A senior Moray councillor is expected to be officially removed from his post at the head of two key committees at a special meeting today.
Douglas Ross was expelled from the crisis-hit Independent-Conservative administration earlier this month after a row over aborted school closure plans.
Mr Ross, who has been touted as a strong contender for Tory candidate for Moray in May’s general election, holds the post of chairman of the planning committee. He is also head of the police and fire and rescue services committee.
A report to full council has recommended that councillor Chris Tuke takes on the role at the helm of the planning committee, while Ronald Shepherd will replace Mr Ross on the police and fire committee.
Mr Ross used what is likely to have been his last meeting at the helm of the committee to lead a move to vote down controversial plans for an Elgin link road.
He said he and his colleagues had taken heed of residents who lodged almost 800 objections to the route. The application for the road between Wittet Drive and Edgar Road was defeated by one vote.
Moray Council convener Stewart Cree, meanwhile, is expected to be confirmed as the new leader of the authority at today’s full council meeting.
It has been a turbulent spell for the local authority, highlighted by Mr Wright’s decision to quit as council leader.
The announcement that he was stepping down followed a 16-8 vote to save closure-threatened rural schools, much to the delight of local campaigners.
Days later, an all-party working group collapsed.
The SNP group’s decision to oppose the move was viewed by the Independents and Conservatives as a major – and unexpected – U-turn.
In a letter to Nationalist group leader Pearl Paul, Mr Cree said the breakdown in relations meant the administration was no longer prepared to take part in the council’s Area Based Review (ABR) group.
Mr Cree has been recommended to take on the role of chairman of the Joint Consultative Committee and the Policy and Resources Committee.
Mr Cree is also in line to be the council’s representative on the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).