Council on brink of new administration

Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.
Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.

A special meeting of Aberdeenshire Council has been called when a new SNP-led administration could be installed.

Opposition councillors requested the meeting which will be held on Monday, June 8, at the council’s Woodhill House headquarters.

A vote will take place to replace the provost, deputy provost and consider appointments to the various committees.

The meeting is also expected to elect a new leader.

The move comes after the ruling alliance lost four members, leaving it in the minority.

An agreement was reached last week paving the way for a new administration when the 28-strong SNP group and the newly-formed Progressive Alliance held talks with the Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG) of Martin Ford and Paul Johnston, who promised support on a confidence and supply basis.

Meanwhile, DIGG have stressed that amid the upheaval, the goal must be for better council policies and services.

The agreed policies – on improved governance, support for communities and protecting the environment – will see the DIGG councillors remain a separate group on the council, but one that will support a new administration in key votes, giving the authority stability.

Councillor Ford, who represents East Garioch, said: “Apart from the need to give stability to the council, what really matters is the policies the council has, the services it delivers.

“There’s not a lot of point in changing the individuals heading the council if everything else stays the same.

“I’m much more interested in the council having the right policies than I am in which councillor chairs the meeting. So our agreement with the potential new Aberdeenshire administration focuses on what the council does. That is, in the end, what is important.

“The agreement we have reached absolutely commits a new administration to co-operating with us to change some council priorities and ways of working. If that administration is elected to office, Aberdeenshire residents will see changes because of the agreement the Democratic Independent and Green Group has negotiated.”

Monday’s special council meeting will be at 10.15am.