Grangemouth councillor banned from civic events

Councillor Robert Spears
Councillor Robert Spears

A councillor warned about his future behaviour by local government watchdogs has now been banned from attending any civic events involving Falkirk Council.

Robert Spears was censured by the Standards Commission in February for directing a straight arm salute and the words “Seig Heil” at Provost Pat Reid during a meeting last year.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the town hall veteran from Grangemouth, who leads the two-member Non Aligned Independent Group, said ‘sorry’ to his political rivals.

He said: “I wish to take this opportunity to make an unreserved apology to the Provost, all elected members and officers of the council for an inappropriate remark I made at a council meeting on March 6, 2013. I also wish to record regret that comments made in response to articles contained in local and national press were taken out of context and reflected badly on others.”

Councillor Spears was also heard to say his apology covered “everyone here and in the world” - but the Labour-led administration made it clear even that did not go far enough.

While Provost Reid said the apology was the “end of the matter” a motion from former Provost Dennis Goldie that Mr Spears not be allowed to attend any civic events Falkirk Council is involved in was backed by 17 votes to 15.

Mr Spears said: “That went beyond the recommendation of the Commission.”