Sunday, 31 July 2016

No go area!

Photo 01 Mike from Manchesters post spawning 14lbs 8oz fish from a few weeks ago. well done mate!

No go area!
This is just to remind anglers that for the most part angling on our lochs could be problematic next week. Some kind of cycle event is taking place on Sunday 7th of august and the roads will be closed from around 08.30 – 16.30hrs which could hamper the plans of many anglers. You will not be able to acces the lochs between these times and the time may vary depending on what transpires.
Those camping overnight from Saturday to Sunday should be aware of these closures as it would not be possible to leave the area during these times. There is unfortunately nothing we can do as it has all been decided. Many of the locals are up in arms over the whole episode but their concerns have been largely been brushed aside.
Blethering yesterday it seems that a charity will not be the main recipient of the income generated rather it will be a private company which makes the whole event a sham! At least if the money had went in full to a charity then I am sure it would have been received more favourably. That however is how it has panned out so think twice about your travel arrangements if you plan on coming to fish.

New Loch keeper!
I went along to the Tibbie yesterday to have a chat to the chap who has expressed interest in becoming our new keeper. He is a fly fisherman and already has had a few casts on the loch near the Tibbie but did not manage to entice anything. He is currently winding up his business in Leeds and expects to make the lochs his home sometime in September. He has accepted the offer of the job and yesterday I gave him the rundown of what we expect and what he will earn and he accepted the terms of our offer. More details nearer the time!

Vindictive letter!
Our ex loch keeper has sent to all members a letter aimed primarily at myself but includes the committee.He has no authority to use the club database as he is no longer a member!  I have received many copies or references to this letter and indeed it is the most childish document I have set eyes on for a long time. It is full of libellous statements and made up tosh I have asked Mr Xxxxx for proof of all the digs he made but you can be rest assured nothing will come in this respect. You will notice that he plays the sympathy card near the end usually because he has run out of truth cards! I have copied and pasted the whole letter excluding 4 words that are the names of my current employer and a past employer at their request.

Dear Member,
By now I’m sure you are aware that I have resigned my position as loch keeper. The decision to leave was not taken lightly, but given the circumstances, a decision I reluctantly had to take.
I had hoped not to write this letter to the membership, but given the actions of Richard Plisga and his continual personal attacks on me, I have no option but to defend myself.
His attempted character assassination of me in his blog dated 17th
 of July has caused much distress to myself and my family, and left me with no other alternative but to take legal action against St Mary’s Angling Club. There are also allegations of me making various threats to club officials which I have reported to the police. To date, I’m not aware if the alleged threats are of a physical nature or not, but given the serious nature of these allegations, I think it only right that they should be investigated fully. It’s only fair that the membership should know what alleged threats were made, who were these alleged threats made against, and who witnessed these alleged threats?
I’m sure that if I were to ask Richard these questions, I’d be met with a wall of silence, but he won’t be afforded that luxury by the police. And until such time as these allegations are resolved, I AM, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MEMBER OF ST MARY’S ANGLING CLUB!
I will not allow the delusions of one man to force me away from a club that I have invested so much time and effort in.

