29 May 1998: Stirling Council staff take to streets over jobs
Council services in the Stirling area were badly affected yesterday by the first all-out strike to hit a Scottish authority since local government reorganisation three years ago. More than 1,000 members of the public service union, Unison, took part in the action in protest at 20 compulsory redundancies which the council said are necessary to save £400,000 this year. Pickets were mounted on all the main council offices in Stirling and more than 200 banner-waving strikers marched from the council headquarters at Viewforth to a rally outside the Albert Hall. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-18659533.html
19 June 1998: Labour debt row hits Stirling Council.
Opposition politicians last night called for an immediate public inquiry after it was revealed that a third Labour-controlled council has recorded substantial losses with in-house contracts. After recent revelations of ‘black hole’ debts of more than £4m in North Lanarkshire and £3.5m in East Ayrshire, it has emerged that the Direct Labour Organisation at Stirling Council has debts of £500,000. This figure look likely to rise by another £400,000 because of a dispute with the Scottish Office over road management work. Stirling wants £388,000 for lost business when the Government allocated road closure work to other organisations. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-109836624.html
15 August 1998: Private guards for Big Mags Brood and Taxpayers Will Foot the Bill
Members of the notorious Haney clan are to get private security protection paid for by the taxpayer. They’ve been targeted by irate neighbours since being rehoused in Bannockburn, Stirlingshire. Nearly £8,000-worth of damage has been done to homes occupied by John Haney – ex- husband of infamous Big Mags – and their daughter Valerie. Most of the 16-strong family from hell are convicted criminals and they were driven out of Stirling’s tough Raploch estate last year by residents fed-up with constant trouble. Since then they have lived in temporary accommodation. But, last week, John and Valerie were allocated council homes on a previously quiet Bannockburn estate. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-60664628.html This family saga went on for years
15 August 1998: Private security protecting houses planned for Haneys
A Private security firm has been called in by a local authority to protect houses that were to be occupied by two members of a so-called family from hell. Stirling Council said the move followed discussions with police after several thousand pounds worth of damage was inflicted on two houses in a Bannockburn estate due to be occupied by a daughter and former husband of “Big Mags Haney”. Feelings have been running high in Bannockburn after it was confirmed that Ms Valerie Haney, 30, and Mags Haney’s ex-husband John, had been allocated houses within 800 yards of each other in Bogend Road and Douglas Street. A petition was raised and poster campaign begun after news of the council’s plans to house the Haneys became clear. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23705084.html
The Government was yesterday urged to set up a special task force to investigate the problems of council direct labour organisations. The demand by the Scottish Liberal Democrats follows the publication of an independent report which warns Stirling Council to take action to end poor management practices or face continuing losses in two of its key DLOs. The Labour-controlled council admitted in June that its road and building maintenance DLOs had lost more than £1.1m between them in the past financial year. The authority confirmed yesterday it was “concerned” at the contents of the confidential report by consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Its publication comes as Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar continues his review of all council DLOs in Scotland. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23701916.html
A Labour-controlled council has announced it is considering another wave of redundancies in order to prevent its loss-making Direct Labour Organisations from producing further deficits. More than 50 jobs have already gone from Stirling Council’s DLOs, and yesterday it was forecast that 30 more could disappear soon. In June independent consultants were called in after the council admitted that its roads maintenance DLO had lost £586,000 in the last financial year, and its buildings maintenance DLO had lost £500,000. Their damning report, leaked but still not published by the council, warned that drastic action was needed to prevent the two DLOs, which together employ 250 people, from being a continuing drain on the council’s finances. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23701813.html
23 September 1998: The Council Paying Its Staff More for Not Doing the Job
