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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 15:40 GMT
War memorial snub caused offence
Glenrothes memorial
The memorial was set up after two soldiers were killed in Iraq
A councillor who stopped the British Legion flying its standards at a war memorial dedication did cause offence, an investigation has found.

Alf Patey stepped down from his post as depute provost of Fife earlier this week, ahead of the probe's findings.

Complaints had been lodged against Mr Patey after the unveiling of a new war memorial in Glenrothes on 7 November.

The report upheld the complaints and found Mr Patey's actions had been "likely to have caused offence".

Glenrothes had not had a war memorial since the new town was founded almost 60 years ago.

Construction began after the deaths of two Black Watch soldiers in Iraq and the unveiling ceremony took place at the start of November, ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The depute provost acted in a highly inappropriate manner
Council report

Among those attending were Royal British Legion Scottish Fife Area Branch and the Parachute Regimental Association Fife Branch.

Complaints in writing to the council after the event claimed Mr Patey spoke angrily to British Legion members and refused to allow them to raise their standards.

A report into the incident, by Fife Council's head of law and administration Harry Tait, found they were "well founded" and should be upheld.

The report also found that the depute provost's actions, in seeking to prevent the raising of standards, was likely to have caused offence.

Iraq deaths

Mr Tait's report concluded: "The depute provost acted in a highly inappropriate manner by addressing the three standard bearers in the manner he did.

"The Royal British Legion were entitled to expect that standards would be allowed and the depute provost was mistaken in his view of the council's position on that point."

In his letter of resignation Mr Patey said he had written to the British Legion to apologise.

Mr Patey said: "I have decided to step down as depute provost of Fife because of events surrounding the dedication of the new Glenrothes war memorial.

"I have written to Mr Jim Honeyman, the Fife Area secretary of The Royal British Legion Scotland, apologising for my part in the very public issue. I am pleased to say that he has accepted my apology."

Councillor leader Peter Grant said: "I hope people will not allow this incident, relating to his role as depute provost, to detract from the contribution Alf has made and is continuing to make to the life of the town both as a councillor and as one of the most respected citizens."

The new memorial is dedicated to Black Watch soldiers Marc Ferns and Scott McArdle, who died in Iraq in 2004.

SEE ALSO
New town finally has war memorial
22 Oct 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Final farewell to fallen soldier
16 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Relatives' anger over Iraq deaths
05 Nov 04 |  Scotland
'Troops out of Iraq' says mother
13 Aug 04 |  Scotland

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