The membership may not be aware, but this is not the first time the angling club has had the threat of legal action taken against it following the actions of Richard Plisga, who in his weekly blog personally attacked a shop keeper in Galashiels, and only after he was forced to removed the offending material from his blog, did the threat of action against the club cease.
And let’s not forget Richard’s crowning turd, the “inciting racial hatred” episode, where Myself, Aaron, Richard and Frank where “invited” along to Galashiels police station for a “chat” concerning a poster Richard had put up in a shop window in Galashiels where he had suggested that a lot of the ill’s that were effecting the club were due the actions of a racial minority living in the UK.
To put you in the picture, we arrived at the police station for “the meeting”, where we were shown up stairs and offered a cup of tea, and Frank being a retired policeman took up the opportunity to reminisce with a fellow officer about policing in Edinburgh in the good old days for 20 minutes
 (it turns out Frank found out about the meeting and used it as some kind of busman’s holiday, which I’ll go into later).
So, the meeting starts with Inspector Scott asking us our name, address and date of birth?
 (a bit strange for a meeting, I thought?)
Turns out this is not a meeting, but a dressing down. And we were warned that if any such poster was seen again, Richard/the club would be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred. I did chip in and politely ask about the legal ramifications concerning the content of the poster, but Frank quite rudely and abruptly butted in with “because the man’s telling you!”. Nice one Frank! You get invited along to a meeting representing the club, and bat for the other side.
Anyway, I had a quiet word with Inspector Scott at the end of the meeting and assured him there wouldn’t be a repeat of these posters.
To this day, I’m still amazed that Richard didn’t tender his resignation for bringing the club into disrepute and offer an explanation to the membership for his actions!
I’m not one who usually goes in for exposing people for what they really are via text, email or social media as I much prefer to tell them face to face, but in this instance I won’t be approaching Mr Plisga again, as I have every confidence that even more lies and verbal diarrhoea will be slapped across the club’s website on a weekly basis, which no doubt will be aimed at me!
 You see, Richard has a proven track record of bullying and crushing any type of dissent aimed towards him, with previous allegations of him stirring up trouble at xxxxxxxxx while he was a union rep and getting his arse kicked out of there, also being branded a trouble maker at an angling club in Gala and asked to leave, it seems that this guy is a one man wrecking crew where ever he goes.
Even the way he entered St Mary’s Angling club and his rise to the top is questionable, as I have it from the horse’s mouth that he continually pestered a previous committee member for a place on the committee, and once in place him and a few of his buddies performed a coup d’etat on the afore mentioned committee member.....what a quality individual, eh?

Most of us (locals included), sit on the edge of our seats every
 Sunday night to see what golden nugget he’s offering in his weekly blog, and most of us are unsurprising to see that him and a committee member or two are off on another competition representing the club, which is nice!
I’m often asked (usually by visiting anglers) if the blog is a political platform, and when I inform them that it isn’t, the reply is always the same......”so why is he allowed to use it as one?”.
The reason is simple, no one has stood up and told him it’s an inappropriate use of club resources, but then every dictator in history loves a soap box.

Now let’s move on to his claim that I’m the only loch keeper that he’s had a problem with?
Well, having spoken to all of them covering the past 30 years, and some being personal friends, his statement is utter rubbish. Most of them have left the club in acrimonious circumstances, citing Mr Plisga as being the problem in every case. It seems that when a keeper complains about unreasonable demands placed on them his attitude changes, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re out on your arse. For me it started earlier in the year when it became clear that the Chinese engine was past it’s best and I asked for a replacement engine. Obviously this request went down like the titanic, with the committee taking several weeks to get back to me with a resolution, and the resolution being that the club would offer me £50 per engine per year to maintain the existing engines. But due to the fact that I (along with others in the club) had been maintaining/repairing the engines free of charge saw this as another millstone round my neck and an attempt to appease me, so I declined the offer. And this is when Richard’s attitude towards me changed!
From then on his communication to me was limited to forwarding emails from visiting anglers, and those with enquiries regarding boat hires, and that continued until a few weeks ago.
I’d like to add that during that period I emailed him asking for a replacement strap of metal for the green Lomond so I could repair it, but never received any reply to my request. And to my knowledge the green Lomond is still without a keel strap.

So let’s move forward to a few weeks ago, when I find him in the boathouse bay, scrubbing a lomond out with a bottle of thick bleach and a face like a smacked arse. I knew there and then that there was going to be a problem, and I was right. He starts in on me about the amount of rubbish building up at the side of the boathouse, but I’m a little taken aback by this as Les Henderson usually burns the rubbish every Saturday in front of the boathouse, but this has stopped happening for a few weeks allowing the rubbish to build up, and suddenly it’s my problem?
He suggests I bag it up and leave it on the grass verge at the road for the binmen to pick up, but as we don’t pay council tax the binmen won’t pick it up, plus animals will get into the bags and we’d have a mountain of crap to pick up. He then goes on to suggest that I take down to the Glen Cafe and dump it in their commercial waste bin! He’s obviously not read the sign on their bin stating that their bin is for cafe waste only, and stating that it’s not for use by others. Also this bin costs the cafe a significant amount each year, and I don’t think it would be fair for them to pick up the cost for 7 black bags of angling club rubbish. His final suggestion is that I take it home and dispose of it in our waste bin. It’s clear at this point; this guy is spoiling for a fight!
So his next complaint is why one of the arran boats are high and dry on the shore and not in the water? Well as most of you know, these boats weigh a ton, and are impossible to shift back in the water by one man once they are completely beached. I had managed to get the other arran in the water some weeks earlier with the aid of Lisa as it was partially beach, and in the process Lisa put her back out.
But now we move onto the best bit. He then mentions that there are two bags of cement missing from the boathouse, and that he has made this know to all on his weekly blog and suggesting theft to the members. So when I tell him I took the bags of cement and used them to put in posts in the garden, he just goes off on one. Saying how he needs to retract his statement on the blog and how that will make him look like an arse.
 
