The ruling group on Angus Council has been branded a “cabal” involved in antics akin to an episode of political television satire Yes Minister in the escalating row over the authority’s change of leadership.
SNP opposition group leader Lynne Devine will put a formal motion to Thursday’s meeting of the full council in Forfar demanding swift action to replace deposed administration leader Bob Myles after he was felled by a no-confidence vote from within the coalition ranks.
Arbroath Independent David Fairweather is the front runner to succeed Brechin and Edzell Independent Mr Myles – who survived another recent coup attempt before being axed – but is not due to take up the top spot until later this summer.
The outgoing leader has, however, said it was always the intention to review the administration leadership after its first year in office and has dismissed the controversy surrounding his departure as “fake news”.
Forfar councillor Ms Devine has now delivered a blistering attack on the way the rainbow group is handling the running of the authority at what she believes is a crucial time for the under-pressure authority.
“This is game-playing of the first order – like something out of Yes Minister,” said the opposition group leader, likening the current situation to the 1980s television satirical sitcom.
“The Angus administration has had no contact with the opposition, leaving everyone in the dark – maybe even some of their own people – and it’s certainly not the way to run a council which is experiencing serious financial times. This is not a game.”
Ms Devine continued: “If indeed it has been decided by the cabal within the administration that Councillor Fairweather is to take over as leader, why is this not happening at the appropriate time, which is at the council meeting this Thursday?
“We have put forward a motion to this effect since we had no idea what they were going to do, which is ridiculous.
“If it’s possible for a Home Secretary in the Westminster government to be replaced within 12 hours, it’s surely not beyond the Angus administration to replace their leader a bit quicker than in three months.
“There are important decisions to be taken and so far they’ve avoided most of the difficult ones.
“It’s time for a new leader to get this administration working together, to have a clear view of what they want and to let us all have some clarity on the way forward – councillors, staff and the public.
“I have grave doubts whether that is possible, but in any case it should be happening now and not two, three or four months down the line.”