Council talks continue

Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.
Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters.

Talks are continuing over who will form the new administration at Aberdeenshire Council.

The Conservatives emerged with most councillors from Thursday’s election with 23.

The SNP have 21 councillors and the Liberal Democrats have 14, leaving them as possible king-makers in the discussions.

The Lib Dems’ leader Karen Clark stood down at the election and a new leader has yet to be elected.

But senior figure, Councillor Peter Argyle, confirmed that a group meeting had taken place at the weekend to discuss the way forward.

He said further discussions and meetings would continue over the next few days.

Tory group leader Councillor Jim Gifford, who headed a previous coalition at Woodhill House until an SNP-led coup in 2015, said there was a potential for a similar administration to be formed in the days ahead.

He was hopeful that following the first formal talks a clearer picture of the “direction of travel” would emerge by last night.

The SNP held its first group meeting following Friday’s count with Ellon and District Councillor Richard Thomson being unanimously re-appointed as leader.

He said they had appointed a negotiating team and were looking to have discussions with other parties during the week.

The first full meeting of the council will take place on Thursday, May 18.