SNP Slam Decision to Relegate Police and Fire Service Scrutiny to a Mere Agenda Item

>> 15 November 2012

SNP councillors in Aberdeenshire have condemned the decision at today’s meeting of the council’s Policy & Resources Committee to deal with police and fire service scrutiny issues as part of that committee’s normal business agenda.

The SNP Group had proposed that the opportunity of reform be used to create a new, over-arching ‘Blue Light’ Committee dealing with police and fire service issues as well as bringing emergency planning and community safety under the same umbrella.  This was voted down by the Administration but will now go to the Full Council for decision after the SNP forced a referral under the council’s Standing Orders which allows this provided at least one third of those present back the move.

Commenting, Shadow Leader of the Council Hamish Vernal said:

“The Policy and Resources Committee already has a full agenda.  Notwithstanding the obvious geographical imbalance in the committee, we have serious concerns about the ability of the committee to provide effective scrutiny and oversight of services given its current workload.

“I am very disappointed that the Tory-led administration in Aberdeenshire voted to effectively start the new scrutiny and governance arrangements by relegating police and fire to a mere agenda item in an already busy committee.

“The Tories, Liberals and Independents united to defeat a perfectly sensible and reasonable proposal from the SNP that a new committee be set up to deal not only with police and fire service scrutiny, but also deal with emergency planning and community safety issues.  However, the SNP Group managed to get this referred to the Full Council and we will now argue our case there and seek the support of others.”

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