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'Abuse of power' claim over decision on street.

A COUNCILLOR has hit out at a city committee convener accusing him of an "abuse of power" at a recent local authority meeting.

Liberal Democrat member Steve Delaney made the comments after his amendment to fully pedestrianise Broad Street was defeated at the city council's operational delivery committee last week. The Kingswells, Sheddocksley and Summerhill councillor made a point of order asking for the item to be heard at full council.

Under council standing orders, this can be done if five other councillors lend their support and is approved by the convener of the committee.

However, on Thursday, convener John Wheeler told Mr Delaney, who did have the backing of the required number of councillors, the agenda item would not be heard at full council and said the item had been debated at length.

Mr Delaney said: "I thought it was an abuse of power. Under the new standing orders, you need to have a requisite number of people to propose putting something to full council. This has always been the case. "However, the difficulty we find is the convener can overrule this.

"If you have that requisite number of people it should go to full council. It is the same issue when a convener can rule incompetency in particular motions.

"The competency should be determined against the standing orders and the only people who can adequately rule on that point are impartial council officers not party political councillors and conveners. I was very disappointed in the decision."

He added: "It is important the shared space is accessible for all people. Certainly there are people with disabilities, like visibility issues, mobility problems and hearing loss have difficulty on Broad Street.

"I'm disappointed my amendment didn't go ahead."

Councillors voted instead to approve a signalised junction at the Gallowgate/Upperkirkgate end of Broad Street seven votes to six.

Mr Wheeler said: "My feeling was we had given a robust consideration of the item, and when I was speaking to councillor Delaney afterwards he had said something similar.

"I think it smacks of a child not getting their way and spitting their dummy out.

"The key thing for myself is I have acted in accordance with the standing orders that are agreed by councillors."

CAPTION(S):

Cllr Steve Delaney wanted full council to discuss Broad Street

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Publication:Evening Express (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:May 22, 2019
Words:384
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