Council workers are being paid bigger bonuses if they do not get the job done, it was revealed yesterday. Stirling Council’s roads bonus scheme means employees pick up more money the longer a job takes and acts as a disincentive to improved productivity, accountants said yesterday. It was also revealed that the works organisation is on target to make a second massive loss. The Labour-controlled council heard yesterday that its Direct Labour Organisations are set to lose another £800,000 this year, on top of the £1.1 million announced in June. In a report to members of Stirling Council’s resources committee, technical services director Arthur Nicholls admitted yesterday there was a ‘crisis’ in the authority’s buildings maintenance and roads DLOs. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-109803464.html
28 December 1998: Petrol-Bomb Gangsters; Thugs Set Street Ablaze in Lawless Village That ‘Needs a Wyatt Earp
Gangs of youths threw petrol bombs, terrorising a village and leaving residents afraid to go out at night. Their latest mindless act of vandalism follows several assaults and acts of destruction with 2,000 street lamps being bent in half. The growing reputation for ‘near anarchy’ in the former mining village of Plean, Stirlingshire, has led to a call for ‘a latter day Wyatt Earp’ to clean up the crimewave. The new outbreak of trouble came on Thursday night when a gang threw the makeshift petrol bombs, Molotov cocktails, in the main street and set fire to the roadway as the fuel spread. An off-duty fire officer who was passing at the time alerted the fire station at Maddiston. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-110693229.html
8 March 2002: The Corrosive Culture of the Labour Party’s Rotten Little Fiefdoms; Cronyism and Corruption Hand-in-Hand across Scotland
Amid the storm raging this week over the revelations about Labour party cronyism in Fife Council, one question has arisen from the maelstrom. Is this just a little local difficulty – or does it highlight the situation throughout Scotland? After 23 years in local council politics and another three on the national stage at Holyrood, I can safely vouch for the latter. Labour cronyism is so embedded within our political life that we almost take it for granted, and deem it acceptable. The situation in Fife is not an isolated incident, no matter how hard Labour try to blame it on poor old Henry McLeish. It is a microcosm of the wider malaise. Something is rotten in the state of Scotland. Nowhere is that more the case than in Glasgow, my own political territory. It is widely said that when parents are seeking a present for their son’s 21st birthday, no gift does more for their career prospects in the city than a Labour Party membership card. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-83709823.html
15 March 2003: Provost suspended as trust’s land deal is investigated by police
A proposed land deal involving one of Scotland’s leading businessmen and a council provost is under investigation by police. The deal involved Tom Allison, chief executive of Clydeport, and Tommy Brookes, provost of Stirling Council, who was last night suspended by the Labour party. Mr Allison, a non-executive director of Celtic FC, said there was nothing clandestine about the deal and he would be happy to co-operate with police. It is alleged Mr Brookes broke a code of conduct for councillors by becoming too closely involved in Mr Allison’s bid to buy seven acres of land near Stirling Castle to build a house. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23530773.html
21 March 2003: Provost stripped of title after land deal; Stirling Council acts over code of conduct breach
The Labour provost of Stirling was ignominiously stripped of the title yesterday after breaching a national code of conduct. The move was thought to be a first of its kind in Scotland. Tommy Brookes was also removed from Stirling’s planning panel, its licensing board, Central Scotland police board, and Stirling Tourist Board, although he remains a councillor and JP for the time being. Mr Brookes’s fellow councillors sealed his fall from grace in a unanimous vote after hearing a report about his recent activities and alleged “irregularities” in a proposed £395,000 land deal. Last night, Mr Brookes, 62, who had been provost since 1996 and a councillor since 1984, apologised for his actions, but insisted he had acted honestly. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23526354.html
