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

Monday, November 01, 2010

Fabrication and lies?

Much as the Council may 'apologise' for the 'misunderstanding' of the contractor in building a cage for an autisitic boy to play in, I understand that the reality is slightly different.

I am told, by a source I believe knows, that the area was build exactly as instructed by the Council.

A Councillor suggests that I do an FoI request.

Is there any Councillor out there with the balls to actually go and look at the specification that was issued by the Council?  Before the papers are lost....

It might be worth cross-checking with the contractors that you have the real story, before coming to a conclusion.

It appears that the specification may have been wrong because of a failure of communication inside the White House, but that doesn't stop the blame being sprayed around like fertiliser on a field. 

It's not the mistake; it's the lies to cover it up.  Be brave enough to face it.


Anonymous said...

This is getting huge media coverage tonight on National TV and Radio.
I was horrified to see the images of the crudely constructed prison consisting of panels of Herris Fencing and a bolted door.To make matters worse the young man's parents contributed £500 towards a safe play area for their son. It's a bloody disgrace and once agian we/the Island are made to look like idiots. Well done the Cooncil!!

Anonymous said...

And sure as eggs is eggs, any family with a child with any form of disability will surely be giving the Western Isles a very wide berth when considering moving. What a shame. Are these people really our finest?

LazyChicken said...

8:34. No they are not. By a long shot.

Anonymous said...

Why did the Council think that that was suitable?

It is absolutely despicable.


My heart goes out to this family who have been so cruelly treated and I am ashamed of the CNeS.

The CNeS employees that agreed to this should all be replaced.

We certainly do not need these type of people working for us on OUR Council!

Anonymous said...

I would first be asking why it has taken 5 years for this boy to be allowed fresh air and outdoor exercise. There is more of a story to this than is being reported. It has taken his parents to "donate" £500 of their own money for something to be built for their child. The ultimate insult is a hastily erected fence / cage for the child presumably to pace around for an hour a day at the most. The Council should be ashamed, yet again.. but yet again, they will get away with it.

Anonymous said...

This is a storm in a teacup.

We are a small council area. Almost all other council areas can afford to provide a specialist education setting for severely disabled children, usually a school of their own. But we have a small council area so obviously we do not have our own disabled school. That's why they go to the Niccy and have ad hoc provision such as this. That the child was segregated from the other schoolchildren shows he/she has a serious situation with autism.

Well surely that is a good thing. Why should the council tax payers of the Western Isles be expected to support any family with a disabled child that wants to move here becuase they saw a TV programme about our beautiful beaches and then expect very expensive care to be heaped on their children. Small/island communities cannot be expected to provide a catch all service. We have limited financial resources.

Of course, when a disabled child is born here to a local family that is a different circumstance as they and their family should not have to move on to receive decent services, but the islands are getting cluttered up with too many incomers (and I speak as a child of incomers) who expect mainland levels of public services.

Where will the money come from? If you can find it growing on trees I will retract what I have said above.

If this child is in such a critical situation as to being segregated and accompanied at all times then there is something wrong with him. Of course I'm sure everyone would love to see him playing in the fields with classmates, but there is a serious medical condition present. It is a sad situation but knee jerk reaction's like the media won't do anything.

Anonymous said...

You know when some islanders get upset, and angry, when some mainlanders think the Outer Hebrides is backwards?

This backs up their argument. The argument of the mainlanders, that is.

It's 2010. This would not happen in any other western European country.

Anonymous said...

Some in the council - not just the council - simply don't get it.

You could have got away with this kind of thing 15, possibly 10, years ago.

Now you can't. It goes online and gets picked up. Look - the same day, now - big features and pictures in the Sun, BBC, Telegraph on this story. Within 24 hours hundreds of newspapers and thousands of websites around the world will have this.

And the Western Isles will be known to many from now on as the place where they cage children.

Whoever messed this up - and just look at it; this was no accident - has seriously messed up. Not just this assignment, but the reputation of the western isles, and the incentive for people to move there to prop up the falling population.

Here's the real news. You can't get away with this kind of thing any more. And the best thing the Comhairle can do to get any kind of redemption out of this is to find the right person to sack, and sack them.

Anonymous said...

Just when you think the Council can't possibly get more dumb-assed...

Never cease to be amazed said...

Anon 10:59 - Are you for f*****g real? Its called being British...with the freedom of choice that our ancestors laid down their lives for. Perhaps you have Nazi tendencies.

Anonymous said...

10:59PM So on the one hand you say there's no money for this. But on the other you say it should be treated as a different case regarding provision if it's a local-born, as opposed to an incomer, child.

When you've finished contradicting yourself, you might want to consider that anti-incomer racism you've got going on.

