Glencoe ski centre boss calls for unity over coronavirus emergency

Glencoe Mountain Resort remained open today (Saturday March 21) to skiers and snowboarders.

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The boss of Glencoe Mountain Resort no longer intends complaining to the SNP over the actions of its local councillor Niall McLean, after the latter mounted a protest at the centre’s car park when it remained open for business on Saturday.

Mr McLean had posted a video online on Saturday in which the Fort William and Ardamurchan councillor said it was ‘ridiculous’ the resort was still open when there was a public health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to camera from the ski centre’s car park, Councillor McLean said alarmed and distressed constituents had contacted him about the centre still being open.

NO F34 McLean 01
Councillor Niall McLean

‘We’ve had reports of cars being in the ski centre this week with Italian registrations. What I would urge everyone to do if they see things like this happening in a time of emergency is to grip it. Tell people they are doing something wrong – whether it be something as ridiculous as this or somebody simply not washing their hands or elderly people out exposed in places they shouldn’t be,’ said Mr McLean.

Resort managing director, Andy Meldrum, said the centre had been scheduled to close after the weekend anyway and that he had intended lodging a formal complaint with SNP party bosses over what he said was Mr McLean’s ‘unnecessary’ behaviour.

But this week Mr Meldrum had changed his mind and said he would prefer his message to be one of ‘moving forward together’.

Mr Meldrum told the Lochaber Times: ‘While everything did not happen the way we might have wanted, we are closed now and want to build bridges with the community.

‘I do not think it is right at this time to be dwelling on something that was quite divisive and really did not need to be. We need to come together as a community.

‘We have manpower and heavy machinery available should the council need assistance clearing roads or what we have can be used in any other way.’

Asked for its view of Mr McLean’s call for people to speak those they felt were not adhering to guidance on coronavirus, Police Scotland told The Lochaber Times: ‘ We wouldn’t recommend people confront others.’

Fellow Fort William and Ardnamurchan councillor and leader of Lochaber Area Committee, Andrew Baxter, would not comment on Mr McLean’s video, but did urge people to adhere to advice for no non-essential travel and that included holidays in the area.

Councillor Andrew Baxter No F07 Andrew-Baxter
Councillor Andrew Baxter
No F07 Andrew-Baxter

‘This will be putting extra pressure on already stretched services, particularly in rural areas like ours,’ he said.