Firstly, Richard told me that if ever I needed to use anything from the boathouse, that I should use it and replace it, which I have always done. And up to that point that has always been the case and I have never been told by him that that situation had changed.
Secondly, I find it inconceivable that he never had the presence of mind to contact me (which he would normally do) and ask me if I knew where the two bags of cement were? And when I asked him why he hadn’t contacted me to enquire about the missing bags of cement, he offered no explanation or response.
Now, having spoken to a few members regarding Richard’s bizarre behaviour in this matter, the suggestions I’m receiving range from “spiteful” to “it’s a set up mate”. And I would have to agree with you, it’s both of these statements.
Incidentally, the bottle of thick bleach he was using to clean the lomond out with was dumped straight into the loch (and it’s not the first time I’ve seen him doing it), and when I pulled him up about it, he claimed that it posed no hazard to aquatic life in the loch and was a perfectly acceptable practice, and as I’m no expert in the bio-hazard field, I’ll let SEPA be the judge of that.
At that point I left the boathouse and went to speak to Lisa and we decided that due to his unreasonable behaviour I’d go back to the boathouse and tender my resignation with immediate effect.  On arriving at the boathouse again, I told him that I didn’t want to fall out with anybody, but I thought that my time as loch keeper was up. I asked once more as to why he hadn’t contacted me regarding the two bags of missing cement, and once again I received no response. I then left and went into Selkirk for the two bags of cement that I had used, which have now been replaced, as always.

During the following week I took the opportunity to read his blog regarding the missing cement, and having spoken to members it became clear from their opinions and what I already knew, that Richard had engineered a situation in order to bring about some type of conflict.
The following Saturday I arrived at the boathouse to hand in the keys and club phone. I asked Richard why he had tried to set me up and from that point on it all went wrong. The whole thing descended into a shouting match with Richard telling me that he was “going to destroy me”, and that I was “a useless cunt” and to “get my stuff out the boathouse and fuck off”.
 Now, this is when these alleged threats to various club officials were said to have taken place, and that these threats were witnessed. Well the only other person I can recall being there was Les Henderson, who was fly fishing from the bank right outside the boathouse and well within earshot of what was being said. In fact as I arrived at the boathouse door he quickly took off to get out of the way, probably knowing what was about to unfold.
I really feel sorry for Les, as the guy just comes down each Saturday and enjoys a bit fishing, and doesn’t like getting involved in club politics, but now due to the actions of his buddy he’ll be getting a visit from the police. (Nice one Richard, the man has had more to worry about over the past year than saving your ass, but that doesn’t really matter to you, does it?).
I’d like to highlight a couple of concerns regarding club officials?
At each AMG club officials are elected by the membership to serve for the next 12 months (because that’s what the club constitution dictates), but having attended the last 3 AGM’s I’ve only ever witnessed one club official being elected, that being Elliot the club treasurer (and the only one with a spine). I have noted that the election of club officials has always been on the AGM agenda, but I’m yet to witness these so-called club officials/committee members having ever being elected, and further more that item on the agenda is simply glossed over. I think it’s time the membership knew that your so-called club officials are in fact self-appointed club officials, which is quite blatantly at odds with the club constitution, but is allowed to continue within the club.
At the 2014 AGM I expressed my concern (twice) that only half the committee had bothered to turn up, but low and behold the missing committee members were serving on the committee the next year, without being elected. I think the least qualifying factor for being a committee member is that you attend the AGM, where if successfully nominated, you are then voted in as a committee member..............you’ve got to laugh, this is what these comedians get up to!
And while we’re on the subject of the committee, I think Richard should show a little more respect for the people who serve on his committee and give him support. Calling a committee member “a gibbering fuck”  on a regular basis (that’s right Stevie, that’s how your buddy refers to you), probably isn’t the best way forward. And among one of my personal favourites, “don’t listen to that fat useless cunt”, which he reserves for our club secretary, Alasdair.
It doesn’t stop there; he has no hesitation in turning on the local community, but calling a local hotelier “a drug addict” and “the sooner he’s out of the valley, the better”.
I’m absolutely astounded that you would refer to someone like that, while asking them to sell permits and hold events for the club, if this is even 1% of what goes on in this man’s mind, I shudder to think what the rest is up to.

