Fraserburgh and district councillor Ian Tait has this week spoken to us regarding a complaint against him not being upheld by the standards commission.
The complaint had come about following a meeting of a recently formed tourism group for Fraserburgh and the area, a meeting at which Councillor Tait was present, and was made by the chair of said group, Mr Mike Chandler.
Today, councillor Tait has welcomed the decision of the comission to drop the complaint, and has voiced concerns for the future of the Fraserburgh Area Tourism Group in its current form.
He said: “The Standards Commissioner did not even investigate the content of his complaint. I am delighted at the result. It confirms what I said right from the very start that Mr Chandler’s complaint was totally spurious. The Standards Commission have said Mr Chandler’s complaint was not even competent to be considered. It was also malicious.
“I do not think Mr Chandler should continue as Chairman of the Fraserburgh Area Tourism Group (FATG) for various reasons.
“There were 4000 visitors to the Visitor Information Centre (VIC)in the town centre and no doubt spent money in the businesses there helping to protect my constituents’ jobs. I am totally against the VIC going to the edge of town at the lighthouse, but Mr Chandler strongly supported moving the VIC to the Lighthouse Museum. His wife is a trustee on the Lighthouse Museum Board. The Museum would benefit greatly since the 4000 visitors would now go to the museum as their first stop to get information about places to visit.
“After that, it is likely they will go off to visit these places and would not come to the town centre. The jobs of my constituents who work in the town centre businesses could be placed at risk. He never declared that his wife was a director on the Lighthouse Board. This begs the obvious question whether Mr Chandler wanted to put the visitors to the lighthouse because this would help the lighthouse business of which his wife is a trustee as opposed to keeping the VIC in the town centre and thereby helping to safeguard the jobs of people in the businesses there. I have no difficulty accepting that Mr Chandler can hold any opinion as a private individual but he is Chairman of the Fraserburgh Area Tourism Group, and I do not think that the person who is chairman of our tourism group should hold this view and stay in post. I support the Lighthouse Museum very much, but, in my view, he put the lighthouse museum first instead of my constituents’ jobs.”
“I am delighted that the commissioner has rejected his complaint and I would suggest Mr Chandler considers his future as Chair of FATG,” he added.
Mr Chandler also contacted the Fraserburgh Herald following the comission not investigating the complaint made against Councillor Tait.
The chair of the tourism group said: “In the case of my complaint, Councillor Tait was not representing Aberdeenshire Council and therefore his actions, no matter how reprehensible they were, would not constitute a breach of the code. I feel let down by the commission and disappointed that there hasn’t been a thorough investigation into Councillor Tait’s conduct at that meeting in August last year.
“Despite the fact that he is a councillor and at the meeting he claimed he was representing the people of Fraserburgh, he has got away with setting a very poor example to others at the meeting and giving the VisitScotland representatives a very poor image of the town.
“I am concerned that he might do the same at other meetings.
“Make no bones about it, if the VIC didn’t move to the Lighthouse Museum there would be no VIC in Fraserburgh.
“Having a VIC in a pub is not the way to promote tourism,” he added.