Opposition councillors in Aberdeenshire have welcomed the Labour group’s decision to quit the administration’s rainbow coalition.
The Democratic Independent Green Group (Digg) said last night they were unsurprised that the group had decided to join the ranks in the opposition benches.
On Monday, Labour councillors Alison Evison and Raymond Christie announced they had left the “uncaring” Tory-led administration.
Group leader Mrs Evison said: “We are no longer able to deliver our agenda of social justice and equality within an alliance following a Tory agenda. It is more important than ever to focus on the needs of people and communities across Aberdeenshire.”
The move means the council chambers is now split 35-33, with the administration – made up of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and 11 Independents – having the slim majority.
And last night East Garioch councillor Martin Ford said he was confident Mrs Evison and Mr Christie would find a “common ground” with the opposition – which is made up of the SNP, Independents and one Green.
He said: “The Democratic Independent and Green councillors look forward to working more closely with the Labour group in future in the interests of Aberdeenshire residents and delivering the best possible council services.
“A coalition including both Labour and Conservatives, as has existed in Aberdeenshire for the last couple of years, was always an unlikely grouping.
“I’m not surprised it hasn’t lasted. I’m sure the Labour councillors will find more common ground with us and the SNP group than they did with their former colleagues.”
Fellow Digg member Paul Johnston added: “A more finely balanced council offers opportunities for better scrutiny of decisions and accountability. Change is needed, and this looks like a start.”