The vote in Stirling was marred when Tommy Brookes, the former provost, lost his Sauchenford seat to Michael O’Brien, the Labour candidate, by 176 votes. The result was booed by Mr Brookes’s supporters, who accused Labour of dirty tricks in the suspension of Mr Brookes from the party following an inquiry into a proposed land deal last month. Mr Brookes, who stood as an independent, was sacked as provost after becoming the centre of a police corruption inquiry over allegations that he abused his position in an attempt to help a director of Celtic Football Club to buy a derelict farm. He was also stripped of the chairmanship of the 377-year-old council-administered charity which owns the land at the centre of the allegations, and from membership of the Central Scotland Police Board after the council felt he breached the national code of local government conduct. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23537312.html
8 June 2004: ‘Midden’ City Facing Rats Danger
A Scots city faces being overrun by rats because of a wheelie-bin fiasco. Stirling Council switched the main collection of household waste from a weekly to a fortnightly schedule. Now rubbish is left to rot in the streets for weeks because of faulty equipment and an intransigent workforce, it is claimed. As a result Stirling has been branded a ‘medieval midden’ by tourism chiefs and health experts have warned of a return of diseases not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Since the switch, rats have been on the increase, as have the danger of Weil’s disease – an infection spread by the vermin’s urine – and food poisoning. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-118056677.html
18 May 2007: Labour Links With the Unionist Party’s to Take control of Stirling Council
In Stirling, former teacher and now Labour councillor Margaret Brisley was elected to represent the authority as its new provost. She was nominated by Labour group leader Corrie McChord and seconded by Liberal Democrat group leader Graham Reed. Ms Brisley’s appointment was made at the first meeting of the new council since the election. It returned eight Labour councillors, seven SNP members, four Conservatives and three Liberal Democrats. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/6668951.stm
A Former Labour minister rejected advice from senior officials to delay a deeply flawed and highly controversial £100m plan for new schools and homes in Stirling and Dunblane, the Sunday Herald can reveal. Top-secret documents disclose that the deputy communities minister in 2005, Johann Lamont, was strongly urged by government planners to call in the application for consideration by ministers. The plans were lambasted by advisers as “questionable”, “worrying” and “poor”. Stirling Council, which promoted the development, was also accused of “procedural failings” and of maximising profit at the expense of decent housing. “Stirling Council’s judgement in carrying out its statutory duty under the terms of planning legislation has been heavily clouded by its conflict of interests, ” warned the official advice to the minister. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-16428457.html
Calls For Print Firm to be Investigated for Providing Bogus Invoices To Jim Devine
There have been calls for an investigation into the printing firm that provided bogus invoices for ex Labour MP Jim Devine after it emerged that the company’s director is also a Labour councillor. Mr Devine is currently awaiting sentence after being found guilty of fiddling his MP’s expenses by using bogus invoices to claim public cash. It has emerged that a director at Armstrong Printing Ltd, Margaret Brisley, is also a sitting Labour councillor at Stirling council. Armstrong printing was named in the ex Labour MP’s trial as the firm that supplied Mr Devine with receipts for work that was never undertaken.
Witnesses told the court how the former Scottish Labour MP contacted the printing firm in March 2009, asking them to send him receipts for thousands of pounds worth of work that was never done and that he never paid for. Mr Devine subsequently received two sets of invoices for over £5000 marked “received with thanks” after director and shareholder Bill Lockie overruled former company secretary Jennifer McCrea, who had refused to sign off Mr Devine’s “strange” request.
In May 2009 documents leaked to the Telegraph newspaper caused outrage after it revealed the extent of expenses abuse at Westminster and investigations were carried out into the claims of several MPs. A short while later in July 2009 company director Jennifer Coyne resigned from Armstrong Printing. Bill Lockie’s directorship was terminated just a few months later in November that same year.
Jim Devine was eventually charged with fraud relating to public cash claimed using the bogus invoices. A few months after Mr Devine was charged, Jennifer McCrea had her employment with the printing company terminated. At his trial the ex Labour MP claimed to have received advice from senior Labour whips who he alleged told him to obtain receipts for work. This was denied by the MPs during questioning when they gave evidence. The printing company received thousands of pounds for work carried out for other Labour politicians. The revelations have led to calls for an investigation into the companys’ links with the Labour party.
