Gathering Place inquest resurfaces but only one key question remains

by Colin Campbell

A TRIO  of Inverness councillors will at a council meeting next week try and prolong the inquest over the Gathering Place debacle.

We have to appreciate their persistence but they are as likely to glean any new information as the concrete carbuncle is to disintegrate through shame and collapse into the river.

The council has closed the book on this wretched affair and no further questions on it will be taken seriously, if there is any attempt to answer them at all.

Not surprisingly perhaps, they also appear to want to disown it and have nothing more to do with it, in any shape or form.

A depiction of a giant penis on the thing adorned it when vandals indulged in their own brand of artwork in December. It was left in place for weeks on end and would probably be there to this day if the wind and rain hadn’t lashed it away.

Missing from the questions to be posed is whether this kind of gross riverside embarrassment piled on embarrassment will be similarly ignored if or when it happens again.

The council recognises this has been a disaster and has given up on it.

One question which will be asked is how this kind of travesty can be avoid being repeated.

The best way of ensuring that is that those primarily responsible for it either quit or are voted out in the May elections.

We can only hope that cheerleaders for the fiasco like arts group chairwoman Isabelle Mackenzie will soon be gone. But if they show the same level of stubborn cussedness as they did throughout the riverside saga they may stand for re-election simply to give their critics a poke in the eye and they may win.

Hopefully not. Their re-emergence would stand in the way of the main question still relating to the Gathering Place.

How long will this monstrosity which already looks like a patched up slum be allowed to disfigure the riverside? And how serious is the prospect of a new influx of councillors untainted by it deciding that the sooner it goes the better and demolition is the only sensible option?

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