Angus councillors are heading for a committee shake-up forced by the fallout from social media scandals which engulfed two top figures in quick succession earlier this summer.
It comes alongside confirmation Arbroath councillor Derek Wann is to face a Tory party disciplinary hearing within weeks after he was unmasked as Twitter troll Lady Whistledown.
And Police Scotland say inquiries are continuing into an anonymous Facebook account which Forfar Conservative Braden Davy used to encourage tactical voting in his May Scottish election campaign.
Both were high profile members of the coalition Angus administration.
Mr Wann resigned as children and learning convener and stepped down from that committee.
But the businessman resisted calls to resign from the ruling group and remains a member of the under-pressure administration.
His behaviour saw him come under fire after previously promoting initiatives countering online bullying such as the council’s Think Before You Type campaign.
Mr Davy, who was the council’s economic development spokesman, resigned from the Conservative/Independent coalition.
It leaves the 28-member authority split 14-14 in the chamber.
On Thursday, the first full council meeting since the scandals broke will consider changes aimed at keeping political balance on key decision-making committees.
Council rules dictate committee make-up must reflect the political composition of the authority.
The Wann/Davy debacle has created issues around the Administration/SNP/Non-aligned make-up of its committees.
Officials say the problems could be solved by reducing or increasing committee numbers by one.
Against a background of claims of an “unhealthy culture” at the top of the ruling group which previously led to two councillors departing the administration, it seems certain Thursday’s debate will involve further detailed scrutiny of the council’s political leadership.
Montrose Conservative Ron Sturrock and Forfar Independent Colin Brown are being put forward as the administration nominees for convener and vice-convener of children and learning.
Mr Wann also resigned from other roles including the Angus Alive board of directors and Arbroath Golf Links and replacements for those bodies will have to be found.
Meanwhile, Tory party officials say a disciplinary committee will consider Mr Wann’s conduct within days.
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “The disciplinary committee will be convening the latter half of September to consider a complaint from the party’s management board against Cllr Wann.”
One community leader targeted by Lady Whistledown says she angry and disappointed not to have received an apology from the shamed councillor.
Brechin community council chairman Jill Scott said: “Derek Wann’s intention was to hurt.”
In one tweet around sharing Angus cycling routes, Mr Wann responded to the community council chair by saying: “Would anyone want to cycle through Brechin?”
Mrs Scott added: “I and others were watching that account and over the months it became apparent it was an Angus councillor and he was our main suspect.
“Many residents of Brechin are extremely upset that a senior councillor, with a position of power and involved in decision-making, targeted Brechin in such a negative way.
“They are left with little doubt that this is the reason Brechin has been left behind in council funding and ambition. This episode has done nothing positive for the Conservatives in Brechin.
“I have yet to receive any sort of apology directly from Derek Wann.”
Mr Wann’s only comment on his conduct came following his admission of guilt in late June.
He issued a statement saying: “I apologise sincerely for how I have handled this matter. My actions were unacceptable.”
It also remains to be seen whether Mr Davy will face police action over the Angus Against the SNP Facebook page he confessed to running.
The Scottish Government introduced new rules at May’s Holyrood election that mean all digital election campaign material in Scotland – paid or unpaid – must carry an “imprint” stating who is promoting it and who they are promoting it for.
When the campaign material is being used to promote a candidate, rather than a party or campaigner, the responsibility for enforcing the rules falls to Police Scotland, rather than the Electoral Commission.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm officers have been asked to consider the circumstances relating to online activity on a social media account.
“This is ongoing and at an early stage.”
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