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Kinneil Museum: misinformation or semantics...

Published: 31 March 2006, 10:02
 
Kinneil MuseumAt a specially called meeting of Bo'ness Community Council (Wed 8 March 2006) categorical assurances were made by local elected representatives that there would be no closure of Kinneil Museum if that were the will of local residents.

'Peddling misinformation'

Councillor Constable attacked this site and others with 'peddling misinformation' by giving the impression that any decision had been made to close Kinneil Museum.

This was despite his comments, highlighted by Adrian Mahoney, Community Councillor later during the meeting, and reported in Bo'ness Journal of 17 February, "... that closure of Kinneil Museum was regrettable".

Criticism at publishing 'untruths'

Councillor Constable attacked this site for publishing 'untruths' and Councillor Constable was asked to provide a transcript of his statement to clarify the situation and it also would be given equal coverage on website.


(Councillor Constable indicated he had no transcript but a letter covering the points could be made available.) [Ed. See letter received 11/03/06 and link below.]


* Content Letter received 11/03/06 (added 11/03/06)

Dear Mr. Willox,

KINNEIL MUSEUM.

I refer to the recent Bo'ness Community Council meeting during which it was officially confirmed that a statement that you published on your website falsely suggesting that Falkirk Council proposed transferring the majority of Kinneil Museum exhibits to Falkirk were untrue.

At that meeting you undertook to publish my clear statement (made in my capacity as Depute Leader of Falkirk Council) that the Bo'ness public would decide whether the Kinneil Museum was closed or not and if the Bo'ness public wished it to remain open then it would. This letter confirms that statement.

I hope therefore that you will honour your undertaking and that you will do so without any distorting editorial comment.

It would also be in the interests of local citizens of this town were you to publish a retraction of the untruths that you put in your website originally on this subject.

Yours sincerely,
JOHN CONSTABLE JP.

Councillor : Borrowstoun Ward.


[* Ed. It was not considered a retraction was necessary or required as original report was based on information published in Bo'ness Journal of 17/02/06 which has not itself been retracted (see link below, readers can make the comparison themselves).]


A letter in response to above was sent to Councillor Constable with a request to highlight the 'untruths'.

Letter to J Constable

28 March 2006

Dear Mr Constable

Thank you for your letter dated 10 March 2006, following the Community Council meeting of the 8 March, regarding closure of Kinneil Museum and the future of its exhibits.

As you may or not be aware it was published, in its entirety, alongside of the report of the Community Council at which you made the statements it refers.

However, it is not regarded that any retraction is either required or necessary as there is a little confusion as to what these ‘untruths’ are.

Both in the interests of local citizens and of openness and transparency if you could be more specific and highlight what you regard as ‘untruths’ a full and proper retraction would certainly be considered.

I look forward to your considered reply.

Yours sincerely
R A Willox

Councillor Constable in a subsequent reply highlighted two instances of 'untruths' which on consideration are more an issue of semantics rather than 'untruths' (bold).

Dear Mr Willox

Untruthful Statement on Bo'ness Website

I am in receipt of your letter of 28 March 2006 responding to my recent letter in connection with the above. I would comment as follows.

  1. No, I was not aware you had published my letter in its entirety on your website but no doubt if there is anything untoward accompanying that publication that could cause further distortion in the minds of the Bo'ness public on the Museum issue my local colleagues will let me know.
  2. Whether or not you consider a retraction is necessary depends entirely upon what kind of integrity you have towards truthfully advising the Bo'ness public with regard to local matters. Certainly there is no reason for any confusion on this issue.
  3. In the website article you published you claim "Falkirk Council are proposing to close Kinneil Museum and transfer almost all the exhibits to Callendar House in Falkirk". You also state "a small amount will remain in Bo'ness".

Those quotes are taken directly from your publication and are totally untrue. Nowhere on either of the reports is such a thing even remotely suggested and the truth of the matter is that the proposals would result in the majority of the artefacts from Kinneil Museum being retained in Bo'ness.

Even if you were in ignorance of that fact that still does not excuse you putting such false information before the Bo'ness public without having made some effort to check your facts. Failure to retract these untruths now the facts have been made known to you would of course produce a somewhat different view of your actions and raise questions as to your motives.

I trust that clarifies the matter and removes any confusion which might have existed in your mind just as a retraction would of course clarify the confusion you may have put into other people's minds which would be indeed in the interest of local citizens and serve the principle of openness and transparency.

Yours sincerely

JOHN CONSTABLE J.P.
DEPUTE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL
cc Mr A Scott, The Bo'ness Journal, North Street, Bo'ness


[Ed. The two instances highlighted were to be found on the Kinneil Closure Poll page and were very early on in this saga changed to the wording as reported in the Bo'ness Journal.

Noticable by its absence is any reference to 'Falkirk Council are proposing to close Kinneil Museum' as an untruth.

Misinformation, untruths or semantics. You decide!]

Retraction

"Falkirk Council are proposing to close Kinneil Museum and transfer almost all the exhibits to Callendar House in Falkirk", and "a small amount will remain in Bo'ness".

should have read

"Falkirk Council are proposing to close Kinneil Museum and transfer the Roman artefacts held there to Callendar House in Falkirk", and "the remaining exhibits will remain in Bo'ness".

[Ed. Apologies for any confusion the above false information may have put into anyones mind.]


Letter from J Constable (31 March) (pdf, 88k)

Letter to J Constable (28 March) (pdf, 69k)

Letter from J Constable (11 March) (pdf, 500k)

Bo'ness Journal Story (Frid 10/03/06)

Community Council special meeting

Kinneil Museum Closure

Original Journal Closure Story (Frid 17/02/06)

Heritage Strategy Consultative Draft (pdf, 61k)

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