Friday, 10 February 2012

Fuel price row

On 31 January, a meeting was held at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar where Scottish Fuels sought to explain its position on fuel prices in the islands. The meeting was less than satisfactory, and a furious row erupted between one member of the public and an employee of Scottish Fuels, who also holds a council seat for An Rubha (Point). The row was so heated that it prompted the member of the public to write a letter to local news website Hebrides News, helpfully including a link to a video of the exchange. Having viewed the video myself, I found it a less than edifying spectacle from both sides, not helped by the insertion of the phrase from the councillor “I was born and brought up in the island”. The member of the public apparently was born and bred somewhere else. The councillor did apologise for any offense caused by his well-meant insertion of the phrase, and also stated that he always left the chamber when a conflict of interest could arise.

The councillor has now written a letter to Hebrides News himself, in which he proceeds to give a blow-by-blow rebuttal of the lady’s letter. That is what I call a huge big #fail.
In a situation like this, the best policy is to write to the person concerned by Royal Mail, copying it to Hebrides News, restating the apology made in the chamber for any offence caused. It would also have been advisable to restate what was said at the meeting, namely that the councillor always leaves the chamber when a conflict of interest is possible - i.e., when fuel prices are being discussed.

I am looking forward to seeing closure on this unhelpful row.

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