Furyover “shambolic” council meeting

Picture Alan Watson. Motherwell Civic Centre
Picture Alan Watson. Motherwell Civic Centre

A vote on taking the maintenance of school sports pitches out of council control is to be re-run after a ‘shambolic’ meeting.

Opposition SNP councillors thought they’d won a rare voting victory, but later their group’s deputy leader, Cumbernauld councillor Tom Johnston, slammed the outcome as “a disgrace”.

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe had demanded a replay of the vote, which led to his ruling Labour group winning as usual.

However Councillor McCabe later admitted the original vote should have stood, and there will be another debate at the next full council meeting.

The bizarre sequence of events came as the learning and leisure services committee heard of a move to hand over maintenance of synthetic pitches to the arms length organisation NL Leisure.

Councillors with an interest in NLL and another body, Culture NL, were not allowed a vote. An SNP amendment asking for the matter to be continued was supported by a Green councillor and Labour lost by 10-9.

But the SNP claim Labour councillors returned to the meeting and added their names to a roll-call vote which was 13-11 in Labour’s favour.

SNP group leader David Stocks said: “Councillor McCabe was a totally incompetent chairman and presided over a shambles of his own making.”

Councillor McCabe blamed “total confusion” as councillors returned to the meeting and said it would be put right with a rerun.