Labour Group leader Ronnie Nicholson has hit out at the council’s Conservative/SNP Coalition potential mishandling of a bid to claim £1 million from the Scottish Government’s Bellwin scheme which was rejected this past Tuesday (27 August).
Councillor Nicholson tabled an urgent question over the issue at today’s (Thursday 29 August) meeting of the full council, seeking an explanation as to why the council’s bid failed. In response the council simply dismissed the rejection as a “difference of interpretation” between the council and Scottish Government
Commenting on the answers he received from the Planning and Environment Chair,Councillor Nicholson said:
“It is increasingly looking like the council may have mishandled the application process from start to finish. The chair admitted that their interpretation of eligibility for funding and that of the Scottish Government was different. This leads me to ask, why did no-one check the eligibility criteria with the Scottish Government before making the application? Of course there may be some aspects of any bid that doesn't meet the criteria but for the council to end up completely empty handed is embarrassing and costly to local taxpayers.”
“I am also disappointed with how the majority of councillors were informed of this decision. Instead of being informed personally, most of us found out via local news. This is no way for the Coalition to inform members of official decisions such as this and suggests the council tried to keep this information from councillors”