SNP slam Tories over ‘shoddy deal’
A row has erupted over the political make-up of Perth and Kinross Council committees.
Following the recent election of two elected members to PKC the allocation of seats on committees was raised at last week’s meeting of the full council (December 16).
But SNP councillors asked to record their dissent and the SNP’s deputy leader said a “shoddy deal” had been struck between the Conservatives and their “allies.”
Following the vote at Wednesday’s virtual meeting, councillors agreed to fully discuss the matter at the council’s governance member officer working group.
The changes to committees come following the two recent by-elections on November 26, 2020.
Lib Dem councillor Liz Barrett was elected to represent Perth City South following the death of SNP councillor Bob Band.
And SNP councillor Ian Massie was elected to replace the SNP’s Dave Doogan following Mr Doogan being elected as SNP MP for Angus in December 2019.
The SNP group believes the proposals voted through by Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors were “driven through by those who benefit most from the allocations”.
The SNP group claims the allocation of seats puts the party and the council’s Independent/Labour group at a “disadvantage.”
An SNP spokesperson said: “The allocations give Conservatives seven per cent more representation per councillor on committees and the SNP 10 per cent less.
“A relative disadvantage of 16 per cent - a disadvantage which also affects the Independent/Labour group but somehow escaped other ‘opposition’ groups - Liberal Democrats and the removed Conservatives.”
The removed Conservatives are the two Conservative councillors - Callum Purves and Colin Stewart who were last year ousted from the council group.
Speaking after Wednesday’s meeting deputy SNP group leader
Perth City Centre councillor Andrew Parrott said: “The SNP group is left dismayed by the shoddy deal done by the Conservative administration and their allies to maximise their representation on committees in the council.
“Today council rejected a way of fairly allocating committee positions in favour of one that gives more weight to the administration than is due.
“This move is not in keeping with what we understand to be the regulations that govern the proper allocation of committee places and we will not be letting this matter rest.”
SNP Perth City South councillor Sheila McCole added: “Despite no longer being formally part of the administration, it is clear that the loyalties of the ‘other’ Tory group and the Liberal Democrats remain with this Tory-led administration.
“They would rather promote a democratic deficit than see fair representation across the council. They should be ashamed of themselves.”
Perth and Kinross Conservative council leader Murray Lyle told the PA the method of allocating seats on committees followed a “timehonoured way of doing it.”
Cllr Lyle said he was happy to review it and if councillors felt there was “a more appropriate way” then they would take it back to full council.