SNP Bid To Move Decision-Making On School Closures To Full Council Blocked by Lib Dems & Tories

>> 4 July 2011

An attempt by Aberdeenshire Council’s SNP Group to move the final say on any school closures to the Full Council was defeated after the council’s ruling Liberal/Conservative coalition combined to block the proposal.

Currently, the final decision on school closures – such as the recent decision to close Logie Coldstone School – rests with the council’s Policy & Resources Committee, which comprises only 14 councillors.

SNP councillors were seeking to have any future decisions on school closures made by the Full Council, which would ensure that all Aberdeenshire councillors are able to have their say. The move was defeated by 30 votes to 25.

Commenting, SNP Group Leader Cllr Joanna Strathdee said:

“When decisions have to be made on such important and emotive issues as potential school closures, we feel it is important that the Full Council has the final say. All elected members of the council should have the opportunity to express a view and be involved in the decision-making process.

“Currently, that rests with the Policy & Resources Committee, which has only 14 members. The Education, Leisure & Learning Committee also has only 14 councillors on it so it is sensible to have the Full Council decide such matters.

“I’m disappointed that the council’s ruling Liberal Democrat/Tory coalition didn’t see fit to support this common-sense proposal, which would have increased local democracy.”

Note: The result of the vote was as follows:

FOR the proposition Cllr Strathdee’s amendment (25): Councillors Amanda J Allan, Anne M Allan, Bews, G J Clark, L Clark, Coull, Cox, Cullen, Dick, A C Duncan, Ford, Grant, Gray, Hendry, Hood, Howie, Johnston, S Mair, Merson, N J Smith, S W Smith, Strathdee, Stronach, Stuart and Topping.

AGAINST the proposition Cllr Stroud’s amendment (30): Councillors Agnew, Argyle, Bellarby, Bruce, Carr, Chapman, K L Clark, Cullinane, Davidson, Fleming, Gifford, Howatson, Humphrey, Ingleby, Kitts-Hayes, Lonchay, Loveday, J A Mair, McKail, Melling, Mollison, Nelson, Owen, Raeburn, Robertson, Ross, Saluja, Stroud, Thomas and Webster.

ABSTAINING on the proposition (2): Councillors Norrie and Watt.

Cllr Stroud’s amendment was carried.

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