SNP councillors hit back

The FORMER leader of Angus Council, Bob Myles, has been accused of desperate grandstanding and outlandish comments made against fellow city councillors surrounding the gravelbank along the South Esk.

Councillor Myles made his comments against both councillors Jim Houston and Mairi Evans after his attempt to discuss the possibility of appealing SEPA’s decision was ruled by the Provost Helen Oswald that there had been no material change at the last full council meeting.

Speaking to the Brechiner, Councillor Evans said: “I was truly sorry Councillor Myles was unable to provide proper evidence of a material change in order that his motion could be heard and debated by other Councillors.

“However, I will absolutely not stand to have my character called into question or tarnished so Councillor Myles can cover his own complete incompetence through his failure in understanding the rules he, himself, put in place when leader of Angus Council. We have to question the real motives of an experienced councillor who can so conveniently forget timeframes for referral - which would have allowed a full discussion by the council, and who would like others to forget he voted against removal of the gravelbank when it was first mooted.

“For all the disagreements in the council chamber between elected members I have never seen anyone stoop so low as to publicly perpetrate such disingenuous statements about another person, as has been done to me in last week’s outburst by Councillor Myles.

“I am deeply saddened by the deplorable and unprofessional tactics used by Councillor Myles which have devalued what is an important issue in Brechin, all for the sake of a petty political fight.

“In fact had the removal of the gravelbank been ruled legal then the council would more likely have supported action. However, removing the bank has been ruled illegal for a number of reasons and whether we agree or disagree we have to abide by this and look for other solutions.

“We need to know and work on contingency plans, we need to look at the flood prevention scheme and at what else we can do should the scheme ultimately fall through and be unsuccessful for funding.

“I am desperately keen to set this aside and move on so that we can all work together and actually get something done. I am absolutely and categorically committed to finding a legal, workable and realistic solution to the issue of flooding.

“Arguing won’t solve this, dedication, commitment and honesty with people in Brechin can.”

Councillor Jim Houston added: “I was flabbergasted by the outlandish comments made by Councillor Myles about myself and Mairi last week.

“In my short time as an elected member, the bullyboy tactics by some within the previous administration may have been the norm but these will not be tolerated by the SNP administration and like the fading colours on his Angus flag, Councillor Myles reminds me of an old school political bully.

“Despite Councillor Myles’ continued protestations and attempts to shift the blame onto others it was obvious that had he taken the time and checked his own rules he would have ensured the matter could have been debated in the chamber.

“Indeed the Provost gave Councillor Myles a number of opportunities to provide elected members strong evidence that there had been a material change to go to appeal.

“Sadly all he could provide was that a hastily arranged public meeting had been held preventing many other interested parties and residents from attending in time.

“Instead of realising his error Councillor Myles stormed out of the Chamber shouting all sorts much to the dismay and embarrassment of members of the public and other Councillors.

“Councillor Myles may appear to be the knight in shining armour but Brechin residents will never forget this is the same Councillor Myles who, as council leader, lost nearly £1 million from the Scottish Government’s Town Regeneration Fund for the city.

“As Mairi states we need to draw a line under this and work together, investigating all legal options on the long term prevention of flooding along the South Esk.”