May 292015

Aberdeenshire Green Councillor, Martin Ford

With thanks to Martin Ford.

Democratic Independent and Green councillors Paul Johnston and Martin Ford have reached an agreement with Labour, Progressive Independent and SNP councillors on policies to be pursued by a new Aberdeenshire administration.

The agreed policies – on improved governance, support for communities and protecting the environment – will see the DIGG councillors remain a separate group on Aberdeenshire Council, but one that will support a new administration in key votes, giving the authority stability.

The agreement paves the way for an orderly transition to a new administration in Aberdeenshire, probably within a few weeks.

It follows a series of resignations from the present Conservative-led governing group on the Council that have left it without majority support.

The extent of co-operation between the DIGG and a new administration, if elected, is set out in a letter sent out following negotiations on Monday (25 May). The letter makes clear that the DIGG are not for joining the new administration, but are acting to prevent a potential stalemate on the Council. (See letter attached)

Democratic Independent councillor Paul Johnston said:

“Given the intense speculation following a break-up of the current Conservative-led administration, we welcomed approaches to bring stability to Aberdeenshire Council and we have agreed to try and bring uncertainty to a close. Our objective is a positive change in direction and it’s clear there is agreement on that.

“We are not entering a coalition. But we will give confidence and support for a stable Aberdeenshire going forward.”

Green councillor Martin Ford said:

“Our agreement commits a new administration to working with us on agreed policy priorities. For example, improvements to public engagement including proper consultation on the Council’s budget. Support for active travel – cycling and walking – and other measures to help reduce carbon emissions. Protection of the Council’s investment in community learning and development. 

“Changing Council procurement rules to take account of wider benefits that might be secured through purchasing decisions. We believe these changes will deliver real benefits for Aberdeenshire residents.”

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