A Perthshire Tory has hit back at SNP claims Perth and Kinross Council will have a political imbalance, at least temporarily.
The council’s SNP group recorded its dissent at a full council meeting at which an amendment to the make up of committees was outvoted.
A vote was triggered following the election of two new councillors last month at a twin by-election held across Perth.
It was agreed by all sides the allocations should be closely examined at the council’s governance member officer working group (MOWG), before a recommendation for a permanent solution is decided upon. However, the manner of dealing with it in the interim prompted division across the chamber.
SNP councillor Andrew Parrott said the temporary committee line-ups see them missing out on fair representation but a Conservative said their representation was due to fall because they lost a seat in the election.
Both seats were being defended by the SNP but one, in Perth City South, was won by Liberal Democrat Liz Barrett.
Mr Parrott described the move as “shoddy” and “not in keeping with what [they] understand to be the regulations.”
However, Carse of Gowrie representative Angus Forbes refuted the SNP’s claims that the shift “gives more weight to the administration than is due.”
He said: “I was very surprised to see Councillor Parrott complain about the process. This is exactly the same process that has been used for years, including the period they were in administration. I don’t recall them complaining about it then.
“The SNP need to remember that they lost a seat at the last election, because of that their representation will reduce, not increase. They may not like that but it’s democracy fair and square.
“The leader of the council very generously offered to have this looked at by a working group and report back quickly to a future council meeting.
“It’s my view that the current system has worked well for years and I see no need to change it but I am happy to have it looked at again but the simple principal of democracy must prevail as it has done for a very long time.”