Councillor reported over election leaflet

Former SNP councillor Derek Rosie (left) and Labour councillor Adam Montgomery.
Former SNP councillor Derek Rosie (left) and Labour councillor Adam Montgomery.

A recently re-elected councillor has been reported to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards over his election pamphlet.

Former SNP councillor for Penicuik Derek Rosie alleges that Labour’s Penicuik councillor Adam Montgomery misled voters in the leaflet by stating he was a member of business community group Penicuik First.

However, Cllr Montgomery, who has served on the council since 1986, refutes the accusation and is adamant he is a member.

In his letter to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards, Mr Rosie said: “In the leaflet he (Cllr Montgomery) states that he is a member of Penicuik First, this is totally inaccurate information, he was on the Steering Group until 2014 and did not attend a meeting of this group after.

“There is now a board of directors which Councillor Montgomery is not a member of and never has been.”

Mr Rosie claimed Councillor Montgomery was “using this incorrect information in order to gain political advantage.”

However, Cllr Montgomery remains adamant he is a member of the group.

He said: “I was on the steering group which set up the BIDS team.

“I then kicked up a stink when I wasn’t invited to the meetings as I thought all three local councillors were members. I’m as clear in my understanding as I could be on that. The fact that I wasn’t getting the agendas or minutes of meetings is not down to me.

“I could have quite easily got onto them and said ‘why am I not on it’ but I didn’t do that as my understanding was that I was on it, but just not getting the information sent to me. I asked for a meeting with the two council officers dealing with this. They said that I should have been getting minutes and agendas.

“We have to show a united front and as far as I’m concerned if you are doing something for the town you pull together and make sure it works.”

Cllr Montgomery also questioned why he was not invited to the group’s latest meeting last week, at which the town’s newly-elected councillors were in attendance.

He said: “The group had a meeting last week and new Penicuik councillors Debbi McCall (SNP) and Andrew Hardie (Con) attended but I wasn’t invited – what is that about?”

Penicuik First and the Commissioner for Ethical Standards declined to comment.