17th March 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Honoured by Sandy attack (Jonathan Wills)

To be repeatedly attacked by a professional curmudgeon, particularly one who enjoys Sandy MacMillan’s standing in our community, must be counted a singular honour.

However, for the benefit of those readers who may still be unaware of Mr MacMillan’s true worth, I was not “gallivanting around Europe” in April: I was chairing a fisheries group meeting where coastal communities from all around Europe unanimously supported Shetland’s detailed and constructive crticisms of the proposed new Common Fisheries Policy; at the European Parliament I presented a paper on compensation for pollution from offshore oil and gas fields; with colleagues I also attended business meetings with European officials who handle issues affecting Scotland, the Highlands and Islands, Europe’s coastal communities, regional aid policy and environmental conservation.

I do plead guilty to spending an hour in a Brussels park, half an hour in an art gallery, and to enjoying a couple of pints with a Shetland delegation to the European Seafood exhibition that coincided with the visit. Some gallivant, that, but perhaps Mr MacMillan imagines that flying to Brussels via Heathrow Terminal 5 is some sort of treat.

Perhaps Mr MacMillan would prefer it if Shetland’s case were not presented in Europe. Perhaps he thinks he could do a better job himself. If so, there’s an election in 2017.

As for his latest slur on my performance as his councillor, I have made it clear to him that I decline to represent any constituent who becomes personally abusive. His complaint to the Ethical Standards Commisson, against me and other councillors who displeased him, was dismissed.

Jonathan Wills




  1. Gordon Harmer

    Talk about an unwarranted over reaction, Iv’e never seen a dummy spat out of the pram at such a velocity.

    Just what does Jonathan mean by, “one who enjoys Sandy MacMillan’s standing in our community”? All men are equal Jonathan, you are in the wrong job if you think otherwise.

    In the past when speaking about his own education, Sandy has admitted that his was somewhat lacking but this does not make him less equal a person than Jonathan. In fact this should lead to a greater understanding from someone of Jonathan’s intelligence to why Sandy writes as he does.

    Those of us who know Sandy generally debate with him with a bit of banter and some good humoured knock downs. As a Councillor of superior social standing maybe a visit to South Lochside for a chat and a cup of coffee (or would that be a mug considering sandy’s social standing) along with some good humoured banter and an apology for the above diatribe would be the way forward.

  2. Jonathan Wills

    Gordon Harmer gets it wrong again, because he doesn’t bother to check his facts. I had repeatedly made representations on behalf of Mr MacMillan in a dispute he had with the council. After his claims had been examined and dismissed a second time I told him I could do no more for him. He then demanded my attendance over another claim against the council but refused to tell me what it was about. Then he started making derogatory remarks and at that point I had to decline to act tor him. Colleagues have had similar experiences with Mr MacMillan. We were all exonerated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

  3. John Tulloch


    I hear what you’re saying and I know nothing about it except this (assuming this is about drains):

    I once had a bad experience with the SIC over drains – sewage, actually, and not our own – backspilling into our garden and had an extremely poor response from SIC which ended with us calling in the Medical Officer of Health who called in the Sanitary Inspector.

    Suffice it to say that such situations don’t bring out the best in terms of a householder’s good nature.

  4. Rosa Steppanova

    What happened to discretion and confidentiality Jonathan? Glad I’m not one of your constituents.

  5. paul barlow

    that statement must breach your duty to keep the information given to you as confidential.

    your paid to represent all the people in your ward not just the easy to get on with. if he has issues with the council you as his representative should hear and try to act on them.

    it does not matter if what he is complaining about is wrong your there for him NOT for the council.

  6. Jonathan Wills

    I have said nothing about the nature of the dispute between Mr Macmillan and the council. There has been no breach of confidentiality. The fact that there was a dispute and that I spent much time trying to resolve it (albeit not to his satisfaction) is a matter of public record.
    I am certainly not obliged to represent anyone who makes unfounded allegations against the character, professional integrity and motives of council staff, or who repeatedly attacks my reputation in public. And I will not do so.

  7. Rachel Buchan

    Couldn’t this meeting, and others that councillors travel to, be done through video conferencing? Wouldn’t it be cheaper? Or am I just being too naive and simplistic?

  8. paul barlow

    i think you will find even mentioning that he has issues with the council. that you know about through your council post and then to mention it in a public is a clear breach of your duty of confidentiality. if an officer of the council did this they would be likely to get the sack. what makes you exempt from the same rules.

    I am certainly not obliged to represent anyone who makes unfounded allegations against the character, professional integrity and motives of council staff,

    how much did your attack on an office holder of the council cost us. i seem to remember that you made allegations against the character, professional integrity and motives of council staff. which were found to be UNTRUE.


    what happens if his complaints against the character, professional integrity and motives of council staff, are true and you ignore them.

    if you don’t realise that your a public servant then quit your post. Mr MacMillan is a member of the public that you are paid to care for.

  9. Gordon Harmer

    Way too much information Jonathan, I think Sandy should go back to the Ethical Standards Commissioner with what you have publicly said here. Any one with an ounce of integrity would never have reveled so much content of what went on privately between councilor and constituent.

  10. ian tinkler

    “Honoured by Sandy attack” (Jonathan Wills). Maybe you feel honoured Jonathon, your comments show anything but honour. Petulant, puerile and lacking any respect for the integrity and the position of trust you hold. I really think it about time you took a serious look at your conduct and considered resigning that position. You are becoming an embarrassment to your office.

  11. get off Dr J Wills case – he is a good guy in this matter. gale force and all that!

    Raymond Smith

  12. Andrew Simpson

    To be honest I’ve read a lot of the ‘debates’ on these pages, filled with ‘good humour’ and ‘putdowns’ and the term that comes to mind more often than not is, ‘he who shouts loudest’! Grown men eh!

  13. John Tulloch

    Mm, irony,….welcome aboard, Andrew!


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