Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:16 UK

Sacked Nairn provost 'treated shabbily'

Liz MacDonald. Image: Highland Council
Liz MacDonald has been a Highland councillor since 1999

A Highland town's first female provost has been sacked in a row over claims she used the post to promote her political views.

Liz MacDonald, a long standing SNP councillor, was appointed Nairn's civic head in 2007.

Fellow councillors who serve the town and are members of the ruling Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent administration, agreed she should go.

Mrs MacDonald said she had been "treated shabbily".

The situation was understood to have reached a head following a public meeting chaired by Mrs MacDonald earlier this month.

I am really disheartened
Liz MacDonald

At the meeting she was accused of expressing her political views to attack Highland Council's budget plans, which could lead to the closure of Nairn Swimming Pool.

Fellow local councillors Sandy Park, Laurie Fraser and Graham Marsden agreed she should be sacked after she refused to resign.

Mr Fraser has been appointed as the new provost.

Mrs MacDonald told BBC Radio Scotland: "I am really disheartened. This is about sacking a provost for trying to her job."

She said there was no process available for her to fight the decision but said fellow councillors had "welched on a deal" allowing her to remain provost for the term of the council.

Mr Fraser declined to comment on the row but said concerns over the swimming pool's future would be looked at.

Belly dancing

Mrs MacDonald joined Highland Council in 1999 and was depute chair of the resources committee from 2003-2007.

She was named provost for a four-year term at a meeting of councillors in June 2007.

The councillor said at the time it was a "tremendous privilege and honour" to have been chosen.

Mrs MacDonald, a keen belly dancer, and a group of 134 dancers earned an entry into the Guinness Book of Records entry in 2005 with a five-minute routine.

The feat was completed in Nairn.

As well as setting a new record, the belly dancing group also raised more than £1,000 for a local charity which helps disabled people to participate in sports.

The record for most people belly dancing simultaneously was broken in November 2008 when 535 took part in an event organised for Children in Need, in Malvern.

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Top job for record belly dancer
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Daily Record Belly dancing provost sacked after political attacks on other parties - 19 hrs ago
Herald Scotland Dancing provost pays price for her politics - 23 hrs ago
The ScotsmanSacked lady provost's 'shabby treatment' - 33 hrs ago
Inverness Courier Nairn Provost explains sacking - 41 hrs ago
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