Rothesay Harbour, continued

This is to continue with the saga of Calum McMillan and Rothesay Harbour. The 2 earlier posts on this are here and here.

The long period of being banished from his home port of Rothesay cost Calum McMillan a lot of money. He had additional berthing fees at Ardrossan and then there was the time and travel to and from Bute every time he had to sail. Worse, the vessel had to be provisioned from Ayrshire so there were big costs to the island economy too, all because of behaviour  I believe to have been a vendetta. The council, of course, denies this but in the previous posts you can come to your own conclusions.

When he got back into Rothesay in 2013, there were further issues from time to time which I won’t bore you with but in my view the problems he had continued. Calum took the view that he was due some recompense from the council so at that point in 2013 I thought it wise to not say too much publicly about what was going on. However, he continued to get support from some councillors, me included, culminating in those councillors providing Calum with Affidavits for his court case.  For my part, I had 2 complaints made against me to the Standards Commissioner.

The affidavits can be read in the earlier post.

The preparations for the court case dragged on and on and some of us, me particularly, argued strongly that we as a council should try and settle this by way of mediation or arbitration. I argued this because it seemed to me Calum’s case was strong but I also wanted to ensure that it was settled by mutual agreement and without racking up huge legal & court costs. But racking up huge legal & court costs was exactly what happened. Not only did Calum incur huge costs, so did the council using your money. They spent endless hours of internal staff time as well as paying an Edinburgh law firm and a QC.

The case was scheduled to go to court for a proof at the Court of Session when, out of the blue, the council offered to settle before the proof. However, there was no justice for Calum because the offer was that if he agreed, the case would be over with both parties meeting their own costs. The risk for Calum in proceeding to a proof was that it could have taken a 3 week proof and the court costs, if he lost, would have run to a very large 6 figure sum. Having already spent a lot of money on legal costs, the risk was just too great to take.

The offer to settle can be read at the link below.

offer-to-settle-7-sep-16

You might well wonder why the council would offer to settle at this stage if they thought their case was strong but the real issue, for the next blog, is what it cost the public purse. My estimate is that it cost the public purse the best part of £30ok, or more, if all costs are taken into account. More to follow on this because this is where it gets interesting.

 

Author: Michael Breslin

I am no longer a councillor with Argyll & Bute Council but given the appalling treatment I got from the senior officers and a few elected members, I plan to continue keeping an eye on what the council is doing.

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