According to Richard’s weekly rant, I have been demoted to the top 20, of people who have done the most for the club, but if that be the case, were does that leave him and his cronies?
He assures me that he has been running the club single handed for years, but all I seem to witness is him arriving on a Saturday morning, finding something to complain about, then taking off to his wee hidey hole at the bottom of the loch to enjoy this week’s exciting episode of the archers.
As for the rest of the committee, you do find then round the loch from time to time, with a rod in their hand and an opinion to share, but that’s usually the total sum of their involvement.
Richard has also pointed out that I’m relatively new to the area, and that I don’t fully understand the way it works here. Well in my defence, I think this is another one of Richard’s delusions. I go out of my way (sometimes to the irritation of those close to me) to help people within the community, because that is the way it works within an isolated community. Always help your neighbours, because you never know when you’ll need their help.
Most of these people are friends of mine, and not people I just interact with once a week, which is all Mr Plisga can claim. It’s Richard who is out of touch with the area, and for the most part he is simply tolerated by the locals, most of whom would be happy to see the back of him given the amount of grief he’s given the community and those working round the loch over the years.

Now let’s get wired in about the lack of investment and club resources.
There’s been a noticeable decline in investment of club equipment over the past 3 years, so let’s start with the outboard engines. We have 3 engines belonging to the club, with only two being used at the club. The third, a white 5hp mariner had an attempted repair by club members some years ago, but the repair was unsuccessful and the outboard has lain in the engine safe since.
The Chinese engine has to be the worst purchase the club ever made! Whoever thought it would be a good idea to buy this piece of crap and send it out for public hire has clearly lost the plot, but trying to find out who actually commissioned it seems to fall on deaf ears.  This engine is now producing white smoke from the exhaust, a clear sign of impending engine failure, and when the inevitable happens and it does expire, I feel the costs to repair it would outweigh the value, leaving the club with an expensive paper weight.
The silver 4hp mariner has proven to be the most reliable engine the club owns, and should have only required a service at the start of the year. However, due to the actions of one committee member attempting to “repair it” a few months ago, it has never run smoothly since. It will start up, but as soon as you give it any throttle it dies (probably a fuel/air starvation problem).
So now we have no working engines for members or visiting anglers, and at this time of year these engines should be out all weekend and throughout the week generating income for the club, but right now it’s a total loss to the club!
The orange life jackets owned by the club are also suffering from the lack of maintenance, with most of them having one problem or another, making them unfit for hire or use by members.
The ethos of the club these days seems to be one of “make do and mend”, but this approach is unsustainable and has given rise inevitable safety concerns with the equipment we provide.
This is yet another reason I decided to step down as loch keeper, as I was expected to hire this stuff out to the general public, and I’m sure that if the worst happened it would be hung round my neck, while others washed their hands of it.
The planned pier that should have been ready by now seems to be going nowhere, as the digger I was promised by Richard last September never materialize, and until the bay is dredged no work on the pier can commence. This brings me on to the two bags of aggregate and ten bags of cement purchased last year by the club at a cost of £200 for use in constructing the pier. The bags of aggregate have been sitting there for a year and those bags will give way shortly, spilling the contents down the bank, and I don’t expect anyone will be picking it up. As for the ten bags of cement in the boathouse, after using two of them myself I can confirm they are blown and are not fit for purpose (apart from the two replacement bags I put back).
Richard claims that the club has a good bank balance these days, and that is true after seeing the figures for myself at the last AGM. However, having a good bank balance is commendable, but by not investing in the club and slowly running it into the ground, this in my opinion is a clear case of mismanagement and something which should be addressed straight away.
So who’s the crack enforcement team he’s put in place?
The answer to that quest ion is, we don’t really know as Richard has just told the members a few helpful locals (probably the only friends he’s got left) have come forward and will be checking/issuing permits, and that it won’t return to a free-for-all, as it was before Aaron and I sorted it out.
Myself and others in the community have been closely monitoring the situation on the lochs to see how many anglers are fishing without permits, any instances of anti-social behaviour, rubbishing been left, theft/damage and general mayhem. And I can confirm to the membership that all of the above has been happening, and at an alarming rate!
 
