A Freedom of Information request has revealed that a senior councillor did not act on his promises to two angry public meetings over the controversial Meedies visitor centre that Fife Council would carry out two investigations into the failings of the consultation process.
Community activist James Glen, who is secretary of Loch of Shining Water, the hyperlocal which made the FOI request, commented:
“Cllr Hood tried to appease the Benarty community when it was rightly angry about the botched consultation process for the new vsitor centre by promising not one but two investigations by Fife Council. He said lessons would be learned.
He then repeated at a second public meeting three weeks later that both investigations had been launched. At a subsequent private meeting with members of the Lochore Meadows Panel and the leader of Fife Council, David Ross, Cllr Hood again referred to the on-going investigations, and said they would report mid-January.
Now it turns out Cllr Hood did nothing at all to commission these investigations.
After he broke his public promise to the community to stop the visitor centre if it was rejected at the second public meeting, these lies about investigations just rub more salt in the wound.
Once again the community has been played and left in the lurch by a councillor who will say anything to get himself out of a tight spot. Cllr Hood may have learnt no lessons, but the rest of us have learnt that we cannot trust a word he says.
This is scandalous behaviour from a public representative, who is not only a local councillor but chairs the Cowdenbeath Area Committee, serves on Fife Council’s Executive Committee and is Fife Council’s official spokesperson for Sport and Physical Activity.
No wonder Cllr Hood went to the press a few months ago, claiming FOIs Shining Waters had made were “a waste of time and money” and should be “prevented”. FOIs are the only way members of the public can check that councillors are doing what they say. They are essential if we are to hold our elected representatives to account.
Cllr Hood is not standing in May’s election, but if he or his party had any honour or respect for the communities they serve, he would apologise to the communities he has misled and resign his post with immediate effect.
But I doubt Cllr Hood will do the decent thing because he knows no one can make him. The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland and the Councillors Code of Conduct are impotent in cases like this so councillors can carry on lying with impunity.”
—- End Notes —-
For a full report, see: https://lochgelly.org.uk/2017/01/senior-councillor-misled-residents-over-meedies-investigations/
Cllr Hood & FOI – https://web.archive.org/web/20161006220125/http://www.centralfifetimes.com/news/14786099.Hood_seeks_meeting_in_bid_to_try_to_save_taxpayers__39__money/
Cllr Hood – FOI – LoSW Response – https://lochgelly.org.uk/2016/10/hood-attacks-local-democracy-and-loch-of-shining-waters/