John Wilson, an SNP MSP for Central Scotland, said there were questions the firm had to answer. Mr Wilson said: “Armstrong Printing has to state whether the practice of providing receipted invoices to MPs before the work was carried out was common or not. All the MPs who used their publicly-funded allowances to give work to this firm need to list all the jobs that were carried out. The company’s links to Labour need to be fully investigated.”
Armstrong Printing claimed there was no wrongdoing on their part, a spokeperson said: “It’s not unusual to give an invoice in advance of a job being done.” http://newsnet.scot/2011/02/investigation-demanded-into-labour-party-connections-to-bogus-invoice-printing-firm/
The £300,000 turnover company, which produced publicity materials such as flyers and brochures, placed itself in voluntary liquidation on 29 October 2012. But like a Pheonix rising Companies House states that on 16 October 2012, Armstrong Printing’s Brisley registered a new company called Armstrong Printing (Alloa).
Comment: This is so wrong, they were still ordering supplies right up to the moment they placed themselves into liquidation. They created this new company while they were still trading. Paid themselves off and then said what is left can be handed out to suppliers by Baker Tilley. As you can imagine……no money will be paid out!! The new company they have created is being used as a print management company/digital print. They have contacted all their old clients with a view to retaining them via this new company. All I can say is if you trade with them now…..you deserve to get stung! http://www.printweek.com/print-week/news/1135503/armstrong-printing-voluntary-liquidation-owing-creditors
Two Labour MSPs from Fife have staunchly denied any wrongdoing after questions were raised about £11,000 of public money paid in their name to a company set up by a party official. John Park and Claire Baker are under scrutiny for £11,283.33 of printing work carried out by ME2 Communications in March 2008 — just months after the firm was founded by Sarah Metcalfe and her husband John. Sarah Metcalfe is Labour’s director of research and strategy in the Scottish Parliament.
The SNP have likened the revelations — which emerged on the NewsNet Scotland website at the weekend — to the case of shamed Labour MP Jim Devine, who earlier this month was found guilty of making two dishonest expenses claims totalling £8385. During his trial, Mr Devine claimed he had been told by a senior colleague to get a “friendly printer” to provide false invoices. However, Mr Park and Mrs Baker said the work was above board and had been approved by the Scottish Parliament’s allowances system.
Mr Park said the firm was paid £4720.38 to design, print and distribute an annual report from his first year in the parliament in 2007. It was also paid £2533.92 for similar work on a consultation document on an apprenticeships bill he proposed that year. That document is still available on the Scottish Parliament website and clearly states it was “designed and produced” by ME2 Communications. Meanwhile, Mrs Baker, who is married to Labour’s justice spokesman Richard Baker, said the £4029.03 paid to the firm in her name was for her annual report that year. The firm designed the documents and then sourced and paid other firms to print and distribute them. The printing costs for the annual reports, which were distributed to thousands of homes across the Mid Scotland and Fife region, would have been considerable. ME2 Communications invoiced the parliament authorities directly, meaning Mr Park and Mrs Baker were not involved directly with the financial transactions. “We paid what I thought was a reasonable price for the newsletters we got sent out,” Mrs Baker told The Courier. “I was pleased with the quality of the work.” She added that the payment was signed off by the parliament’s allowance watchdog as being reasonable. Mr Park said he had an audit trail for the work and the origins of the firm had been reported in the press at the time. “I still have copies of the documents, and anyone who is interested can see where the money was spent,” he said.
However, a spokesman for the SNP said, “This could have very serious implications for the MSPs involved and for Labour. Dodgy accounting and false expense has plagued the Labour Party, and this story sounds all too familiar in the aftermath of Jim Devine’s invoices. “John Park and Claire Baker must be fully open with any investigation that follows these revelations. Dodgy expenses may be no shock to those at Westminster, but at Holyrood we have a much more transparent system, and I hope that there has been no wrongdoing here.”
