Councillors in luxury hotel row

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Concern has been expressed about the decision to re-schedule a council meeting so six elected representatives can visit Crieff Hydro.

The key meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 6 has been stood down to allow the six to attend the annual conference of COSLA at the Perthshire hotel which bills itself ‘Scotland’s leading leisure resort.’

The council meeting which has coincided with previous events but it has not been moved until another date until now.

Councillors will now meet at Motherwell Civic Centre on Monday, October 3.

A number of councillors are said to be unhappy at the move and have linked it to the fact that the North Lanarkshire Council now has a new man at the helm, namely leader Jim McCabe’s replacement, Jim Logue.

Even within the Labour group eyebrows have been raised at the shifting of the full council meeting.

One Labour councillor said: “The full council meeting’s co-incided with the COSLA conference in the past, but it’s never been moved.

“The former council leader Jim McCabe would always attend the full council meeting even if he had to leave early to get to the COSLA event.”

Cumbernauld Councillor Alan O’Brien is also mong those who does not believe the meeting of the date should have been changed.

He said: “It seems that this meeting is so important that it supercedes council business - and will involve propviding dinner and a room, even though it is less than an hour away from North Lanarkshire.”

The council’s press office refused to be drawn on the what amenities delegates would be availing of during their visit but Councillor Logue had this to say.

“The conference is one of the few occasions when senior councillors from across Scotland come together to discuss major issues with Cabinet secretaries, MSP and academics

“The date for the conference itself was re-arranged because it clashed with the European Union referendum.

“As such, the provost decided in mid-August to change the date for the council meeting - giving councillors six week’s notice.

“The conference will be attended by all five Scottish party political leaders, including the First Minister.

“It also involves sharing ideas and opinions with ministers from the Scottish Government.”