I have heard from a number of sources in the council that it’s been common knowledge among staff that there’s to be a hearing about the complaint against me. This was inevitable since the Standards Commissioners’ office booked the venue for the 20th, 21st and 22nd of September.
I always thought that the 22nd was a rather odd day to book Kilmory since this has, for a long time, been the date of a scheduled council meeting. It’s highly unusual to change these dates but late yesterday afternoon we got the following from officers:
The Executive Director of Customer Services has advised, by agreement with the Provost, that the date of the Council Meeting in September will move from 22nd to Thursday 29th September.
A revised diary invite will be issued in this regard but in the meantime, I would be obliged if you would note the change of date.
The Executive Director of Customer Services is one of the 4 complainants. The Provost was one of the complainants in the first complaint against me which was dismissed.
I have kept silent within the council about the first complaint even after it was found there was no complaint to answer. However, given the staff gossip and the fact that senior councillors in the administration would know about the hearing anyway, I decided to email all councillors, as below. I have no more to say about this for the moment because I am unable to make mention of any detail of the complaint.
I think it’s only right to tell you as fellow councillors why, or probably why, this change of date was made. Some of you will already know so it’s only fair the rest of you do.
In May 2015 Messrs Loudon, Hendry, Sneddon and Milne submitted a complaint against me to the Standards Commissioner. Despite my efforts to have the complaint dismissed, the Standards Commissioner has decided to hold a public hearing. This will be in Kilmory on 20, 21 and 22 September.
I am not allowed to say anything about the complaint at this stage but when I am allowed to make matters public, I will have a lot to say.
This complaint was submitted while an earlier one was still being considered. That earlier one, made by Cllrs Walsh, Scoullar and E Morton, was dismissed. I have made it clear that the earlier complaint was nasty and vindictive and I do so again now. If you wish to read the decision in my favour then you can do so at:
You should all know that if this hearing goes ahead, as looks likely, it’s against a background of me trying on 3 separate occasions to reach some kind of arrangement with the complainants to avoid the inevitable national embarrassment this hearing will cause. They refused each of the 3 attempts to resolve this.
What I am able to tell you is that this process stands as a warning to anyone who is, or who is thinking about being, a councillor. Unless of course you’re the kind of councillor who keeps his or her head down and blindly accepts what you are told.
If however, you’re the kind of councillor who wants to stand up for the people who elected you; if you want to take up causes that you believe to be just; if you are informed and persistent in trying to resolve matters and if you act to try and improve an out of touch council, then a complaint against you is what you might well get.
I intend to win this even if it has to be appealed to the Sherriff Principal.