The councillor who described Shetland’s troubled livestock co-operative as a “Mickey Mouse” organisation during a recent meeting has apologised “without reservation”.
Councillor Allison Duncan spoke out during a council debate about future funding for the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group (SLMG) which operates an abattoir and a mart.
He has also apologised for critical comments made about officials from the Shetland Abattoir Co-operative Ltd (SACL), which is behind controversial plans for a new slaughterhouse in an industrial building in a housing estate in Scalloway, made at a public meeting in the village in December.
His apology has been accepted by SLMG chairman Ronnie Eunson and SACL chairman David Nicolson, whom Mr Duncan met on Monday.
Cllr Duncan said: “I am passionate about agriculture in Shetland and I do have very strong views about it. However I accept that in the heat of the moment I used a choice of words that were entirely inappropriate and for that I apologise without reservation to all those who were offended.”
Mr Nicolson, who had recently written an open letter of complaint to council convener Sandy Cluness concerning Mr Duncan’s statements, said that as a constituent of cllr Duncan and chairman of SACL he was pleased to accept the apology.
“We had a very useful discussion with Mr Duncan and I am happy with the outcome. We shook hands after the meeting and as far as I am concerned that is the end of it. It is time now to move on.”
Mr Eunson also said that he was happy with the outcome of the meeting. “The agricultural industry in Shetland is facing difficult times and whilst people have very different and very strongly held views, I hope we can move ahead in a constructive manner now that Allison’s apology has cleared the air.
“Allison is not afraid to speak his mind and after all that has been said, I appreciate his agreeing to meet today to draw a line under this episode.”