The latest estimated cost of holding the Scottish independence referendum stands at £13.3m, a rise of about £3m on previous figures.
An impact assessment report to the Scottish Parliament said running the referendum itself would account for £8.6m of the total sum.
Another £4.7m will be spent on regulation and campaign mailshots.
Scotland’s voters went to the polls on 18 September, an impact assessment report to the Scottish Parliament said running the referendum itself would account for £8.6m of the total sum. Another £4.7m will be spent on regulation and campaign mailshots.
The last time the costs of the referendum were looked at was in the Scottish government’s consultation paper Your Scotland – Your Referendum, published at the beginning of last year.
On page eight of the report it said the total cost of the referendum “is likely to be around £10m, the bulk of which will be spent on running the poll and the count”.
The business and regulatory impact assessment report, signed off by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and lodged at Holyrood on 21 March, said the costs associated with the referendum could be separated into four broad categories.
• Costs of running the referendum incurred by chief counting officers, local counting officers and electoral registration officers
• Costs of funding the Electoral Commission for overseeing and regulating referendum campaigns and reporting on the conduct of the referendum
• Publicity costs incurred by the Electoral Commission in the fulfilment of its duty to provide information to the electorate on how to cast their vote
• The costs of allowing each of the main campaign organisations – Yes Scotland and Better Together – a free mailshot to every elector or household in Scotland.
East Renfrewshire Council was capable of recovering a maximum of £159,276 from the Scottish Government in order to cover administration and payments to staff.
Freedom of Information requests to East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire (NAC) and South Lanarkshire (SLC) councils were made to make comparisons.
Counting Officers are not subject to FOI legislation and Lorraine McMillan the Chief Executive of ERC refused to reveal how much she was paid for undertaking the role, however NAC had no problem revealing that their Counting Officer was paid the sum of £5,283 for the evenings work.
Lorraine McMillan ERC
ERC employed 45 members of staff at the counting centre and once again Lorraine McMillan was not prepared to share how much she paid these staff, however once again NAC was prepared to do so.
Caroline Inness, Deputy Chief Executive of ERC was given the post of Count Supervisor, as were Jim Sneddon, Head of Democratic Services and Gerry Mahon, Chief Solicitor to the council.
Their equivalents in SLC were paid £250 gross each, for their roles on the night of the count.
ERC provided their staff with a days paid leave on Friday 19th September 2014.
A spokesperson for ERC said “The Council has a long standing arrangement that they are given the following day off in view of the fact they have been working overnight. Not all staff took up this entitlement.”
Yet none of the other two councils provided staff with paid leave on the Friday.
During the day, polling stations reported unprecedented turnout across the area.
There were queues to vote when many of the polling stations opened at 7am, members of both groups happily chatted away with no hint of the anger that had marred some of the campaign in the closing weeks.
However, advertising company JCDecaux had to call in engineers to remove a pro-Yes structure that had appeared on top of advertising billboards at Clarkston Toll.
Two Clarkston Community Councillors were observed actively campaigning within the Clarkston area, also outside the polling station and inside at the subsequent count on behalf of the Yes campaign (Known as yessers to activists)
The Community Councillors code of conduct states: You are free to have political and/or religious affiliations; however you must ensure that you represent the interests of your community and Community Council and not the interests of a particular political party or other group.
Given that Ccllrs are meant to be available and responsive to the community at all times, we would have to ask if these activities are in keeping with the CC code of conduct.
To have your own opinions as an individual is right and proper, however to take these onto the streets of the area which you are there to represent as an impartial person may be construed by some as incompatible with the role and function of a Ccllr.
Clarkston Community Council were approached for comment and their spokesperson said ” Clarkston Community Council is not responsible for the activities of any member acting in a private capacity on matters not affected by the affairs of the Community Council. The Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils clearly states that “you are free to have political and or religious affiliations; however you must ensure that you represent the interests of your community and Community Council and not the interests of a particular political party or other group.”
“As a Community Council we always conduct our business and activities from an apolitical stance in full adherence to the Scheme. Clarkston Community Council responds to Newsdesk to reaffirm and reassure our residents and the public of our apolitical status.”
Both Community Councillors were provided with the opportunity to respond, however both failed to do so.
Surprisingly immediately after they were provided with the opportunity to comment Councillor Vincent Waters, the campaign manager for Yes East Renfrewshire Tweeted the following.
Cllr Waters is no stranger to controversy, and he has consistently refused to comment to certain news outlets.
However it is interesting that Cllr Waters should mention North Korea, it has been noted from the Clarkston Community Council minutes of October 2014 that two Cllrs were allegedly attempting t0 prevent a democratically formed CC from responding to a fully credited member of the press.
The CC minutes state: Response to Mr T Taylor, Newsdesk
The Chair referred to the communication from Mr Taylor of the 19th September 2014 that the office bearers agreed should be circulated to all members of the CC prior to any response and stressed that we are here for the community and we are duty bound to respond to such a communication.
Kirsten Oswald and Vincent McKechnie both felt that there should be no response to Mr Taylor. EK (Chair) stated that we have a duty to respond to members of the public and have always done so. VMcK questioned this and stated that we should ignore Mr Taylor and not embroil ourselves in meaningless distraction, VMcK referred to an email that he had marked confidential and previously sent to restricted members of CCC stating that we should ignore the Newsdesk communication. KO said that she had no issue with what we were saying but would be happier if the response was a lot briefer. It was pointed out that the response could not be made any briefer as it was already very short… (Full details of the minutes can be read at )
It may appear that an unknown cost of the referendum has been the exposure of a few who claim to represent the people who are actually keen to silence any reporter prepared to speak the truth and they don’t like them and see them as a threat, it would appear that there are a few within the SNP ranks at East Renfrewshire who are not keen on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Yes Cllr Waters please keep making the analogy with North Korea, we would have to suggest that this may ring bells with the public of East Renfrewshire when they think of you.