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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Secret meetings aren't secret anymore

The Licensing Board decision about refusing the Sunday licence for the Stornoway Golf Club and the subsequent outburst from the Chair have had further ramifications. All at further cost to the taxpayer.

However, it also appears that there has been much needed clarification about how at least one member of the Board came to his decision.

But first, there are some interesting aspects of the relationship between the Board and the Council that seem to be contrary to all I understood to be the case.

The entire Board were summoned - not invited - to a meeting by the Council Leader. Quite what powers he used to do that are unclear, and why the Board acceded to such a demand when they are supposedly a completely separate legal entity appointed from within the Council, is even more unclear. But straight to the Headmasters study it was.

Not to worry either, as it was an 'approved duty' which meant that the taxpayer paid for each and every member to travel to Stornoway and have all the accommodation costs paid for those from the Southern Isles. Plus officer time in dealing with the travel and attending the bollocking party. No change out of £1,000.
The Board were duly shouted at by the Leader for the following sins:
  • Ignoring legal advice on the application
  • Ignoring legal advice on the decision
  • Talking about the process in the press
  • Squandering £10,000 of our money on legal fees in a battle that inevitably would be lost
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and tears before bedtime, the Leader called for the Chair's head, inviting Cllr Taylor to resign. Quite rightly, Cllr Taylor told the Leader to insert his resignation letter into the appropriate orifice.

Then the penny dropped that shooting the messenger might actually make more of a story than the Comhairle was comfortable with, and there was much kissing and making up.

Those of you who were bemused or perturbed by Lord MacKay of Clashfern's encouragement for the judiciary to use the Bible in daily Court proceedings, may not be surprised to find that such a practice has never left the quasi-judicial arses seats of the Western Isles Licencing Board.

I am advised that one member of the Licencing Board who voted against the Sunday licence and against the legal advice admitted that he did so because he was told by 'external third parties' that he must not abstain.

If that is the case, then that member should resign immediately as he is clearly unable to demonstrate objectivity, is influenced by matters that are not related to the application, and is clearly bringing the Board into disrepute by his actions. I can't wait to see him in Court on the stand!

Perhaps now is the time for the Board and the Council to make a clean breast of what has happened, and save us all some money by confirming that the Board will not defend the indefensible in Court.

Councillors: you need to get a grip on the board members. I suggest a double handed grip around the throat would be entirely appropriate in these circumstances, until Board Members who lack objectivity and integrity finally see sense.

Religious poster


Anonymous said...

The Chair was responsible for ensuring that the Comittee were aware of the consequence of ignoring the legal advice and he obviously failed in HIS duty.
If the members ignore the chairs advice ( given the consequences ) then his position is untenable.

The leader has shown strengh in his actions whether they be within his remit or not by giving these guys n gals a bolloking and hopefully a size 10 up the arse for possibly costing us taxpayers £10 grand !!

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree these Councillors should get a grip on their members as it makes it easier to be W**kers. Is it just me but do they seem to have gotten stupider the more they are paid?

Anonymous said...

6:41pm Glad you're doing overtime up at the White House and are ensuring that your own position is protected. The "Leader" will be proud.

7:24pm Previously you had Councillors who made their money doing other things and had a genuine interest in the Western Isles local government with no expectation of getting rich on the back of it. Now you have Councillors who don't have a day job, or one that pays enough, and are relying on the income to pay the bills. Trouble is, they "need" the income and are too scared to rock the boat as a result.

Anonymous said...

6 41 here again.
Don't work there
Don't particularly like anyone who does.
Don't knock the guy who has the balls to stand up and say what you would like to say tto these members who don't care what damage their actions have so long as they don't have to pay.
ME I'm just another W##ker with nothing better to do JUST LIKE YOU

Anonymous said...

The Council has far too many Councillors - CnES has 31 and a population of c. 26000. Shetland with a population of c. 22000 has 22 Councillors. The Orkneys with a population of c. 19000 has 21 Councillors. Stirling Council has only 22 Councillors but has a population of approx 88000.

Far too many elected representatives in the Western Isles?

Anonymous said...

Too many elected representatives... You're damn right there.

31 councillors
MP, MSP, List MSP's
and no doubt an MEP also.

I'd quite gladly see the MSP go and be represented by the list guys. And say 6 councillors. But which 6?? Angus Campbell our depute leader polled the 6th lowest in the last election..... Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Unless I am mistaken in my understanding of the law i'm surprised thatit has not dawned on anybody that the Club cannot actually serve general members of the public in any case. In order for a member of the public to be inside the premises they would need signed in by a member of the club so the idea of Mr and Mrs Tourist family or local jakey wandering in during a sabatical in the grounds and being served is a non starter....perhaps some people should be reading up on licensing law

Anonymous said...

If the Leader was a decent leader he would have supported the Chair and called another meeting of the Board to reverse the decision

Anonymous said...

ELECTED Members - how many actually are genuinely ELECTED following an ELECTION. The vast majority are returned unopposed- yet another sign of apathy in the Western Isles.

Anonymous said...

5 04
Not happy ??
Next time put your name forward and take your chance like everyone else. Then you won't be guilty of

Anonymous said...

8.02- six councillors seems a reasonable figure-
Barra & Vatersay 1
S Uist 1
Benbeccula 1
Harris 1
W Lewis 1
E Lewis 1


Anonymous said...

What about one for the country and one for the town?

Anonymous said...

9.10, this is 8.02.
Yes, I did wonder about that but wasn't sure where to draw the line. So much of the surrounding crofting townships are now really Stornoway in all but name. But yes, town and country would work equally well if we can set a reasonable boundary. Would Point be town or country?

Anonymous said...

Point? Anyone but them...chop them off at the Braighe.

Anonymous said...

I guess Point could decide, maybe the old fashioned paper in a box - town or country or maybe independence?

Anonymous said...

Point did not want their own turbines in Point incase they were blown away from Stornoway.
I'm sure there's a song in there for Castello.