Oh, and actually there *was* money for this. The family provided it. Someone in the council, or the council themselves, pocketed it and a cage was built out of used railings.

Anonymous said...

10:59 I have an autistic teenager I am an incomer, how that must make you mad. Of course we pay our taxes and use local businesses to and try to put as much back into the community as possible. But no you have a solution ship the families back to the mainland because their children have "something wrong" with them and so they have less rights than the rest of the population of Great Britain who can choose to live anywhere in Britain they want. This is called freedom and it was fought for by our forefathers and should never be taken for granted. My child did not choose to be born with severe learning problems it is not because of something we did wrong or he did wrong.
If you think it is OK to cage our children then it is YOU that has something wrong with YOU. Luckily you seem to be in a minority.

Anonymous said...

£500,000 is the cost of keeping a child in mainland care there are already a number of our Island children costing the Social Work and Education budgets this amount every year. The cost of poviding respite care and adaptations to educational establishments and homes is a fraction of this. 10:59 must agree this makes more economic sense. I know why not concentrate them in one area rather then spread them around the Western Isles what a good idea perhaps in some sort of camp where they can be concentrated on.

Anonymous said...

Great. Local cages for local (disabled) kids. The Outer Hebrides is a real life Royston Valley after all.

Thanks a bundle, Comhairle and racist locals.

Anonymous said...


Oh dear, I think you will find that both the teenager and family are very much islanders and not ones for making a fuss. Get yer facts straight before talking bull sh!t.

Anonymous said...

10:59 Hello from the mainland.

So sorry we inconvenienced you with one of "ours".

We'll do you a deal to put things right.

Any, in your eyes "problem", people from here who cause you extra cost - we'll take them back.

And in return for taking these off your hands - no more subsidy, grants, additional funding or extra monies from the mainland.

Fairs fair. Let's see how long the subsidy basket case that is the Western Isles can survive economically or socially then. I'll give it about two months.

Anonymous said...

10:59 here.

First of all, can I say, are any of you doctors?

The pupil has complex medical needs due to the autism,and as I said before, we are not going to have a special disabled school on this island because there are too few numbers, so provision will never be perfect. If the powers that be have decided he/she needs a very secure area, do you think that you can magically change that.

I know how the media works, having various contacts in the establishment. What the media do is jump on a story for a shock value, and the whole process carries on, the further it gets from the source the more distorted the information it gets. This can even be observed on this blog where people are making accusations of fascism at me.

The council have made a silly mistake, but making Nazi accusation is childish. They should not have done this in the first place certainly, they should have built a better facility and I am sure they wiil for the sake of the child. I think it was right that AA brought this up, but I object to the worldwide media coverage.

Once again, are you doctors? Because only people on such a level (plus parents) can really comment on this issue.

Anonymous said...

One thing that causes me (if possible) even deeper concern. If this is what is provided for this youngster when he's of an age where the local authority is responsible for supporting his needs - what is going to happen when he's older and they aren't. At least in the same way.

Doesn't bear thinking about.

Anonymous said...

10;59 once more.

I would also like to apologise for what I have said earlier- ie the bit about locals vs incomers. That was wrong of me and out of touch, and I certianly did not aim to take pot shots at any specific cases. But I stand by my my main issue that this story has been blown out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

10.59 so you have a chip on your shoulder about "Locals" and that is ok but we dare not mention the word "incomer" or we are classed as are a joke. I have never figured out why people who have come to the island get a bee in their bonnet about being referred to as an incomer, it's just a statement of fact not an insult. You refer to me as a local, again that's just a fact. If I went to Orkney, I would be an "incomer", I wouldn't take that as an insult. I welcome anybody coming to the island to help boost the population and hope many more come. But for those like you who come on purely to insult, well, it is usually your own unlikeable personality as an individual that causes problems, not the fact that you are an "incomer". Everybody is an individual.

Anonymous said...

Why don't we put the education dept officials in the cage??.

Let them play in the cage for a while then use the council mechanisms to try to release them.

That should take 28 days for a reply,then 28 days for another reply then inaction by everyonelse unless there is an election looming, then denial, apologies, oh i didn't know, our council is so big these things slip under the radar and so on.

Then only let them out when they agree to re-apply for their jobs and be interviewed in front of educational experts.

Then maybe, No cage, no officials and maybe someone in Stornoway who can run a joined up, resposible, thought out Education department that actually provides the best for our children.

From Barra to the Butt, one crisis after another. Mr Burr take action and stop the embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

10.59 Your attitude is appalling.

the Messenger said...


One turkey.
One toad.
One scapegoat.
Twenty nine headless chickens.

Siareachruadh said...

