Highlands & Islands

Row over Highland Council appointments

The Independent group on Highland Council and the authority's new administration have clashed over appointments to outside bodies.

The Independents have accused the SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrats of preventing experienced members of its group from taking posts.

They had been nominated for bodies such as Highland Opportunity, known as HOL.

Council leader Drew Hendry said it was "sour grapes" and there were committees dominated by Independents.

The row blew up after appointments were made at a meeting on Thursday.

BBC Radio Scotland has also seen a document instructing administration members on who to vote for.

'Ganging up'

Independent group leader, Carolyn Wilson, said experienced councillors such as Alasdair Rhind, Helen Carmichael and Margaret Davidson were nominated, but lost out to party politics.

She said the three had held senior positions previously and could have brought their knowledge to the appointments.

Ms Wilson said the political parties were "ganging up" on the Independents.

Mr Hendry, an SNP councillor, said nominations were sought from the council's various different groups and the best people were voted in.

He said some outside bodies and committees were dominated by Independents, while others were not.

Mr Hendry added: "I think it's just taking sour grapes too far."

The Independent group has had a series of clashes with the administration since May's elections.

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