SNP stal­wart quits with ‘heavy heart’

Cllr Wat­son re­signs from Group and as SLLC chair

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ni­cola Find­lay

An East Kil­bride coun­cil­lor has re­signed from the SNP Group in South La­nark­shire after nearly 40 years as a party mem­ber.

SNP stal­wart David Wat­son – who rep­re­sents East Kil­bride West – has also quit the board of South La­nark­shire Leisure and Cul­ture (SLLC) of which he was chair.

It fol­lows an in­ter­nal dis­pute be­tween Coun­cil­lor Wat­son and South La­nark­shire Coun­cil of­fi­cials, as well as SNP Group of­fice bear­ers, on how an SLLC em­ployee griev­ance should be dealt with legally.

Coun­cil­lor Wat­son – who has been a coun­cil­lor in South La­nark­shire for 26 years – re­ceived in­de­pen­dent le­gal ad­vice on the mat­ter as SLLC chair and in­sists that this is a re­quire­ment un­der Char­i­ties and Com­pany Law.

Coun­cil­lor Wat­son will now be an in­de­pen­dent on the coun­cil and told the News that he took the de­ci­sion with a “heavy heart”.

How­ever, he felt that he had no other op­tion but to walk away.

“I deeply re­gret that I have been forced into this sit­u­a­tion after all my years as an SNP mem­ber and coun­cil­lor but I feel that I had no other op­tion to de­fend my in­tegrity,” he said.

“Through­out my po­lit­i­cal ca­reer I have al­ways tried to do what is right and have taken this de­ci­sion with a heavy heart but felt I was be­ing left with no other op­tion.

“It is with the deep­est re­gret that I have ten­dered my res­ig­na­tion from the South La­nark­shire Coun­cil SNP Group.

“This de­ci­sion bears no re­flec­tion on lo­cal SNP col­leagues, other coun­cil­lors and staff at South La­nark­shire Leisure and Cul­ture.

“I would like to thank both coun­cil col­leagues and staff at SLLC for their mes­sages of sup­port.”

A coun­cil spokesman said: “We can con­firm that at their meeting last Fri­day the SLLC board was ad­vised of two changes in coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tion, with Coun­cil­lor Gerry Con­very (East Kil­bride Cen­tral South) and Coun­cil­lor Peter Craig (Larkhall) join­ing the board.

“The third coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Coun­cil­lor Lynne Nailon (Hamil­ton South), re­mains a board mem­ber.

“The board agreed that Coun­cil­lor Craig would take up the role of in­terim chair and it will be for the board to de­cide longer term ar­range­ments at a fu­ture meeting.”

Coun­cil leader John Ross said: “David Wat­son for­mally re­signed as SLLC chair last week.

“I re­gret that he also chose to re­sign from the SNP Group as we did as­sure him that his work over the years was val­ued and that he still had a role to play as a mem­ber of the group.”

I deeply re­gret I have been forced into this sit­u­a­tion after all my years as an SNP mem­ber and coun­cil­lor but feel I had no other op­tion to de­fend my in­tegrity Cllr David Wat­son

Res­ig­na­tion East Kil­bride West coun­cil­lor David Wat­son has re­signed from South La­nark­shire SNP Group and leisure and cul­ture role

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