A row broke out over the baton tour of the Western Isles after the relay diverted away from a number of communities for a last minute flying visit to St Kilda yesterday.
It meant that the communities of North Uist, Berneray and South Harris missed out on the baton tour.
The move was branded “crazy” and an ill thought out publicity stunt by dismayed Uist councillor Donnie Steele.
Mr Steele said: “This is detrimental to the communities of North Uist, Berneray and South Harris, who miss out on their opportunity to be part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations.
“Other island communities such as Barra, Eriskay and South Uist hugely enjoyed the baton tour.”
He added that the “decision to miss some populated islands in the Western Isles goes against the ethos of the games and the well-publicised visit.”
Mr Steele added: “I hope the puffins, fulmars and Soay sheep enjoy their visit and are as enthusiastic in their support as the children of our islands who yet again, not considered worthy by a faceless decision maker who doesn’t know what it means to live on an island and the joy such visits give.”
The baton – carried by Colin Macleod of Lewis – flew on a round-80 mile helicopter flight to St Kilda from Benbecula in an attempt to capture TV audiences and boot the iconic islands’ profile to an global tourist audience.
In a response to Mr Steele, Western Isles Council said: “We need to show a bit of vision. Its about promoting the Western Isles to the world.”
Broadcast coverage beamed globally of the visit to the double world heritage site of St Kilda is “a fantastic opportunity to show” the Hebrides to an international market, said a council spokesman.
He pointed out that other island districts also missed out on the route due to logistics and time difficulties but residents did not have far to travel to participate in any of the six baton relays and associated celebration events taking place across the Western Isles.
Greeting the baton on St Kilda was council convenor Norman Macdonald who travelled out on the authority’s expense by speedboat. Only the cost of fuel was being charged, insisted a spokesman.
Nairn Provost Laurie Fraser said it was “bizarre” that St Kilda was included in the relay when one of the most populous towns in the north of Scotland was not.
To the amazement of most people in Nairn, their town has been bypassed by the procession.
Cllr Fraser said: “It is a bit unusual to go all the way out there when they could have included three or four more towns in Scotland.”