Anonymous said...

10:59 and all you other racist Islanders. Many of us "incomers" are the reason why your sad Islands still have some sort of economy. Instead you are just a bunch of lazy, grant grabbing, work shy idiots who think the world owes you a living, council house and the opportunity to get drunk or else high on the taxpayer. You are what is wrong with these Islands and along with our useless Council who think that they can get away with things like this. You know that not a single soul will suffer for this apart from the child himself.

Anonymous said...

If I were the parents, I would ask for full receipts of how my £500 was spent.

incomer said...

I hope all you pure born islanders have no family anywhere else. Or if you do I hope they don't get sick or they will be bundled straight back to sunny Stornoway for a bit of loving TLC in the bosom of the community. They certainly won't be allowed to become a burden on the economy or infrastructure of Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow. And quite right too. We have no right to let imperfect specimens leave the islands in the first place. Sarkozy was right. Send them back to where they came from.

And you'd better start building some houses, because while there's certainly a few incomers here there is a hell of a lot more Hebrideans living and working away. Mind you it won't be any problem. We can just do what they did in Kosovo and build a couple of refugee camps for them. Most of them will survive till the spring.

Anonymous said...

5.24 Pot calling kettle black?

Anonymous said...

5.24 if the place is so sad then just go, nobody would stop you. The cheek- you are obviously either nuts and cannot stand the rest of the human race or you have never lived in the islands and you are just looking for a rise. Tosser.

Getting back to the actual post instead of general abuse- It is ridiculous to build what is essentially a dog pen, for a child or person with learning difficulties. It is a total disgrace, and whoever is responsible for giving the go ahead does not deserve the power that their post holds.

Incomer or local, or race in general, just does not come into it, and those of you dragging it in to the debate should be ashamed of yourselves.

The whole farce is down to total human stupidity, personally I feel whoever is responsible should be made to spend all lunch breaks in said cage, rotten veg being provided at a quid a go to raise money for proper facilities. Theres 20000 Lewis&Harris residents so thats 20k for starters.

StornowayCarParkers said...

"Subsidies from the "Mainland"...sorry mate, you are showing your lack of intelligence. Many parts of the UK receive subsidies in some form or another, not just the islands. That is how modern democracies work. You fail to tell us what glorious part of the country you come from yourself, in which I assume there is full employment and none of your compatriots are receiving any benefits. For your information, unemployment here is not vastly different, percentage wise, to anywhere else in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Theres a very short concise answerto the question posed in the post "Is there any Councillor out there with the balls to actually go and look at the specification that was issued by the Council?"

I'll give you a clue:
two letters, anagram of on.

Anonymous said...

5:24 & 6:02

Hi Paul - still in the BNP?

Anonymous said...

This is a complex situation.

To my recall, there was a proposal for a solution for this lad. (The decking and play area,) It was designed by the Council's landscape architect and would have cost ......£150,000 ???? Or more ???

I hear that the parents would have paid £500 towards this. I fear that the cost of the dreadful cage would have been several thousand pounds.

Anonymous said...

Here are some of the news media reports on this. It's difficult for anyone to say they are twisted. I see a picture of a cage, dog run or pound (what happens when it rains, by the way?). And so will everyone else who reads it.

I've already had one work colleague say "Oh you lived in the Outer Hebrides - that's were they put children in cages, isn't it?" word for word, to me. Embarrassing for me. A lot worse for the kid and his family.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so ridiculous. I know many local contractors who would happily have built something suitable for £500.
Your prices come from the overinflated and money grabbing public sector.
Get real

Anonymous said...


Put in the FOI request, why don't you ?

Why do you think the facility was not built earlier ?

It all comes down to money.

John MacLeod II said...

@ 7:00 PM

You assume residents of the Western Isles want just one shot each!

But seriously, this is a disgrace, sack those who were aware of this and not just whoever signed for it. All council employees have a responsibility to the RESIDENTS of the Western Isles to do the right thing, and if this means confront your superiors on an issue such as this then I would expect them to do it.
We've all seen the labourers, 10 men round a hole and 1 shovel. I expect a similarly inflated level of staff were working on this project. Sack them - Please - ALL of them!

Anonymous said...

If a parent built this for their child what would happen to the parent?

Anonymous said...

8.12 What a great question - I wonder what would happen?

Anonymous said...

I can put in an FOI request and spend the next 2 years getting stonewalled for one reason or another. It doesn't come down to money at all, it comes down to the fact that the Council has a list of contractors that they use, the rest can go to hell. The ones that they use think that anything with a Council header comes with a blank cheque which is why something that should be fairly easy and cheap ends up costing tens of thousands of pounds. You only have to look at some of the other contracts that the Council tried to award in recent months. Back rubbing all the way.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone in the local authority would think of it as a Child protection issue!!

