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

Monday, February 07, 2011

Licencing Board - sobering up

So today (Tuesday) is the first meeting for the Licencing Board since some of them threw the toys and the lawyers out of the pram.  And it is likely to be an entertaining affair for those invited to be inside the room.

An astute adherent to one of the local Churches posed some thoughtful points about the application for the Sunday licence for the Chinese Restaurant that is being heard at the Meeting, for which he had no answers, but lots of philosophical thoughts, in light of the illegal refusal of the Golf Club licence.

Let me summarise them, whilst removing his more florid and identifiable phrases:
  • Even if there is a good reason to refuse the Sunday licence, will anyone believe that the Board has followed legal advice in coming to this decision?
  • Does anyone really believe that the Free Church Five can be objective after their last performance?
  • Just how much fun are the lawyers for the applicants going to have when addressing the Board?
  • How many Board members are going to ask for the legal advice to be in writing from now on?
  • When will the Free Church Five realise that they have effectively neutered any influence or respect by their past actions?
  • Have they actually committed a criminal offence?
Not that long ago, a prominent former Councillor related to me a tale about a call he received from the Lords Days Observance Society in which he was told to instruct a friend who sat on the Licencing Board how to vote at a forthcoming meeting, under threat of being voted out at the next election.  He refused point blank* and told the LDOS never to contact him again; and perhaps a question for the lawyers is to find out just how many sitting Board Members have been contracted on the same basis before previous meetings.  These contacts should all have been logged as attempts to influence a quasi-judicial process, in exactly the same way that a publican slipping a Board Member a bottle of Whisky would have been shouted about from the rooftops.

Still, if your lobbyists are pushing at an open door ..... they aren't lobbyists, but friends.

* Personally, I would have gone to the press and the Police.  But, as the person concerned never told his volatile, nay explosive, colleague for pretty good reasons it was a dilemma he faced alone.  However, I am sure he will testify to the attempts to bring undue influence, if required.


Anonymous said...

No, No, Lots, 4, Never, Probably.

The real questions are:

1. Why have there been no resignations, removals of the members that voted against the golf club license after a clear and demonstrable conflict of interest?

2. Are the Convener and Vice Convener not duty bound to prevent or remove such conflicts of interest or are they just too weak willed?

So where does this leave them?

1. Pass the application for the Golden Ocean and demonstrate clear discrimination against the golf club?

2. Refuse the application and continue the clear conflict of interest that they should have declared in the first place?
Either way they should not be on the WILB and for that matter never should have been in the first place.

3. How long will council matters continue to be influenced by a small minded extremist pressure group?

Anonymous said...

3. How long will council matters continue to be influenced by a small minded extremist pressure group
I agree. Councillors should be democratically elected from now on. Erm...oops, they were.

Unknown said...

It'll be interesting to see if anyone who has enough evidence actually raises a formal complaint with the standards commission.

If councillors are in breach of the standards then they need to be censured but that will only happen when complaints are raised.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens come April when new rules regarding equality come into force as some of the decisions and policies of the council could be in breach of this new act.

Interesting times ahead.

Anonymous said...

For 'US Senator', insert 'WI Councillor'

Anonymous said...

But were they ELECTED?- our GL {Glorious Leader} makes much of being elected. The hard fact is that most of them are returned un-opposed and more often than not there is in fact NO election.Apathy rules in the Islands and whilst most of us moan and groan about our "Elected" representatives very few of us are prepared to put our names forward as councillors. Until this situation changes we shall have the status quo. God help us!

Anonymous said...


I've no axe to grind on these matters but it annoys me when absolutely inaccurate drivel is allowed to be recorded and quickly becomes the accepted version, especially for some with preconceived ideas.

There are no councillors on the Comhairle who were returned unopposed. Whatever we think of their individual qualities, they were all subjected to elections in combined wards in which there were some unsuccessful candidates.

Will your name be on the ballot paper next year?

Anonymous said...

There are 30 odd Councillors (some might say odd in the extreme) you saythey were all elected through a ballot - bollocks. Can't remember when there was last an election in the ward I live in and the same applies in the majority of wards.

Anonymous said...


"The hard fact is that most of them are returned un-opposed and more often than not there is in fact NO election."

Um, that is actually b*llocks, as a quick look at the nominations and results of the last umpteen elections will tell you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

@7.27 and any others suffering from misinformed apoplexy -

3.30's useful link gives the 2007 results which break down as follows:

Barra/SU 4 elected, 6 stood
Benbec/NU 3/5
Harris/SLochs 3/6
Uig/Kinloch 3/6
Point 3/4
Sy South 4/6
Sy North 4/7
N Lochs 3/5
Ness 4/7

No comment on their quality, or the tendency to vote in the same useless worthy regardless, but let's get the facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Misinformed apoplexy - good one.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who the John Madonald is that complained that the Golden Ocean served “very drunk people without them needing to order any kind of food, sometimes into 4am into Sunday morning.” (Hebrides News).

Now I think he ( Mr Macdonald) should be done for something if he has nothing better to do than hang around street corners to see what young people are doing at that time of night,- Serously. Or if he is saying this on hearsay it should have been dismissed. Instead the Licenceing board have instucted the poice “to monitor the premises” How can the Licensing board instuct police on what to do with there time on the objection of one person?

Anonymous said...

Who mentioned "young people"?

Anonymous said...

OK, but they are mostly Night Club goers, was one myself many moons ago. So youngish. Anyway thats not the point! Who is Mr Macdonald ? is it you 2.07 ?

domhnallbeag an t-suicear said...

You know

I always thought that you vote for a labour candidate and the tories get in then you are subjected to Tory policies until the next election and you get the chance to vote all over again and choose.
I believe its called first past the post - and roughly thats the way it works here - those with the most votes get into the driving seat.
What I don't understand is all the shouting about councilors with the 'curam' standing up for what they believe in. I would imagine that is part of the ticket they stood on - you don't like it then work to vote them out at the next election.
I was in discussion with someone this week who talked about the proposal to barr all those of a faith from holding any form of public office.
Personally I think such proposals are a affront to democracy but \I would be interested to see what the opinions on this forum are.
And, just to be upfront and honest I'll declare an interest - I do have the 'curam'.