Statement to The National, 18 August, 2023
In relation to claims by Protect Loch Tay of political bias by our council we provided the following statement to the newspaper. It was not used in full.
"Clearly the organisers of PLT do not recognise the bitterness, rancour and division they have created among the local communities here.
“It's astonishing that they should now also set their sights on our voluntary community councils. Our Community Council is not against democratic debate in any way. Quite the opposite. For that reason we did not respond to the campaign in its early days and instead stood back and listened to what we hoped would be open, honest and responsible debate. But the rhetoric has now gone well beyond that.
"When our local community representatives are accused in cowardly innuendo, when the world is told that we are inept, unqualified and incapable of representing our small communities, when we read campaign inspired headlines that falsely tell us we are fiercely opposed to the development, and when our businesses start losing vital summer trade because potential visitors are told this is not a place worth visiting, someone needs to step up and say something.
So we did. We published a news story last week setting ourt our case but The National, which has championed PLT’s campiagn for weeks, chose to ignore it. There is no political bias in our actions, just a genuine desire to do the best for our small community.
"Thankfully, we are now beginning to seeing more balanced media reporting and constructive intervention from our elected politicians. All the politicians involved have agreed that there is broad local support for this development. All the articles and statements we are aware of, and that were published since we made our statement last week, are highlighted on our website. Why would PLT not want people to see those?
"As far as I am aware, none of the campaign organisers has ever attended any of our Community Council meetings where this development has been discussed over the past year or so. Whether they voiced their concerns to their own councils we do not know but had they done so in a democratic way their fears and concerns might have been averted and we all might be in a very different, friendlier and more positive place today."