BBC fly on the wall council documentary

Programme Name: The Country Council - TX: 19/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. 1/3) - Picture Shows: Argyll and Bute Council's Headquarters at Kilmory Castle - (C) Firecracker Films - Photographer: ****

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Councillors may have ‘kicked live-streaming into the long grass’ but the council’s inner workings will be revealed on national television.

The Country Council, narrated by Game of Thrones’ James Cosmo – whose father James Copeland hailed from Helensburgh, is a three part series from next Thursday October 19, at 9pm following the work of council staff in Argyll and Bute.

Firecracker Films gained unique access and followed council staff as they coped with vulnerable people in the community, complaints about bin collections, road repairs and even bagpipes teaching.

As this series outlines, councils across Scotland are in the midst of challenging budget cuts, and with higher demand than ever for public services, the pressure on local authorities has never been greater.

The first episode looks at the work of Desmond Middleton, one of only two council debt counsellors covering the entire region.

Mr Middleton said: ‘I try to help people who have got money problems or money worries, people who are struggling to pay debts or pay bills … to try to get them back on track again.’

Episode one also features a finance meeting at the council’s headquarters in Kilmory Castle in Lochgilphead, and a travelling music teacher visiting pupils on Mull.

Executive producer Elspeth O’Hare said: ‘We filmed from late spring into the summer and  encountered just about every shade of weather. There was a lot of warmth from the people.

‘This series brings the unique challenges and joys of working hundreds of miles from the nearest city to provide services in difficult times.’