Demonstration over bungled Christie Clock demolition is cancelled

A Stirling demonstration over the Christie Clock debacle, set to go ahead tomorrow (Saturday), has been cancelled.

Details about the noon event, at the Allan Park site where the clock once stood, had been put up on a Facebook page dedicated to the botched demolition of the 118-year-old listed structure.

However, on the evening of Sunday May 5, with less than a week to go, the Stirling Council Wrecking Ball site posted that the demonstration had been cancelled.

A message stated: “All, this event has been rescheduled. Do not turn up on May 11 please.”

No reason was given for the cancellation.

Twenty six people had indicated an intention to attend the event.

A previous post on the Facebook page, which has 223 followers, stated there would be “a brief gathering” at the spot, adding: “The purpose of the event is to gather at the clock” and to “show the powers that be that we are not satisfied with their performance so far and that the clock needs reinstated.”

The event, it added, was likely to last for half an hour for people to assemble and disperse.

However, no speakers “or anything organised” was planned on the day.

Hopes that the clock could be rebuilt using insurance money were dashed in April when Stirling Council refused to answer questions about indemnity insurance.

Click here for more news and sport from the Stirling area.

And a Freedom of Information response obtained by the Stirling Observer revealed that the local authority had paid out £15,000 to five contractors after the structure had been reduced to a stump.

Distressing social media footage showed the claw of a 100ft articulated excavator grasping at the delicate structure on the night of September 1 – crushing it and the surrounding scaffolding.

What’s left of the historic Christie Clock in Stirling
What’s left of the historic Christie Clock in Stirling -Credit:Stirling Observer

The local authority, it emerged, had received advice and recommendations that the clock be removed for off-site repairs.

Following the “terrible mistake” council leader Chris Kane vowed the historic clock would be rebuilt.

But last month he told a full meeting of Stirling Council that he could not support reinstatement at a cost of almost £900,000 given the “bruising” budget process the local authority had just encountered.

Councillors rejected a recommendation to foot the £873,000 repair bill and instead backed an option to examine “more cost-effective solutions” by the end of the year.

Last November audit committee chairman Scott Farmer – referring to an internal report into the “catastrophe” which was heard in private – pointed to “a jaw-dropping sequence of missed opportunities” and “systematic failure”.

The report, he said, was a “thorough investigation” and there had been a “sobering” and “critical instance” in which “a lone officer was faced with an unfolding catastrophe”.

Stirling Council chief executive Carol Beattie, who commissioned the investigation into the bungle, also issued an “unreserved apology” during the public part of that meeting.

Last month the Observer revealed an internal Stirling Council audit report points out that the manager in charge of work on the night of September 1 may have been “subconsciously affected” by the presence of the council leader Chris Kane and other officers near the site.

The report - which had been discussed by councillors in private - was based on interviews with 25 individuals as well as documentary evidence.

Councillor Kane had told the Observer: ““I was not present when decisions were taken leading up to the demolition. I did not witness the demolition. I played no part in the decision-making process at any point in any way, either on September 1 or in the days leading up to September 1.

“I continue to share the shock of residents at the way the Christie Clock came down.”