ME2 Communication was compulsory dissolved by Companies House on August 21, 2009, for failing to submit accounts. Mr Metcalfe, a designer, subsequently went to work in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary office in Kirkcaldy. http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/fife/john-park-and-claire-baker-deny-any-wrongdoing-over-me2-communications-printing-work-1.39546
An SNP-led local authority has been left in limbo and embroiled in bitter recriminations after it failed to pass its budget. The deadlock came after Labour members of Stirling Council rejected an amendment they had proposed themselves, causing the motion to be defeated at a meeting. The minority Nationalist administration had been prepared to accept the Labour amendment to its original plans, which sought to change a fraction of the £214m budget. Labour accused the SNP of attempting to “steal” its alternative proposal and voted against its amendment, having been told it was too late to withdraw it on Thursday evening. Yesterday, Provost Fergus Wood said no progress could be made until the parties reconvene at the earliest opportunity. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-30746110.html http://asairfecht.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/conversations-with-my-mp-willie-bain.html
A local authority yesterday became the first in four years in Scotland to cut its council tax. Stirling Council agreed to the 1% cut which takes the average band D levy down from £1209 to £1197. The decision to shave £12 a year off the average household bill was taken as councillors passed the 2012-13 budget at their second attempt. Labour and Tory councillors voted the measure through in an “alternative” budget, after rejecting the minority SNP administration’s proposals. It will mean the majority of households in the area will see a weekly saving of 23p. The SNP group called the cut “fiscally imprudent” and “irresponsible”, while the LibDem group leader said it was a “cynical” vote-grabber ahead of the council elections on May 3. http://asairfecht.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/conversations-with-my-mp-willie-bain.html http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2012/mar/confusion-continues-over-labours-vote-no-show
Labour will run Stirling in a pro-Union administration with the Conservatives, which means the SNP will not have control of landmarks such as Bannockburn and the Wallace Monument in the run-up to the independence referendum. It is a major blow for the Nationalists, who have been running the city as a minority and had more councillors elected at last week’s Stirling council elections than any other party. Labour had earlier struck deals to run the three largest cities, ruling as a majority in Glasgow and as the largest party in coalitions in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-289319316.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-18008844
11 May 2012: Rainbow Coalition of Tories, Liberal Democrats and Independents force SNP out of Office Despite being the Biggest party
The SNP is being “frozen out” of power in councils across Scotland, as the local government map becomes clearer after last week’s election.The Nationalists suffered major blows yesterday as they lost control in First Minister Alex Salmond’s backyard of Aberdeenshire, as well as the key stronghold of Stirling – despite being the biggest party in both areas. Labour also seized control in West Lothian and East Dunbartonshire and governs almost half of Scotland’s 32 councils. Mr Salmond is the MSP for Aberdeenshire East and the Nationalists claimed 28 seats in the local council last week, twice as many as the second placed Conservatives. But a rainbow coalition of Tories, Liberal Democrats and Independents has combined to form a ruling alliance on Aberdeenshire Council. …
22 June 2012: Weapons Ban at Anniversary Rally Sparks New Battle of Bannockburn
It is revered as the place where Scotland won its freedom from the ‘auld enemy’, with a victory in battle that has resonated down through the ages. But now people wanting to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn this weekend have been banned from carrying replicas of the very weapons used in the historic clash as they make their way to the battlefield. For decades a colourful rally has been held on the site of the battle, near Stirling, with a procession through the town beforehand. In recent years, many of those taking part wore traditional Jacobite or medieval costumes complete with swords, axes, daggers and shields. However, following reports of an “incident” at last year’s march, where a car on the route was allegedly hit with a shield and a Union Flag was burned, Stirling Council ordered those taking part to lay down their arms, saying no weapons would be allowed to be carried during the march, even if they were safely sheathed in a scabbard. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-31615613.html
18 April 2013: Stirling Council Impose Shambolic Bus Cuts
