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Five-month meetings ban for SNP councillor who was aggressive over pub plan

A NATIONALIST councillor found to have behaved aggressively towards people objecting to plans for a new pub was yesterday banned from all council meetings for five months.

Senior SNP councillor Alasdair MacPherson, who represents Bannockburn, was judged to have breached the Councillors' Code of Conduct when dealing with members of the public who were objecting to plans to convert a former Inland Revenue office block into a 700-capacity "super-pub".

The Stirling Council member was referred to the Ethical Standards Commissioner after complaints were received from members of the public about his behaviour during the meeting, which was considering pub chain JD Wetherspoons' plans for the office block, in Spittal Street, in the picturesque old town of Stirling.

After considering the referral, the Commissioner for Ethical Standards, Stuart Allan, reported Councillor MacPherson to the Standards Commission for Scotland (SCS) for breaking the Code of Conduct, which sets out rules governing the behaviour of councillors.

At an SCS hearing in Bridge of Allan Councillor MacPherson was banned from attending all council and committee meetings for five months.

The ban will come into effect on Friday.

The chairman of the panel and convener for the SCS, Ian Gordon, said: "He failed to respect members of the public at that meeting, who were objectors, and he behaved in an aggressive manner to a community council officer. We have taken into account that Councillor MacPherson apologised to the person in question."

The pub plan finally got the green light last May, despite pub-chain rivals Greene King, who have six outlets within 400 yards of Spittal Street, seeking a judicial review.

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