There was another heated meeting of the Council yesterday relating to Donald Trump's golf resort.. This time it was the turn of Paul Johnston to face the ire of his fellow liberal democrats [sic]*.
Cllr Johnston was cleared earlier this month by the Standards Commission. However, it was the support of fellow councillor Debra Storr at the Council meeting on 2 October, 2007. Her claim in defence of Paul that he should be considered innocent until proven otherwise. Led to her being expelled by the Lib Dem council group. However, she appears to have been proven one of the few wise heads in the chamber that day.
Three different proposals were before the council.
- Martin Ford, he who used to chair the planning committee before his casting vote blocked the American tycoon's plans, proposed that a note be appended to the October 2nd minutes that Cllr Johnston has been exonerated.
- Anne Robertson the Liberal Democrat group leader proposed ding nothing citing that taking and action was too difficult.
- The SNP proposed that the decision by the Standards Commission was irrelevant and called for him to be suspended for 6 months.
The Lib Dem group proposal was the one that was finally passed although the Director of Law and Administration in answer to a question said that it was perfectly easy to do what Martin asked. The director saw no issue on doing this on website, in library versions and to all locations where Minutes were regularly sent out. Ford confirmed this best try was OK with him.
The fact that the SNP were actually seeking the suspension of an elected representative who had been cleared by the Standards committee shows a different shocking opinion of democracy. Neither the Lib Dem nor SNP Group come out of this incident in a good light.
Today three of the Lib Dem group Ford, Johnston and Sam Coull left the ruling administration, to join the already expelled Debra Storr to form a new grouping within the council. I now leaves things finely balanced with 34 in the lib dem/Conservative bloc and 34 others including the 4 Liberal Democrats, SNP and independents on the same number.
*I'm deliberately using lower case for the party name in this case.