The 23 Scottish Conservative candidates standing for election to Aberdeenshire Council on May 4th have ruled out any possibility of working with the SNP after the results are declared on Friday next week. This decision comes after the SNP brought two contentious debates to the last meeting of the current council on matters determined purely by National Government – Pensions and Welfare.
Councillor Jim Gifford is the Leader of the current Conservative Group on the council and said: “I have up until now kept an open mind on who we could work with in forming a new administration for Aberdeenshire. When we formed the last Alliance Group in 2012, with the Liberal Democrats and some Independents, we did that with the sole intention of putting together what we thought was the most stable administration possible. We parked politics at the door and formed an administration that would deliver for everyone in Aberdeenshire – and I think we did that.” He added: “What we saw on Thursday was the blatant politicisation of our council chamber in advance of two elections and we will not work with people who are willing to do that for narrow political advantage.”
Thursday was the last council meeting for Councillor Jill Webster who was Provost for the first three years of this council session. She spoke with passion at the council meeting and said: “We’ve worked hard in this Council to try and keep politics out of it and we had a reputation second to none precisely because we did that. We were consensual and worked together for the benefit of the people of Aberdeenshire on issues which were directly in the control of the Council.” She concluded: “The people of Aberdeenshire want to see us focussing on the issues over which we have control and can directly influence and deliver. This wasn’t good, and as a former Provost and Convener of this Council, I thoroughly disapprove and personally feel deeply saddened that my very last Council meeting should have been tainted with national politics in this way.”