Political divisions in the new Angus Council have peaked in a row over representation on the board of the Cairngorms National Park.
With the park boundary stretching into Angus the local authority has a requirement to provide one board member.
After a vote, Forfar independent councillor Ian McLaren was selected as the council’s nominee for the post which pays £7,394 a year.
However, it was only after rejection of an SNP councillor for the role and criticism that Mr McLaren’s ward did not include the park in its boundary.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority Board has an obligation for a fifth of its members to be residents within the park.
However, the board has sufficient local members so the Angus Council nominee does not have to be from within the area.
Angus Council has traditionally proposed a nominee from either the Kirriemuir and Dean or the Brechin and Edzell ward to take up its position on the board, which sets long term objectives and priorities for work within the park.
When the nomination, which must be approved by the Scottish Government, was questioned by SNP leader Lynne Devine, council leader Bob Myles said: “The guidance on behalf of the Cairngorm National Park Authority is that it should be a person with knowledge of the area.
“It’s possible there would be a small questionnaire or test for them. We will put this nomination to the Scottish Government.
“Councillor McLaren has knowledge of most of the Cairngorms area although he doesn’t actually stay in the ward that contains it.”
Ms Devine proposed Brechin and Edzell councillor Kenny Braes for the post but was defeated by 18 votes to nine.
She said: “Councillor Braes is a working farmer. He is very well aware of forestry and farming conditions and knows the area very well.”
Kirriemuir and Dean councillor Jeanette Gaul, who lost her seat at the local elections earlier this month, was the council’s most recent representative.
The board meets four times per year and consists of 19 members – seven appointed by Scottish Ministers, five local members and seven members from the five councils in the Caingorms National Park area – Highland, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus and Perth & Kinross.
A spokesperson for Cairngorms National Park Authority said the council’s nominee should have “knowledge or experience” relevant to the functions of a national park.
She added: “Within the legislation we need to have a certain number of people on the board (20%) that are local members (resident within the park).
“We already have that with directly elected and some ministerial appointments to the board so it is irrelevant to the council’s nominations process this time.”
Members are currently paid a day rate of £205.38 a day for three days per month.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We will shortly be writing to all relevant authorities, including Angus Council, to invite them to make their nominations. Ministers will then formally appoint nominations to serve on the park boards.”