The announcement of a number of bus cuts in the Stirling area has been dubbed ‘shambolic’ by opposition councillors. Last week Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee agreed policy savings of around £313,000 from the Support Transport Services budget. The cuts were quickly met with criticism from opposition councillors, including Green Councillor Mark Ruskell who said: “The way these bus cuts were made in committee was utterly shambolic, with no consultation, mis-leading information about services and costs, and no analysis on how these cuts impact on services across the remaining network. Guillotining bus services at this scale using blunt criteria not only fails to recognise the impact on ordinary people, it plays directly into the hands of operators like First Group who are driven by maximum profitability rather than service. Watch this space.” On Dunblane High School S8 bus service he added, “It will be a shock for many Dunblane parents to learn that from after the Summer their children will have to walk up to two miles out and two miles back in all weathers to get to school. Having a single bus service run for pupils entitled to free travel beyond two miles and paying users within two miles made sense, the decision to cut the S8 just puts the cost pressure onto Education to run their own entitlement only service.” http://www.stirlinggreens.org.uk/?p=204
Threatening to sack staff unless they agree to work longer for less money comes straight from the Margaret Thatcher school of economics. But for it to be happening at a Labour-led council is utterly astounding. Labour are the people’s party, set up to protect the rights of workers. Staff at Stirling Council, which Labour run in an unhealthy coalition with the Tories, have been sent a letter warning that if they don’t agree to an attack on their terms and conditions they will be out on their ear. To their credit, many of the workers refuse to be bullied and went on strike yesterday. You might hope it is the Tory influence that has led to this outrageous attempt to bully workers. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-340863832.html
A cash-strapped council who want staff to work longer for less money splashed out almost £8000 doing up their provost’s office. Almost half of the cost went on carpets and more than £2500 was spent on curtains. Stirling Council have to save £24m over the next four years. And they are in the middle of a dispute with workers after asking them to take a 0.5 per cent pay cut and work an extra hour a week. But our sister paper the Stirling Observer has found out that the authority – run by a Labour-Tory coalition – agreed to a revamp for Provost Mike Robbins’s office. SNP councillor Alasdair MacPherson said: “I have constituents who are struggling to keep the roof over their heads and are losing their jobs as a direct consequence of the provost’s unholy alliance with the Tories. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-341060821.html
Labour and Tory councillors have launched a bid for the Union flag to replace the Saltire as the main symbol over a local authority’s headquarters. The parties, who run Stirling Council in coalition, said they were standing up for “symbols the men and women of Stirling have fought and died under for 300 years”. They added that it was a bid to form part of the debate over next year’s independence referendum and would reflect the diversity of views in the area. However, the move has been criticised by opposition leaders, coming at a time of tens of millions of pounds worth of cuts and industrial action at the council, and by academics, who have said it is a turn-off for voters.
Plans to replace the Saltire with the Union flag as the main symbol over Stirling Council’s headquarters have been dropped. Labour and Tory councillors who are part of the ruling coalition between the parties said they were standing up for “symbols the men and women of Stirling have fought and died under for 300 years”. However, Tory Callum Campbell and Labour’s Danny Gibson cancelled their motion hours before a meeting at which it was expected to be passed. Cllr Gibson blamed the decision on “an atmosphere of negativity”. Cllr Campbell said it had been undermined by “the vitriolic tone of Nationalists”. Dr Peter Lynch, a history and politics lecturer at Stirling University, said the episode had made the city and council look dreadful. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-35302997.html
19 February 2014: Wrecking Amendment Delays St Margarets Primary New School Build
Initial plans would have seen the new school completed by October of this year, but this was delayed when Councillors Neil Benny and Margaret Brisley tabled a motion to instruct officers to “commence consultations with the Cowie community about a potential new community facility to include a joint campus arrangement for the schools” which Cllr MacPherson described as a “wrecking amendment.” And now the Tory-Labour administration’s capital budget plans suggest the building of the school will be extended into 2018 – five years after the initial proposal.
