In response to criticism from Lothian Racing Syndicate councillor John Caldwell, chairman of Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee, issued the following response.
He said: “I am not surprised at these latest claims, as LRS members have a record of challenging decisions taken by the MJRC, which they do not support, in particular blaming the chairman. Mr Prideaux considers the councillor members of the MJRC stifle discussion and debate. Elected members attend many committees and other meetings and are well aware of their responsibilities and duties and in the case of the MJRC will always seek the best for the racecourse.
“In recent years LRS reported the councillor members of MJRC to the Ethical Standards Commissioner, who concluded, after a three-month investigation, that there were no breaches of the Councillor Code of Conduct. In addition, I was advised last December that they also reported me as chairman to the Ethical Standards Commissioner but as I have heard nothing further, more than four months on, I presume this too has been rejected.
“It’s unfortunate that the LRS prefer to use the media to articulate any concerns rather than attend the appropriate forum of MJRC meetings, which has led to a lack of governance. It is indeed the case that MRC currently has a temporary racing licence until June but this is as a direct consequence of Mr Prideaux contacting the BHA to detail a lack of governance. He and his LRS colleagues should be making every effort to attend MJRC meetings.
“I am also disappointed with Mr Prideaux’s view that under my chairmanship there have been problems with the racecourse. He in fact personally wrote to me in October 2009 stating that ‘LRS were more than satisfied with your performance as chairman’.
“In addition at the start of this term he wrote to me again, where I have received further compliments from Mr Prideaux regarding my chairing of MJRC meetings.
“Mr Prideaux considers his intemperate intervention to be ‘a last-ditch effort to protect the racecourse’. I, however, believe that there is no concern on the future of the racecourse and that we continue to share a commitment to develop the fabulous asset to the county that is the Musselburgh Racecourse and I look forward to further constructive dialogue in MRJC meetings.”