Zoo staff ‘banned’ from crisis meeting


By Kirsty Topping

Staff at Edinburgh Zoo have been told they cannot attend a crisis meeting

STAFF at a crisis-hit Scottish zoo have been forbidden to attend a meeting to discuss the suspension of two senior directors and the sacking of another.

Employees at Edinburgh Zoo have been told they cannot attend the meeting because they are

“non-paying members’ of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

Angry staff claim they have been left

“more or less in the dark since the suspension of director of animals Iain Valentine, who was ins

trumental in securing an agreement to bring Giant Pandas to the Zoo, and the dismissal of the director of development Anthony McReavy.

Talks are due to take place on May 12, but only 250 out of 23,000 members are permitted to attend due to limited space at the attraction.

One zoo insider said morale was at an “all-time low “

The source said: “Frankly, people

don’t have much of a clue what’s going on and staff were discouraged from going to the crisis meeting. But we have more of a right than most people to know what’s going t happen “

“You have to wonder if bosses will cherry-pick who can attend this meeting. They’ll certainly have their pick of keen members and they aren’t going to want any difficult questions.

“I’ve not been told of any similar meetings so that we [staff] can air our views and ask the questions all the staff really want to ask.

“We might not be paying members, but we’ve more than earned the right to know what’s going on. “

Another zoo source added that staff has expected Mr Wilson, who was suspended due to accusations of financial irregularities, to have returned by now. The person said:

“We thought he’d return a few weeks ago. If Iain Valentine doesn’t come back people will be really upset. “

A Zoo spokeswoman said that as

“non-paying members’ staff could not attend the meeting but that there would be another chance to hold a meeting.

She said:

“RZSS staff will have a separate opportunity to hear the same information that will be covered in the EGM and the chance to raise any concerns.

“We recognize that both members and staff will require separate forums as they are affected differently by recent events.

The zoo spokeswoman said the search for a new chief executive was ongoing.