NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Fresh probe over Aberdeen City Council referendum letter

Seven senior councillors in Aberdeen are to face a Standards Commission investigation into a letter sent to residents ahead of the referendum.

The letter was sent with council tax bills in June, urging people in the city to back a "No" vote.

The commission will examine whether the councillors broke its code of conduct.

Those facing charges are former council leader Barney Crockett, Jenny Laing, Willie Young, Neil Cooney, Ross Grant, Fraser Forsyth and Ross Thomson.

The charge relates to the councillors' use of council facilities.

Speaking on behalf of all seven members, Councillor Willie Young said they welcomed the decision to hold a hearing and looked forward to defending their position.

The Standards Commission has scheduled the hearing for next February.

The letter said the city would be stronger now and in the future as part of the UK.

Audit Scotland previously said that, while the move was unusual, it was an accurate statement of council policy, which was not precluded by council tax regulations.

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