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Aberdeen councillor banned from voting on planning decisions after breaching code of conduct

Councillor Bill Cormie in Westburn Park
Councillor Bill Cormie in Westburn Park

A veteran city councillor will be unable to vote in key planning decisions after he breached his code of conduct.

Midstocket and Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie has been banned from taking part in planning decisions for four months after he publicly opposed a licensing application before it was discussed by committee.

The Standards Commission for Scotland’s decision followed a hearing at the Town House yesterday where they determined that Mr Cormie had breached the councillors’ code of conduct.

Mr Cormie had been called before the panel after he was referred to the Commissioner for Standards in Ethical Life by finance convener Willie Young.

The SNP councillor publicly opposed a licensing application for a house of multiple occupation on the city’s Rosebery Street, in advance of a meeting where he voted against it.

Standards chiefs found that he had breached section seven of the code which relates to taking decisions on quasi-judicial or regulatory applications.

The panel chairman banned Mr Cormie from voting on quasi-judicial committees, of which he is only a member of planning.

Last night, a spokesman for the Labour group said he had brought the authority into “disrepute”.

A spokesman said: “The public has a high expectation of councillors and the way in which they should conduct themselves in undertaking their duties in the council. It is obvious from the evidence that Councillor Cormie ignored the advice of the monitoring officer and in doing so brought himself his colleagues and the Aberdeen City Council into disrepute with the people we serve.”

Mr Cormie was unavailable for comment last night but SNP deputy leader Graham Dickson reiterated the group’s previous claim that Mr Young was motivated by revenge after the Labour group was itself reported for potentially colluding on the vote to approve Marischal Square.

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