At the Policy and resource commitee held in Kilmory, the HQ for Argyll and Bute council, the local authority decided not to offer the community group any discount in relation to the Castle Toward Estate purchase. Instead the local authority officials voted 9 to 5 in offering the community group a £1 million pound commercial loan. The local community group we obviously dismayed at the councils decision not to offer any discount and although the deadline to purchase the estate has now been extended to January the 31st 2015, they believe that project is now in real jeopardy.
The motion passed by the council not to offer any discount has not gone down well with the local community. Residents have called on the council to reconsider its decision in a petition which has over 2,000 signatures. Some residents have went further calling on local councillors Dick Walsh and Jimmy McQueen to resign over their atrocious handling of the Castle Toward sale. The local MSP Mike Russell has also expressed his dismay with the councils decision and local councillor Michael Breslin has called for a change of leadership within Argyll and Bute Council.
The community group now have until January 31st to either accept the councils offer of a commercial loan, raise £1 million pounds extra, or walk away from the community buyout. Here are some examples of the reaction to the councils decision from a few newspapers.