The minutes of the October meeting read “Cllr MacPherson pointed to the separate identities of the two existing schools and the funding that had already been spent on upgrading Cowie Primary School. He also expressed concern that the timetable to replace St Margaret’s Primary School could be adversely impacted by this additional consultation and asked where the funding for the campus would be found from.”
Cllr MacPherson cammented “On the night the Council was due to approve the funding for the new school Councillor Brisley and her Tory coalition partner Cllr Benny tabled a wrecking amendment which proposed the possibility of building a joint campus for the two schools in Cowie. I did not support this proposal for several reasons, the main one being the delay it could create. Council officers were sent back to consult with the Cowie community on the proposed joint campus. I attended one of the briefing sessions only two weeks ago and was astonished to learn that the wrecking amendment campus idea was no longer on the table. Their budget proposals clearly showed that the new school and nursery is to be built over a 4 year period from 2014 and would not be completed until 2018 at the earliest.
29 June 2014: Stirling Council conspired with Westminster and the media to spoil Battle of Bannockburn anniversary
It seems somehow fitting that there was a political battle in Stirling yesterday. The city was host to two sets of military-themed festivities, with the UK government having decided to hold Armed Forces Day there in a move transparently aimed at wrecking the commemorations of the 700th anniversary of the Battle Of Bannockburn.
25 June 2015: Unionist Stirling Council Cabal in SNP Snub at New School
You would think that after the recent seismic events in Scottish politics, Labour locally, would have learned its lesson?
First in 2012 there was their toxic alliance with the Tories at Stirling Council in the shape of a formal coalition; this was later affirmed during the Better Together campaign when once again they both stood side-by-side. Strangely enough, most of us could fathom what electoral fate awaited them (Labour seem to have been blissfully unaware), and sure enough to their cost, they achieved near wipe out in Scotland during May’s General Election which saw 56 out of 59 SNP MPs returned to Westminster with Labour reduced to just one! On the night the disastrous campaign they fought locally, which was full of anti-SNP rhetoric and lies, was largely mirrored on the ground when their candidate (and Stirling Council leader) polled her worst results in the Castle ward, where SHE is the ward Councillor. Talk about the proverbial slap in the face?
But it appears that lessons have still not been learned as once again the Tory/ Labour administration play games by thinking they can simply ignore the biggest party on Stirling Council in the hope that they will just go away. This morning I was saddened to read an article from Bannockburn ward Councillor, Alasdair MacPherson, someone who is held with a lot of regard by his constituents, and is known not only as a champion of the worker, but also for his dislike of anything Tory, whatever the colour. The article reads:
“It’s a massive day for Cowie tomorrow. After many years of campaigning the first turf will be cut for the new St. Margaret’s primary school and community nursery. I and my fellow SNP elected members have campaigned for this day for nearly ten years.” said Alasdair.
“The Tory and Labour coalition who run Stirling Council have disgracefully not invited me, Stirling’s MSP Bruce Crawford, or our new MP Steven Paterson to the event. You would have thought Labour would have learned their lesson by now about jumping into bed with the Tories. I emailed Labour and the Tories asking for a formal invitation to the event – but they ignored my email. However as tomorrow’s event is taking place on publicly owned land I am inviting myself to the event so I do not miss out on the big day. It will take more than a cabal of Tories and Red Tories to stop me attending.”
So readers, Alasdair will turn up tomorrow, like the awkward uncle at a wedding, and do his bit for the community he was elected to represent. No amount of politically motivated skulduggery will keep him from the task in hand and I’m sure he will receive the warmest of welcome’s from his constituents.
To those who are denying him the courtesy of even an invite for something he has fought tirelessly for, for nearly ten years – you should hang your heads in shame! The lack of democratic decency which you show now will be reflected through the ballot boxes at the Stirling Council elections in May 2017.