A little more at last from one of the three Councillors that sacked Liz. Yesterday towards the end of the meeting at the Laing Hall, Highland Councillor Graham Marsden was questioned about Liz’s sacking.
‘Would you consider you have misjudged the mood of Nairn people with sacking of Provost Liz MacDonald? There were a number of letters in the Nairnshire none of them in support of the decision taken.’ Came the question from one of the River members, John Dolan.
Graham Marsden replied: ‘I think that for the reasons stated previously, what happened, happened and I’m not minded to revisit’... ‘I have, as I say, it’s very difficult to respond because I haven’t seen the letters. So the population of Nairn is over 10,000 people. How many letters are there?’
‘Half a dozen,’ was the response from John Dolan.
‘Are you saying that that is a poor response?’ John Dolan again.
‘No I’m not suggesting that. No I don’t know how representative it is but the reality is...Facebook with the potential closing of the swimming pool where a thousand people click on and say they are opposed to that. It’s fair comment but it’s a very easy way of...it’s not really a plebiscite. It’s a measure of...they’re probably, what Liz had at the last, the previous election. She had 1,500 votes, so presumably a very significant proportion of those people would be very, very opposed to her not being Provost anymore but that’s out of ten and a half thousand people.’
There then followed some classic ‘lively’ River CC discussion with Bill Murdoch trying to close down the questioning thinking it not appropriate. Tommy Hogg in the chair for the absent Jeanne Tolmie asked Graham if he was happy to continue answering. Graham was happy to do so and continued.
‘I think I would like to see in the future, us look again and see whether it is appropriate in the 21st Century for Nairn Councillors just to decide who the Provost should be and indeed whether the Provost should be a Nairn councillor. But I think that is something for another time, it’s really something that I would like to see debated much more fully and maybe that in the future maybe the Community Councils would actually put forward a Community Councillor as Provost. Personally I would like to see that, I think that that would be much more appropriate but I’m not sure how the rules exist at the moment and whether that’s possible at the moment or whether the rules would have to be altered. So, and obviously there are other community councils, sorry councillors who may have different views on that.’
Update: We've been looking at the election results for 2007 and out of an electorate of 9,009 in Nairnshire 5,142 bothered to vote ( a quite good turn-out of 58.08%). As it was a PR system used the 8 candidates needed 1,029 first preferences to be elected in the first count. Liz was the only one to achieve this with 1,576 votes. You can see how many votes the others got and how they had to rely on 2nd, 3rd, preferences to get in etc, on this PDF document.