It has long been my contention that Aberdeenshire Council has created for itself a set of rules and governance that allows for inappropriate and unfair actions by elected members to go unchallenged and that bad behaviour can be hidden and take place with impunity with little chance of redress.
Since 2007, each successive change to standing orders and the custom and practice of the council has been to curtail debate, exercise unfettered power, and reduce most Councillors to merely voting for ruling cliques.
This is without regard for which political group would be in control. It appears that there may be mutual appreciation by “leading” councillors that a docile council has benefits with being run from behind the scenes.
The Council’s Standing Orders can be found here:
The power of a provost or chair is frequently used not to regulate debate but to prevent it. Look at that provision and you will see why the chair of a meeting who wants political control, is so easily tempted.