Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Independent candidate hits back at tax debt rumours

Green candidate Elspeth MacLachlan
Green candidate Elspeth MacLachlan

A former SNP councillor who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming local election has hit back at “silly” rumours suggesting she broke strict rules by attending budget talks while she was behind on her council tax payments.

Elspeth MacLachlan, who announced she had resigned from the SNP in March, said political opponents had been spreading malicious gossip about her.

The 59-year-old, who is standing in the Perth City North ward, insists the claims were untrue and unfounded. “The rumour is that I had illegally attended a budget meeting, while behind with my council tax,” she said.

“This is very silly, as if i had been behind in my council tax, I would have been publicly asked to leave. Every councillor present at the budget meeting was aware of that fact.”

She said: “I have in my possession a letter stating that by the date of the budget, I was not only up-to-date, but had paid a month in advance.

“I really think that in an age when many people struggle to heat their homes, sanctions exist, people are losing their mobility cars, and visits to foodbanks are on the increase, people should have better things to do with their time.”

Ms MacLachlan declined to name the party involved, but said she had been told by three separate voters that one canvasser had been spreading gossip about her.

A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council confirmed that all councillors who voted at this year’s budget in February were entitled to do so.

All councillors’ tax payments are checked in advance of local authority meetings.

It would be a breach of the councillors’ code of conduct if any member got formally involved in budget matters, while he or she was behind in council tax payments.

The guidelines state: “The law makes specific provision that if a councillor is in two months’ arrears with payment of council tax that councillor may not participate in certain decisions concerning council tax issues, in order to preserve public confidence that councillors are taking decisions in the general public interest.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in