Scottish council elections: Fight is on for Aberdeenshire as Anne Robertson steps down

Anne Robertson has announced she is stepping down as council leader
Anne Robertson has announced she is stepping down as council leader
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IN Aberdeenshire, Anne Robertson has announced she will stand down as head of the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition. But could the SNP be in power by the end of the day?

WHATEVER the outcome of today’s count in determining the future administration of Aberdeenshire Council, one thing is certain - the authority will have a new leader.

Anne Robertson has already announced her resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrat Group which has controlled Aberdeenshire for the past five years in a coalition with the Conservatives.

But Robertson, a councillor since 1997, is still seeking to return to the council as a representative of the Turriff and district ward. Ms Robertson’s place as leader of the Lib Dem Group will be taken by Martin Kitts-Hayes, should he be re-elected as a councillor in the Inverurie and district ward.

He said: “Anne will be a very hard act to follow. Her knowledge of the council is quite astonishing and she is quite a formidable character.”

But the SNP, who currently have 21 seats on the authority - the same as the Lib Dems - are making a big push for at least a share of power in the new administration at the end of today’s count at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference centre. They have fielded 36 candidates.

Until now the Lib Dem led administration has proved staunch supporters of the series of planning applications from Donald Trump for various developments at his Menie estate. Ms Robertson was a member of the local area planning authority, the Formartine area committee.

And the Trump Organisation may well be set for an even easier passage for future planning applications following the decision of outspoken Independent councillor Debra Storr - a leading opponent of the Menie estate golf resort - to quit local politics to pursue her business interests.