Sunday, 27 January 2008


Periodically, I have alluded to the atmosphere of the euphemistically titled 'debating chamber' at the cooncil. I have sometimes suggested that I was not happy at the way some people chose to conduct themselves.

Things had certainly improved a bit over the past couple of months, but even in my most negative state of mind would I ever have conceived that a councillor would dream up the following:

A female SNP Councillor has complained to the Standards Commissioner that the Provost smacked her "bottom to her pain". It sounds ludicrous doesn't it? The Provost of Angus, the Right Hon. Ruth Leslie Melville OBE, is a 66 year old widowed woman who has gladly served her community all of her life. She is a credit to the post of Provost, and conducts herself with dignity and quiet good humour. She gets on well with everyone she meets and is universally liked. She is extraordinarily hard working and my respect for her is immense.

I won't name or describe her accuser, but I'm angry and disgusted that she has stooped so low as to go the Standards Commissioner with such a ridiculous complaint. Even if it were true (and the chances of that being the case are non existent) then it was technically assault and if she felt so strongly about it, she should have involved Tayside's finest.

With pathetic antics like this, it is little wonder that politicians at national level, and indeed the electorate themselves, can be found to be looking down their noses at councillors. The other side of the coin is that it also makes potentially excellent councillors think twice about coming forward to serve the communities that they live in.

I really cannot express just how totally sickened I am over this, nor can I adequately state just how badly I feel for the Provost who is justifiably upset over such a pathetic allegation. I hope the accuser is proud of herself, but to be fair to her party colleagues, I would hope some of them would share my sentiments on the subject.

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