Scottish racecourse calls for resignation of chairman

  • Members of Musselburgh racecourse’s management board are calling for the resignation of its chairman after a damaging report stripping the course of its Investors in People (IIP) status was revealed.

    The racecourse had held the prestigious IIP status for 12 years but the organisation withdrew recognition last October after it failed to meet five out of the ten required indicators.

    In his report the IIP inspector John Hutchison described the racecourse’s management board as “dysfunctional” and to “lack effective governance.”

    The racecourse is managed by the seven person Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee (MJRC).

    This includes three members of the Lothians Racing Syndicate (LRS) and four local councillors co-opted by East Lothian Council.

    The LRS is accusing council leaders of trying to bury the damaging IIP report and wants councillor John Caldwell removed from his role as chairman of MJRC.

    “East Lothian Council can no longer ignore the overwhelming evidence of the damage which is being done to the racecourse and its staff under the MJRC chairmanship of councillor Caldwell,” said LRS chairman John Prideaux.

    He said council inaction is damaging “the long-standing reputation of this award winning racecourse.”

    But East Lothian council leader Willie Innes said councillor Caldwell “ has the full support of the council administration in continuing his role as chairman of the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee.”

    Councillor Caldwell declined to give H&H a comment on his future at the racecourse.

    The council said it has arranged a de-brief meeting with IIP at the next meeting of the Muselburgh Joint Racing Committee “ to fully discuss the current situation and plan a strategy for working in partnership to move forward in a productive way.”

    Bill Farnsworth, Musselburgh racecourse general manager said: “We are deeply disappointed that this badge of excellence has been removed, but are encouraged that the IIP inspector’s report make it clear that the hard working staff who make up the operations team are not responsible for this state of affairs.”

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