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Mental health partners support suspended Perth and Kinross councillors

Health board meeting at Perth & Kinross Council about mental health charities is changed from public to private with little notice.
Health board meeting at Perth & Kinross Council about mental health charities is changed from public to private with little notice.

Mental health partners have come out in support of two Conservative councillors who were suspended regarding their conduct at a recent meeting.

Callum Purves and Colin Stewart were suspended from the Perth and Kinross Council Conservative group and administration over complaints regarding their “conduct and behaviour” over a meeting of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) last month.

The meeting was held to discuss an independent inquiry report by Dr David Strang regarding the mental health provision across Tayside.

The public meeting was cancelled at the last minute, with mental health groups who had turned up to hear Dr Strang asked to leave the council chambers.

Mr Purves and Mr Stewart argued against the meeting being held in private at the last moment, which has gained them the support of mental health groups there on the day.

Susan Scott, a development manager for mental health charity Plus Perth, was at the meeting.

She said: “If ever there was a case of injustice being done to these councillors it is this one.

“They stood up for what is right.

“We all went down to the meeting, which was an early start. Some of these people struggle to get out of bed.

“But we were told leave but when we said they no they couldn’t give us a reason why we should.

“The councillors actually stood up and said that was wrong.

“It’s frustrating that these people have put in complaints. What are they complaining about?

“We should be complaining about going down to this meeting that was promised.”

Bernie Campbell, a public partner elected to the IJB to look after the concerns of carers and service users, said she did not believe the actions of the councillors justified suspension.

Ms Campbell said: “The meeting had been cancelled at short notice when it was supposed to be open to the public.

“I attended the meeting and there was confusion over what was going to happen.

“I don’t think there was anything that justifies suspension and I’m disappointed that they have been suspended.

“There has been so many changes on the IJB at Perth and Kinross over a short period of time.

“I believe the councillors are trying very hard to do there jobs for the public.

“There are four councillors on the IJB and the meetings I have gone to their focus has very much been with benefiting the public and listening to the public.

“I’m very disappointed that it has ended up in two councillors being suspended, that would concern me.”

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