>> 17 February 2013
The SNP has questioned the stability of the Tory-led Administration in Aberdeenshire Council after it emerged that an Independent member of the grouping voted against their own budget on Thursday.
Fraserburgh Independent councillor Michael Watt voted against the Tory-led budget and support the SNP budget in Thursday’s crucial vote. Significantly, no Independent member of the ‘Aberdeenshire Alliance’ spoke to support the Administration budget during Thursday’s debate.
This latest blow comes just weeks after another Fraserburgh Independent councillor, Ian Tait, walked out of the Administration stating he was no longer able to support it.
Commenting, Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stuart Pratt said:
“The desperation of the Liberals and Tories to keep the SNP out of administration, despite our winning the election with more seats than those two parties combined, meant that they had to cobble together a grand coalition of disparate interests. That started to unravel with November’s resignation and now it seems they can’t convince their own members to vote for their budget.
“The fact that none of the Independent councillors stood up on Thursday to speak in support of the Alliance budget perhaps points to much deeper problems for the Tory-led administration and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more resignations in the coming months.”
Extract from the Official Voting Record shows the following - Vote 2 - between the Alliance motion and the SNP amendment:
for the motion (37)
Councillors Agnew, Argyle, Bellarby, A Buchan, Carr, Chapman, Christie, K Clark, Cowling, Cullinane, Davidson, J Duncan, Evison, Farquhar, Findlater, Gardiner, Gifford, Howatson, Ingleby, Kitts-Hayes, Latham, Lonchay, Malone, McKail, Mollison, Nelson, Norrie, Oddie, Owen, Robertson, Ross, Roy, N Smith, D Stewart, Tait, Walker and Webster.
for the amendment (29)
Councillors Aitchison, A J Allan, A M Allan, Bews, Blackett, C Buchan, G Clark, L Clark, Cox, Dick, S Duncan, Grant, Gray, Hendry, Hood, Ingram, McRae, Merson, Partridge, Pirie, Pratt, Shand, S Smith, Strathdee, B Stuart, Thomson, Topping, Vernal and Watt.
declined to vote (2)
Councillors Ford and Johnston.