Lisa and I arrived back from holiday on Saturday 16th
 July, and as we drove down the loch there was a campervan on the private road to bowerhope with rods out (obviously not members), so we took a drive right down the lochs. At the cafe green, three anglers were sawing down the trees at the back of the James Hogg monument (which I’m sure the estate will appreciate!)
And it just gets worse! I was out last night (Sat 23rd
 July), and after speaking to one member, he confirmed he had counted 12 visiting anglers without permits that day alone.
Further down the loch I bumped into another two members, one of whom told me that he had been robbed earlier that day. It turns out, while the members were fishing in the green lomond, three wee cherubs in a silver corsa (Reg SO52 HNR) ran over to their rods on summerhope, cut the lines and headed off into the sunset with two rods and two reels. Thankfully a passing member of the public witnessed the theft, took the car registration and the theft has been reported to the police, so hopefully the members property can be recovered and these little bastards can be dragged before the courts. The fact is, if Myself and my enforcement team had been on the lochs yesterday (as we have been all day every Saturday) these people would have stood out like a sore thumb to us, and this theft need never have taken place, but it’s been allowed to take place through the mismanagement of Richard Plisga and his yes men!
 
In addition, I’m receiving pictures of rubbish being left by visiting anglers from pissed off riparian owners, who have had to bag the mess up themselves and put it in the bin next to the boathouse.
 
Why are these people having to do this! All that’s going to happen is the club will start losing the rights to fish from their land. And I have it on good authority that local businesses (much of whom we rely on) are going to withdraw their support for the angling club due to the way Richard Plisga conducts his business. I can tell you 100%, that without the continued support of the local community and its business, the club will struggle to function.
But I have no doubt that Mr Plisga will attempt to paint some kind of utopia in his weekly blog, in order to appease the membership.

The club property that I have?
 
Let’s get one thing straight, I have no intension of depriving the club of
 ANY property belonging to it.
The property has been bagged up for weeks and ready to hand over to Les Henderson at the boathouse on a Saturday morning as requested, and the only problem I’m having returning it (other than being on holiday)is that our glorious leader is hanging about the place like a bad smell. There’s no chance I’m risking another confrontation with this man, only to hand him more ammunition that can be used against me in his weekly blog. In addition, my solicitor has advised me not to approach Mr Plisga until the allegations of threats being made to various club officials are concluded.

I also have club accounts pertaining to the membership list and permit books that have to be checked and handed in, also receipts for parts, stamps and stationery etc.
 Upon resigning my position as loch keeper, I requested all permits books that I have handed in to the club to be checked by my accountant and solicitor, but Mr Plisga refused my request, citing that these were club property and would not be handed over for scrutiny.
To date I have not received these books, and I’m unable to work out exactly how much monies either the club owes me, or I’m due them.
Instead what’s happening is Richard Plisga is using his weekly blog to blame me for the delay in bringing this matter to a conclusion, and in addition suggests that “I have something to hide”.
I would like this matter to be drawn to a successful conclusion quickly, and for
 all accounts to be checked independently to avoid confusion.

In conclusion?
There should never have been any need for me to write this letter to the membership if not for the actions of one individual. The last thing that I wanted to do is commence legal action against the club, but due to the continued attacks by Mr Plisga and the effects that this has had on me, my family and my health there is no other option available to me.
At one time I had considered Richard a friend, and even wrote him a personal reference for a position as delivery driverxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx which I believe he was successful in getting, but it goes without saying that I will have to retract my original reference, and furnish them with a more open and honest account of this mans character.
I’m thoroughly disgusted that a so-called friend (or so I thought), could turn out to be such a vile human being.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all the members, locals and friends who have offered me support during this difficult time.
Hope to see you on the bank.

Keith Young.
PS I’ll shortly be emailing you the web address of my new blog “a clear view of the loch”, where you’ll be kept up to speed with ALLthat’s happening round the loch.

Thats his attempt at a statement of case regarding his dismissal ours will appear tomorrow to give you time to digest all he says.

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