Cllr Walsh replied late this afternoon but only to me. My reply to that, copying in all other councillors, along with his reply is shown below. Make of it what you will. What I can say is that the allegation that we stage managed this issue is completely untrue. We knew that Robert wanted to make a statement, that was it. We didn’t know, nor do we know, what he was going to say.
I find it hard to think why I need apologise when all I did was ask what was said and why the chair changed his mind immediately after Cllrs Walsh and Scoular spoke to Cllr McNaughton.
From: Walsh, Dick Sent: 10 October 2016 14:31 To: Breslin, Michael Subject: RE: Today’s area committee meeting [OFFICIAL]
I refer to your communication below to all councillors outlining your version of events at the Bute and Cowal Area Committee meeting on Tuesday 4th October. I am replying not only out of courtesy but to provide an accurate account of these events given that your claims have been published online and circulated to a wide audience. I would prefer that they are not misled and are in possession of the facts and I trust that you will publish this response on your blog.
As you acknowledge and so the position is quite clear I have and had no role in the advice supplied by the officer to the meeting nor indeed with the determination of the issue, following that supplied advice, by the Chair. I feel it is wrong and indeed disrespectful to professional officers, colleagues and of course the Provost and Area Chair when malpractice or wrongdoing is inferred to multiple readers. An apology should be given serious and urgent consideration by you.
Let me clarify the truth. The conversation held with the Provost prior to the start of the meeting referred to item 5 on the agenda concerning the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival. As this was on the agenda as the result of a member request and there was no officer report regarding this item, the Provost advised that he had copied recent emails and the press statement from the organisers of the festival to assist with the discussion and if needed. As it turned out that discussion was short and it was not necessary to do this. For the benefit of all readers it is also worth clarifying that it is by no means unusual nor is it inappropriate for members to have conversations or to share advice on agenda items prior to the start of a meeting.
It has been suggested to me that what transpired at the meeting and since then could have been stage-managed and set up for the purposes of securing headlines, and at the same time bringing the area committee process into disrepute and displaying considerable disrespect for colleagues, the Provost, the Chair and officers. I sincerely hope that this is not the case.
I have had a conversation with the Provost and the Area Chair on the above detail and would confirm that this is our collective response to your production.
Councillor Dick Walsh
So Alex’s complete change of mind over Robert’s statement must have happened by complete chance Dick. That simply isn’t credible.