Call for Perthshire councillor who made osprey ‘topping itself’ remark should resign.

Councillor Tom Gray faces calls to resign after he made comments about the T in the Park osprey. Pic from Perth and Kinross Council. Uploaded on May 15 2015.

Ruffling feathers: There are calls for the Councillor Tom Gray to resign.Perth and Kinross Council

Hundreds of people are calling for a Perth councillor to resign over comments he made about the ‘T’  in the Park ospreys. Councillor Tom Gray made the controversial remarks at a Perth and Kinross Council development and management committee meeting to decide on a planning application for T in the Park.

The meeting, which was held on Tuesday 12 May, saw the application unanimously backed by the committee, despite opponents claiming the huge festival would have a detrimental impact on nearby nesting ospreys.

After supporters and opponents of the motion to back the festival’s move to Strathallan Castle Estate had finished addressing the meeting, convernor Mr Gray, who had seconded the motion to back the application, added his own comments.

He said: “We didn’t have a problem until an osprey was found nearby. All of a sudden the osprey became more powerful than 85,000 youngsters who wanted to come here. “I’ve never heard of a single osprey topping itself because it had to move nest.”

He also likened the birds of prey to pest for stealing fish from ponds and said that fishermen used to kill them to protect fish stocks, not “people who love music”.

Following his comments, motion proponent Councillor John Kellas, said: “I would like to distance myself from those comments. The life of one osprey does matter to me. I believe it’s important that every bird with protection built into legislation should be protected.”

A petition has now been set up calling for Councillor Gray’s resignation. It has been signed by 265 people.

The petition, by Brett Skerry, states: “It is my belief that the draconian and frivolous views expressed by this man in regards to the planning application for T in the Park at Strathallan Estate have no place in public office and are a disgrace to the integrity of Perth and Kinross Council.”

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