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SNP poised to assume control of Aberdeenshire Council

SNP poised to assume control of Aberdeenshire Council

The SNP is set to take control of Aberdeenshire Council at a special meeting on June 8.

The meeting follows a request by 17 elected members and it will consider changing the leader of the administration and replacing the current provost and deputy provost.

The council had been ruled by the Aberdeenshire Alliance of Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and Independent councillors.

However, a number of members quit the Alliance this month, causing a power shift that has left the SNP which is the largest political group with 28 councillors poised to take control.

Labour’s two councillors, Alison Evison and Raymond Christie, left the Alliance claiming they couldn’t be associated with the “uncaring attitudes” of a Tory-led administration.

Independent councillors Martin Kitts-Hayes and Sheena Lonchay quit the Alliance shortly thereafter.

It emerged earlier this week that the two members of the Independent and Green Group, Martin Ford and Paul Johnston, had agreed a “supply and confidence” deal with SNP leader Hamish Vernal.

This would give the SNP-led group 34 votes to the current administration’s 33.

Mr Vernal said: “We’re delighted that after some intensive negotiations over the past few days, we have been able to reach an agreement with the Democratic Independent Group.”

Current council leader Jim Gifford yesterday acknowledged the SNP group appeared to have the votes required to take control.

He said: “On the basis of the arithmetic today, it would seem that the SNP and the other opposition groups may be able to take control of the administration of the council at the special meeting.

“It is important to stress that this is not the result of anything SNP councillors have done themselves, but is simply a consequence of four former members of the Aberdeenshire Alliance transferring their allegiance to the SNP.

“We remain very proud of what we have achieved since 2012.

“Our joint manifesto is being delivered efficiently and effectively.

“The reputation of this council across Scotland and beyond is high.”

The special meeting will also consider the make-up of the council’s committees and what members represent the council on external bodies.

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