New Aberdeenshire councillor grouping is established

A new grouping of councillors has been formed on Aberdeenshire Council.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 3:08 pm
The Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG) and the Social Democratic Group (SDG) are to work together as the Democratic Alliance.
The Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG) and the Social Democratic Group (SDG) are to work together as the Democratic Alliance.

The Democratic Independent and Green Group (DIGG) and the Social Democratic Group (SDG) are to work together as the Democratic Alliance.

The DIGG has existed on Aberdeenshire Council since 2009 and can trace its origins back to opposition to the Trump planning application. It has two members, councillors Johnston and Ford, but has punched well above its weight on the council, successfully securing a range of policy changes.

The SDG also has two members, Cllr Leigh Wilson and Cllr Alastair Bews. The SDG is a new group on Aberdeenshire Council formed very recently after councillors Wilson and Bews left the SNP.

The New Democratic Alliance grouping is similar to other arrangements on Aberdeenshire Council where several councillor groups work together as a larger grouping.

The new group will initially co-operate over the allocation of committee places which will change next week as a consequence of various councillors leaving their parties.

DIGG leader Cllr Paul Johnston said: “The DIGG has provided an effective, progressive voice on Aberdeenshire Council for more than a decade. We now have the opportunity for increased influence by working closely with two like-minded councillors, so we are delighted to become part of the Democratic Alliance.

“We can have more opportunities to participate in working groups and sub-committees and say over our committee places.

“However, the four of us have much in common politically so I expect co-operation between us to extend beyond just practical matters. I anticipate, for example, a single council revenue budget proposal will be put forward by the Democratic Alliance. That said, when there are matters where we have different views, that’s fine too. There won’t be a whip.”

Cllr Wilson said: “Smaller groups have an important part to play in the function of local democracy and therefore the wider Democratic Alliance will give us a greater input into the decision making process. This is an important step in ensuring that a plurality of views are represented in Aberdeenshire.”