A controversial Cumbernauld councillor has been barred from asking a key question about roads improvement at North Lanarkshire Council.
Scottish Nationalist-turned Independent Alan O’Brien intended to raise the issue of funding works at busy Craiglinn at the October meeting of the full council at Motherwell Civic Centre.
However, the issue has since developed into a free speech row.
Councillor O’Brien submitted the motion and did not expect any conceivable comeback but was then told by Provost Jim Robertson that the question was ‘‘incompetent’’
The councillor believes that he is being effectively being ‘paid back’ for previous claims that land sales in Cumbernauld are effectively bankrolling areas elsewhere. The council has vigorously denied this.
Councillor O’Brien said: “Commuters in North Cumbernauld will be all too aware of the massive tailbacks around Craiglinn Roundabout.
“ I’ve held several meetings with the roads department regarding this and suggested a slip road that wasn’t subject to traffic light controls was the answer. As a result plans have now been drawn up and we are looking for funding.
“To try and more this forward, I initiated a debate where we could look at contributions from builders of the planned new estates in the Smithstone area.
“It’s the system used throughout NLC but for some reason Cumbernauld is excluded from this benefit.
“However, the Labour provost has blocked my motion as ‘‘incompetent’’ but I don’t think it is my motion that is incompetent,’’ said Councillor O’Brien, in a swipe at Provost Robertson.
We asked a council spokesman if the issue could in fact be discussed but we were told it could not.
He said: “Rulings on the competence of motions are at the sole discretion of the provost as detailed in Council Standing Orders.
“Any councillor whose motion has been ruled incompetent has until 10 days before a council meeting to submit an amended motion.’