Senior councillor resorts to lawyer after convener fails to provide satisfactory answers

Senior councillor and services committee chairman Gussie Angus has brought in his lawyer to urge SIC convener Sandy Cluness to clear up a range of issues which have bedevilled the council in recent weeks.

In a sign of how far relationships within the Town Hall have deteriorated, Mr Angus arranged for solicitors Anderson & Goodlad to send Mr Cluness a two-page letter last week having become frustrated at being unable to get answers to several questions about the council’s conduct, raised during a recent private meeting of elected members.

Mr Angus is looking for an assurance that the council has acted “in conformity with council policies and procedures and employment law generally” in relation to the “deletion” of assistant chief exec­utive Willie Shannon’s post. He is asking for details of legal advice given to the council over that affair.

He is asking for answers as to why, in his view, the council had not dealt properly with a complaint by councillor Jonathan Wills that chief executive David Clark had “indulged in a drinking session” in his Town Hall office with business associate Andrew Laidler.

Mr Angus has also asked for clarification of the dual roles played by head of legal and admin Jan Riise, who is also the council’s monitoring officer – something which Mr Angus feels may represent an “inherent conflict” because he may be called in to investigate matters in which he himself has been closely involved. Mr Angus says the capacity in which Mr Riise gives advice is “not clear” and despite raising the issue with Mr Riise he has not received a “satisfactory” response.

The Shetland Times was unable to reach Mr Cluness for comment on the matter. Mr Angus left the isles for a holiday on Monday and it is understood that he had not received any response to the letter, sent on 23rd November, before he left.

For full story, see Friday’s Shetland Times.


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