A trio of independents on the ruling Aberdeen City Council administration have been invited to talks with opposition members about taking back decision-making powers from unelected officials.
Councillors Jennifer Stewart and John Reynolds, of the Independent Alliance, spoke out on Wednesday about the delegation of power to council officers over the coronavirus-prompted roads overhaul in the city.
Depute provost Mrs Stewart claimed they wielded “too much power” while she felt “powerless” to affect change, while Mr Reynolds said the time had come to “get a grip” of the £1.76 million Spaces For People project.
The aim is to create room for safe distancing for pedestrians, cyclists and shoppers.
The administration pair, and alliance leader Marie Boulton, have now been approached by SNP group leader Alex Nicoll to discuss ways of increasing scrutiny by elected members.
In an open letter, Mr Nicoll wrote: “While I cannot recall an occasion when your Independent Alliance has not voted in support of the administration, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you all to discuss any proposals you have to increase elected member participation in the democratic decision-making process of Aberdeen City Council with a view to putting forward any changes you support to the December full council meeting.”
Alliance leader Marie Boulton could not be reached last night but Mr Reynolds said he was happy to talk to anyone willing to listen.
He added: “I’m happy to share ideas with all the groups but I am firmly a member of the administration, and my colleagues will have to accept my thoughts.”