Davies prompts selec­tion re­view

Stirling Observer - - GLORY OF AUTUMN -

Evan McLean of Buch­lyvie makes a fair and valid point ( let­ters, Oc­to­ber 6) about the vet­ting and selec­tion pro­ce­dures of lo­cal Con­ser­va­tive can­di­dates. The same point could, of course, be made of can­di­dates se­lected by other par­ties.

The Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive Party’s ad­vice to all can­di­dates was to re­view care­fully any­thing that they had sent by so­cial me­dia and to avoid ab­so­lutely send­ing any ma­te­rial by Face­book or Twit­ter that could em­bar­rass the can­di­date or the party. Coun­cil­lor Robert Davies did not fol­low that ad­vice.

I can as­sure Mr McLean that the Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tives are now re­view­ing their vet­ting and selec­tion pro­ce­dures, learn­ing the lessons from this sorry episode. This is a re­al­is­tic, hon­est and prin­ci­pled ap­proach which the Stir­ling Con­ser­va­tive As­so­ci­a­tion and the coun­cil group wel­come and which no rea­son­able per­son should crit­i­cise.

I want to as­sure Mr McLean that the lift­ing of the sus­pen­sion on the Stir­ling coun­cil­lors was not to cover up the de­fi­cien­cies of vet­ting pro­ce­dures. It was con­di­tional upon the coun­cil­lors apol­o­gis­ing for the views that they had ex­pressed and un­der­go­ing train­ing and coun­selling in di­ver­sity and equal­ity.

Un­for­tu­nately, in spite of clear and un­am­bigu­ous ad­vice from the Scot­tish party, his col­leagues in the coun­cil group and the Stir­ling Con­ser­va­tive As­so­ci­a­tion, Coun­cil­lor Davies de­clined to apologise and re­signed from the coun­cil group.

The party im­me­di­ately im­ple­mented its pro­ce­dures to ter­mi­nate his mem­ber­ship. He now there­fore sits as an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor in a ward that elected him a Con­ser­va­tive in May.

Mr McLean is by no means the only per­son in Forth & En­drick ward who thinks that Coun­cil­lor Davies should do the hon­ourable thing and re­sign. Many oth­ers have made the same rep­re­sen­ta­tions to me. That de­ci­sion is, how­ever, his. Sadly, per­haps, we do not have a sys­tem of re­call which ex­ists in some other coun­tries and which would en­able mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to ex­press their view on this mat­ter.

Michael Hirst, chair­man, Stir­ling Con­ser­va­tive As­so­ci­a­tion

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