SBC’s scrutiny chair resigns

Councillor Gavin Logan
Councillor Gavin Logan

The Conservative chairman of the body charged to monitor and challenge the decisions of Scottish Borders Council’s executive has resigned.

His resignation follows that of fellow Conservative councillor John Greenwell (Mid Berwickshire), who stood down from the petitions committe earlier this year because the treatment of some petitioners “did not sit well with my equalities role”.

Councillor Gavin Logan (Tweeddale East) claims the independence of the watchdog scrutiny committee has twice been compromised by the council’s ruling SNP/Independent/Lib Dem administration: over the council’s decision to spend £3.5m to bring the Great Tapestry of Scotland at Tweedbank and the make-up of the committee created to probe that decision; plus the rejection of his call for three extra members of the scrutiny committee to better reflect the Borders electorate.

“I was very disappointed at the attempt to thwart the tapestry review, but the blocking of my wish to democratise the committee really was the final straw,” said Councillor Logan.

“I decided to remain as chairman until the tapestry report was finalised.”

After nearly two years in abeyance, the nine-strong scrutiny committee – of six administration councillors and three from the Tory opposition benches - was revived at the end of 2014 in a bid to bring more “openness and transparency” to decision making at the council.