Since being elected at a by-election in March 2015, I have:
attended 44 committee / full council meetings between April 2015 and June 2016.
attended 14 training seminars for members, between Jan 2016 and Jan 2017.
Other councillors, of all ages, from wards 1 and 2 show a similar attendance record,
which can be evidenced from the Comhairle web site.
I have on no occasion witnessed any councillor or "old men that are half asleep."
Perhaps on a few occasions younger men, with newly born babies at home, leaving them
tired during a long day, perfectly understandable.
Councillors from the Southern Isles
work extremely hard to represent their constituency, without exception. Angus should
know that in committee week, councillors in the Southern Isles will be getting ready
to leave home by 6am or earlier for first ferry crossing from Berneray.
Chief executive briefings and committees can last all day, often followed by evening
sessions or other agency meetings. Absence from home can be for most of that week,
with the same procedure the following week, culminating in full council, after Policy
and Resources and Audit and Scrutiny committees.
Why is Angus so disparaging and lacking
in appreciation of the work undertaken by all seven sitting councillors in Wards
1 and 2? I suspect there is a hint of envy. What qualifications does he have to advise
others? Why is he sounding resentful of councillors with a superannuated pension?
In my situation, after 41 years of contributions made in local government service,
including 14 years employed by the Comhairle. Totally irrelevant point of view Angus.
final and important point. One of the seminars which councillors have attended has
been about the Equality Act 2010, and "protected characteristics" of certain groups,
Age; Disability; Gender Reassignment; Marriage and Civil Partnership;
Pregnancy and Maternity; Race; Religion and Belief; Sex; Sexual Orientation (Angus
can refer further here, from this link -https://beta.gov.scot/policies/equality/)
Angus, it is now illegal to discriminate on grounds of age, or indeed to incite others
to do so.
The "woes" you talk about, may come back to haunt you. Please be more careful in
future in what you commit to paper in a public forum. This advice from a wise and
older person. Sometimes helpful to listen to your elders.
Andrew Walker Councillor,
Letter: Councillors diligent in their duties
3 May 2017
In true Angus MacDonald style, here we have an 11th hour intervention, only four
days before the local election, advising the electorate in the Southern isles how
to vote: "So don't waste your vote to supplement a guy's superannuated pension."
Angus should know better, as an ex-councillor himself. He makes nonsensical generalisations,
interspersed with offensive highly personal opinions, some of which are clearly pointing
in my direction, as a sitting councillor, and as a septuagenarian, seeking re-election