The Scottish Labour Group has left the ruling Alliance Group of Aberdeenshire Council.
The move means the Aberdeenshire Alliance - which is made up of 13 Conservative councillors, 11 Lib Dems and 11 Independents - now only has one more seat than the opposition, consisting of SNP and Democratic Independent (DIGG) councillors.
Commenting, Stonehaven Councillor Alison Evison, Scottish Labour Group Leader, said: “We are no longer able to deliver our agenda of social justice and equality within an alliance following a Tory agenda. It is more important than ever to focus on the needs of people and communities across Aberdeenshire.
“People here are the most likely in Scotland to have their benefits withdrawn. Child poverty sits at 14% in Aberdeenshire after housing costs. Affordable housing for public sector workers is in short supply. Jobs in the oil and gas industry are being lost. We need an Administration which responds positively to these issues.”
Councillor Evison also cited a decision by the Administration to cut the Discretionary Housing Payments granted to residents who have been affected by the UK Government’s welfare reform as another reason for leaving the Alliance Group.
Councillor Raymond Christie of the Scottish Labour Group commented: “The Scottish Labour Group was elected to stand up for local people and we need to be in a position where we can do just that.”