The SNP are poised to take over Moray Council on Wednesday, after a Conservative coalition meeting failed to attract any support from opposition councillors.
Meant as a “last-ditch” attempt to form a coalition administration and keep the SNP from taking over, Tory group leader Tim Eagle sent out an email inviting anyone interested in forming an alliance to a meeting today.
However, these calls were rejected by his former independent colleagues and the Moray Alliance Group, formed of sole Labour Councillor John Divers and independents Ryan Edwards, Walter Wilson and Derek Ross, leaving the path clear for a minority SNP administration to take charge from Wednesday.
This has cleared the path for a minority SNP group to seize control of the council, with a meeting on Wednesday set to take place.
Both the Tory party and the council administration have released statements indicating the inevitability of the SNP taking charge.
Conservative group leader Tim Eagle slammed the SNP, claiming that they are playing political games and are not looking out for Moray.
“Over the last few weeks the SNP have thrown ridiculous comments at us as have some of our former colleagues in administration yet we have been calm and rationale in our reactions,” he said. ”
“We have not played political games but instead tried to focus on what was best for Moray. Many of the Conservative chairs have tried hard this last year to be positive and optimistic.
“The Conservative group will now spend time looking at the future for Moray, thinking about potential options for change and future budgets and playing an active and constructive role in opposition.”
In a statement put out on behalf of the Moray Council administration group, they accepted that a SNP minority administration is the most likely outcome of this power struggle:
“At our final administration group meeting today we tried to acknowledge the invitation from the leader of the conservative group, but the invitation proved to be an empty gesture.
“We therefore accept that the only outcome on the cards is for the SNP group to take over as a minority administration on Wednesday with the possible support from members of the MAG group.”
SNP group leader Graham Leadbitter said that his group were more than ready to form an “effective” administration.
“As it stands, we will be forming a minority administration, and we believe we can be very effective,” he said.
“We have a number of positive relationships with other councillors who will be speaking to for all policy issues.
“We believe we can make a difference and make Moray Council more sustainable.”