INDEPENDENT councillor Bob Spink has hit back at claims made by Arbroath Councillors Jim Millar and David Fairweather in last week’s edition, but is satisfied that his issues have now been resolved.
Councillor Millar suggested that Councillor Spink was guilty of “attempts at aggrandisement in the press” and that he had ensured that Councillor Spink was invited to take part in a meeting with the Housing Minister.
Councillor Fairweather backed up the claims by Councillor Millar and said: “From the tone of the article, you would think that we kept Councillor Spink locked in a cupboard, but in reality he sits on numerous committees and the administration has bent over backwards to try and accommodate him.”
Now Councillor Spink has admitted that in his determination to get his points across he “forgot to exclude Councillor Millar’s neighbourhood services committee from my protestation.”
He continued: “I thus apologise. Most of the points Councillor Millar made are quite true and were welcomed by me at the time as being progressive, but very much an exception to the general rule.
“His convenership allows free and full discussion and his style is inclusive, the very thing which is a principle of political independence as I believe it - in this case, that member/officer working groups should consist of those best qualified to contribute meaningfully to the debate and not for their political affiliation.”
“With respect, Councillor Millar, you did not invent that thinking and I have advocated it for years - we actually agree.”
He added: “I know when Councillor Millar is upset for he throws big words at me. If indeed my behaviour is superaggrandisementarianism then that is true of most members is it not?”
Following correspondence with the chief executive of Angus Council, David Sawers, and Councillor Bob Myles, Councillor Spink is now satisfied that his points of concern have been addressed.
Mr Sawers said that it is normal for council committees and sub-committees to be constituted by political balance but there was no case for working groups to be based in the same way.
Councillor Spink received an assurance that he will be consulted about future working groups as to whether he would be interested in becoming a member.
He said: “I am now satisfied that my points made recently have been addressed and I thank the chief executive and Councillor Myles for that.
“I like to think we are all, regardless of party or none, trying to work in the best interests of the Angus public and that the outcome of this affair will prove to be a small step towards improvement of our internal processes.”