Difficulties in Scotland

A couple from England bought a property on Dunnet Head and were systematically bullied and abused by everyone from high in public services as well as some of the community, despite giving up part of their property for the benefit of said community.    It is very remote and public services and the politicians do what they want, or nothing at all.  Even the legal and court systems are suspect. To get a decent lawyer, one has to go to Inverness or even Edinburgh for simple conveyancing. The business was a bed and breakfast, and one of the couple was heavily involved in the tourism industry.  Nothing was ever paid for. Consultancy, time or anything at all. The Enterprise Council would bring in consultants from the south, ignoring expertise in the north, not just locally qualified people. 

The female of the couple was exposed to the most vile abuse and harassment by the police themselves, encouraged by a neighbour who was chairman of a local association which was accessing public money under false pretences. The police stood by and did nothing while she was threatened, had materials stolen and interfered with land which did not belong to them and many other things.

LEGAL

There were  three illegalities:

  1. November 2013 – The theft of a foal.  The police stood by and watched it being taken.  The perpetrator was taken to the small claims court for none payment of livery but Ms X was not allowed to represent herself as she  had raised the invoices under her company name.  As mentioned, it was impossible to get a decent lawyer that far north. Ms X lost £3,000 and the foal. 
  2. September 2014 – The theft of  land.  The association simply registered an acre of land belonging to Mr. X with the Land Registry and sent  Mrs. X the new deed, assisted, we suspect by a local dignitary. He was him summarily removed by the SNP by sending all the papers in Mrs. Xs possession where he was obviously backing the association against her to the SNP.  The Land Registry said Mr. X  had to pay to get the matter resolved. The case was taken no further. Mr. X had already spent £5,000 defending the couple  against the association.
  3. Mrs. X was  personally was subject to harassment by both the neighbour and the police.  The police just kept visiting her for no reason, once to tell her to stop sending emails to another neighbour who had put a fence up and Mr. and Mrs. X  couldn’t see to exit the drive safely.

Mrs. X complained to the Procurator Fiscal, who just said “he knew nothing about any of it”.

A friend and neighbour committed suicide as he was subjected to the same kind of abuse.

NON PAYMENT OF BILLS

  1. Prior to being a registered journalist, she submitted articles to the John o Groats Journal free of charge as she wanted to raise the profile of the project, the North Highland Way.  This route was (and still is) wanted by over 50 businesses and the community, but no one knows how to stand up to the vagaries of public services and the politicians as Mrs. X does.  When she became a  journalist, she stopped providing them with articles at all.  They will not pay.
  2. The John o Groats Journal also ran a derogatory article about Ms X  when she was running for election as a local councillor, on the subject of the stolen foal.  It would have done no good to tell them not to run it.  The paper is part of the Scotland Provincial Press and are not subject to IPSO. There was nothing Mrs. X  could do.
  3. Mrs. X wrote an article for the Press and Journal, they refused to pay, as they did for another article she had drafted and sent them the draft (which is what they commissioned) but it was never printed and Mrs. X was never paid.  This was about the first rally of the SNP in Thurso during the last independence movement.

RETENTION OF INFORMATION

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman refuse to release information regarding any of the cases Mrs. X  has raised with them under FOI.  There have been several . Ditto the Highland Council. This has been reported to the Information Commissioners Office in Edinburgh, but nothing is being done.  The matter has now been raised with the ICO in England. 

POLITICS

There is certainly a political agenda here.  John Thurso (Sinclair) now sits in the House of Lords and his “friend” Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone and he are very pally.

The SNP do nothing.  There is no Labour or Conservative Party to speak of that far north.

All of this because Mrs. X  dared to try to get the North Highland Way developed as the only multi use route in Scotland which adheres to the principles of sustainable tourism.

Why ever would you want to invest in Scotland?

 

Published by Dawn Marshall

I have written for several publications in Scotland and Spain and have a Diploma in Freelance Journalism. I also have a BSC in IT and Spanish from London South Bank University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Economics, Policy and Risk from Heriot Watt University. I am a member of the NUJ in Belfast.

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