A political maelstrom is looming over Angus Council’s handling of Storm Babet which wreaked havoc across the county.
Opposition councillors have lodged a motion of no confidence in council leader Beth Whiteside and her SNP administration.
And they want Brechin to be declared an Environmental Climate Vulnerable Area.
Opposition group leader Derek Wann also brands Scottish Government payments to Brechin residents and businesses as “derisory”.
He wants an urgent action plan developed to give locals confidence they have not been “forgotten or abandoned”.
Brechin was the worst hit part of Angus in the October disaster.
Hundreds of people had to be rescued by boat after the River South Esk burst its banks in the early hours of October 20.
But Councillor Whiteside has condemned the motion.
She has accused opposition councillors of being “more concerned with political grandstanding than pulling together” to help devastated communities recover.
Conservatives Derek Wann, Craig Fotheringham, Ross Greig and Gavin Nicol, as well as Independents David Fairweather, Tommy Stewart and Ian McLaren called for the special council meeting.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday afternoon.
Motion to special council meeting
The motion states:
1. Angus Councillors request that the Chief Executive write to the Scottish Government and ask that they declare Brechin an Environmental Climate Vulnerable Area.
2. That the Scottish Government re-evaluate the derisory payments to residents and
businesses with payments that reimburse them for belongings and equipment for lost
income and wellbeing.
3. The Scottish Government bring forward an Action Plan as a matter of urgency, including funding that will give assurance to residents and business they have not been forgotten or abandoned.
4. A vote of no confidence is taken on the Leader of Angus Council, the SNP/Coalition
administration, and the Scottish Government that their handling of this disaster has been well short of expectations for the people of Brechin and Angus.
Cllr Whiteside responded: “In the midst of the extensive work being undertaken across Angus in the aftermath of Storm Babet, it is disappointing to note that the leader of the opposition is more concerned with political grandstanding than in pulling together to assist the recovery effort in our communities.
“In criticising myself and my administration, they are effectively attacking the actions of the council, which has provided such an outstanding response to the emergency.
“I’d like to personally thank everyone involved in what has been a traumatic and difficult experience and to express my sympathy to everyone affected.
“Myself, my administration and the majority of elected members will continue to focus on supporting the council officers to help rebuild our communities, assisting individuals and businesses affected by the flooding with practical, financial and psychological help.
“We will work collaboratively with the Scottish Government through the Ministerial taskforce, which has been established in recognition of the scale of the emergency and which will remain in place as we implement the short, medium and long term plans that will be necessary to help Angus recover.”
Storm Babet aftermath
First Minister Humza Yousaf was shocked at the scale of Brechin devastation after visiting the Angus town following the storm which forced hundreds of people from their homes.
But a government taskforce set up to help communities badly-hit by Storm Babet did not meet for weeks.
Earlier this month the Scottish Government announced families in the worst affected areas would receive grants of up to £1,500 to replace their belongings, with businesses able to receive up to £3,000.
The grants will be administered by local councils.
Angus is facing a colossal damage bill.
It includes restoring Brechin’s £16m flood defences which the River South Esk swept away and repairing badly damaged bridges.
The authority is also considering buying private properties in Brechin to re-house around 15 people who lost their council homes to the floodwaters.