Page last updated at 20:39 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Ex-provost hits out at treatment

Margaret Brisley
Margaret Brisley was removed from office

The ex-provost of Stirling Council has criticised her treatment and the way she was removed from her post.

Margaret Brisley claims the reasons for asking her to leave did not make any sense and that she had received threats and abuse over the past 10 months.

Ms Brisley, who is a Labour councillor, was told to step down following an SNP motion discussed at a special meeting of the council.

Councillor Fergus Wood, of the SNP, is the new provost.

Two weeks ago the ruling Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition on the council resigned after a vote of no confidence.

A minority SNP administration took over council leadership.

The depute provost Gerard O'Brien has also been removed from post. A decision on who will replace him has been deferred.

Stirling Council Building
The Labour-Lib Dem administration resigned after the vote

Ms Brisley said it had been an honour to represent Stirling, covering well over 200 events and meetings.

She added: "Two weeks ago he [Council leader Graham Houston] said that the only reason that they had for removing me from office was because they wanted an impartial chair.

"At that time I thought 'give me evidence of when I've not been impartial'.

"Last night he changed tack a bit and said the skills required."

She questioned the skills that the new provost would have because he had not attended as many civic events as she had.

The new provost, Mr Wood, pledged to do all he could to boost the local area.

He said: "I represent Stirling's biggest geographical ward which covers a large rural area and as such I am only too aware of the impact tourism has on the rural economy.

"It is the main industry in this area with the biggest growth potential and I am looking forward to promoting Stirling locally, nationally and internationally and taking every opportunity to strengthen its reputation as a leading visitor destination as well as a business centre."

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