Moray Council leader Stewart Cree was forced to report himself to the standards commission following last month’s tumultuous meeting, amid claims administration members had been “whipped” into approving the revised costs.
The after-effects of the controversial summit were felt prior to yesterday’s talks, as group leaders all clarified that they had discussed the scheme privately.
Council convener Allan Wright added: “There is no whip in the administration.”
During last month’s meeting Conservative councillor Douglas Ross revealed that he had come into possession of an e-mail Mr Cree had sent to administration members asking any who had “difficulty” in supporting the project to get in touch with him.
Mr Ross said the e-mail had been sent before councillors had been able to view a report documenting the new layout and increased costs.
Mr Cree maintained that such communication was normal practice among council groups and did not represent any underhand tactics.
And the council’s principal solicitor, Aileen Scott, said Mr Cree had not behaved improperly – as his message contained “no language saying that members had to vote in favour of the plan”.