so officers are making arrangements to take forward the issues discussed at this first meeting and to liaise with colleagues at the Scottish Parliament on additional sessions next year.

“We also had a short meeting with Douglas Ross, who is one of the Highlands and Islands regional list MSPs for the area but who was unable to attend the forum session.

“This too was a useful and positive discussion and we were able to highlight the same challenges to him also, thus raising the profile of the pavilion in particular as well as the unique challenges presented by our geography, our population levels and other factors.”

Council in ‘really positive’ talks at Holyrood – The Lochside Press

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