The head of a troubled holiday complex has resigned with a stinging attack on a group of fellow committee members and timeshare owners who he blames for turning the resort into a “toxic cesspit”.
Cliff Hunter sensationally quit as chairman of the Loch Rannoch Highland Club just days after The Courier exposed a data breach that saw personal details of 2,400 members posted publicly on its website.
Mr Hunter responded with an email to members on Saturday, stating incorrectly that the list of email addresses, landlines and mobile numbers could only be seen by members.
The response further angered some committee members, including one who said she had been targeted by timeshare resale companies as a result of her details being posted online.
By Monday morning, Mr Hunter had sent out a no-holds-barred follow-up email announcing his resignation, signing off with the words: “God help our club.”
He said Martin Vallance had also stepped down as acting general manager – after just a few days in the role – because he was disgusted by posts that had been made online about Mr Hunter.
“I do not consider myself a quitter, but a realist,” Mr Hunter said. “It is becoming ever more apparent that the Loch Rannoch Highland Club, as described by a fellow member, is a toxic cesspit due to the behaviour and actions of a small minority of members – including current committee members – who seem intent on preventing the club from moving forward.”
He said: “Whilst these individuals continue to be involved with the club, the job of the committee member will be nothing more than a poisoned chalice with no hope of making the changes the vast majority of members want, and deserve, in a reasonable timeframe.
“These individuals will never consider what the committee do to be good enough and will continue to obstruct the work of the club and the committee.”
His resignation follows a turbulent year for the club. Several staff were sacked during lockdown, including the then general manager.
Contract workers were taken on when the resort reopened, but many of them walked out amid claims they were verbally abused by a member of staff.
Shortly afterwards, huge block capital graffiti appeared on the walls of the club calling for committee members to resign.
The 85-property complex closed with just a few days’ notice in November, placing a question mark over its 26 employees. It is not known when the club will reopen.
Mr Hunter, who said he had been subjected to online abuse and called a liar, told The Courier he is not sure if the club has a future. “A future can only be realised if the current way the club is run is fundamentally changed,” he said. “I now believe the only way the club can have any sort of future is for the running of the club to be handed over to a management company with no committee of members involved.”
Mr Hunter says that member Norman Laidlaw will take his place at the top of the committee. “He has made it clear he is too busy to be involved in the committee, let along the chair,” he said.
The Information Commissioners Office is investigating last week’s data breach.