Anonymous said...

Suggestion is council are failing in their FOI duty.

If you have found this Kevin Dunion will be glad to hear from you and he may just take them to task.

Anonymous said...

The Head Teacher carries ultimate responsibility for all pupils in his/her care. It is not Child Protection, as the young person is 18, and an adult. This in my view constitutes illegal "imprisonment" of a vulnerable adult, if he was ever incarcerated in the "cage". If not, the intention was clear, before intervention by our MSP. The HT should be suspended immediately and a fact finding inquiry initiated. Disciplinary Hearings (and Resignations?) will follow. Actions speak louder than words. This will allay local and national indignation, in the short term, but the bad press will now remain forever. This situation is atypical of care being provided to many young adults with learning difficulties living and being cared for in the Western Isles, or indeed further afield. HMIe and the Care Commission require to be informed. If this "cage" was constructed in the back yard of the parents' house, action would be taken under the Adult Support and Protection Act.

Anonymous said...

This made the evening news (even with all the election politics) on a national US TV network last night.

They mangled saying "Stornoway" and also implied this was not a one-off "children in cages". Basically, that's tens of millions of US people who will forever think of Stornoway and the Western Isles as a place where children are caged by the council.

Wonder what the diaspora, and those Americans who proudly claim Scottish heritage and ties, will think of that?

Anonymous said...

What is stunning is the complete indifference to the council to public opinion. The story was in the US national papers as well. Some-one could at least resign to save face?

Anonymous said...

Its a poor show really, a sad reflection on these great islands and their great people when the only publicity we get is Ali Gully and friends on the drink and drugs and our own local government caging young disabled adults.

Surely this place can boast some good news about good things and good people. There are a few good ones left, aren't there?

Anonymous said...

6:14PM There are indeed good people, many of them, in the Western Isles.

Most see what happens to others who speak and decide, wisely, to keep quiet, and their heads below the parapet and the radar. Incident-free survival.

Anonymous said...

7:42 PM. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Aslatair Allan's role in this needs examining.

Instead of meeting with the Council to discuss a special needs pupil in a discreet manner, he issues a press release.

As a consequence, he blasts the poor child's medical and educational history all over the press, doing the child, the school and the community absolutley no good whatsoever.

The Council got it badly wrong, but the SNP have made us an international public disgrace.

Anonymous said...

10.23 So you are suggesting that it is not in the public interest for people to know how our Local Authority cares for vulnerable people in its care?

10:23 here said...

There is a fine line between representing and exploiting, and I think Allan crossed it here.

You wouldn't run press releases identifying an abused child, nor should a handicapped child be thrown to the wolves, expecially in a school environment.

This should have been dealt with behind closed doors, and the Council reported to HMIE and the Minister and the ombudsman et al rather than rubbishing our community in the world press, and bringing the spotlight onto this family.

Anonymous said...

Reluctantly agree with 10:23.

Anonymous said...

Oh, look. First people try and turn it into an incomer vs local thing, now an SNP vs Labour thing? Some reality.

As much as AA annoys the hell out of me, and I will NEVER vote for him again, I saw the TV interview and the cat was out of the bag then. In fact it was out well before and published on various news sites around the world. At least AA on this occasion was straight and said it was basically a cage.

Playing party political nonsense takes attention away from THE ACTUAL CULPRITS.

Someone came up with a brief, someone designed this, someone - possibly several people - approved it. Who are these people, because they need to be kept permanently well away from matters health and education.

10:23 here said...

Dear 3:05

I hold no brief for the Labour Party, and would argue that Dokus is a bigger liability and more of a walking disaster than Allan.

However, he doesn't get as much publicity, which is a good thing.

Two wrongs do not make a right and we need to find represntatives for these islands who don't embarass us, have some ability to do the job, and represent the islands and not mouth the empty slogans of a political party.

Anonymous said...

Sad thing is, Dockus had no knowledge or anything to do with the travesty that emerged on site. He was however, the only one with enough guts to stand in front of a camera and admit that collectively, the Comhairle got it very very wrong.

Anonymous said...

"They mangled saying "Stornoway" and also implied this was not a one-off "children in cages". Basically, that's tens of millions of US people who will forever think of Stornoway and the Western Isles as a place where children are caged by the council."

Actually 2.22 is right since the whole town centre was one vast cage all throughout the summer. Yet in all the postings on this topic, nobody has asked the fundamental question, 'should there not be a separate special needs (school) provision instead of over-stretching every other school in the system in the interest of political correctness?'

Anonymous said...


I think you need an educationist's view on this.

For what it's worth.