The leader of West Dunbartonshire Council was accused of being a liar during a heated clash with the SNP’s Ian Dickson last week.
At a meeting of WDC’s housing and communities meeting last Wednesday, Labour leader Martin Rooney said that Councillor Dickson had reallocated cash from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund towards road improvements around the Smollett Fountain.
However, Councillor Dickson hit back, saying that money from the RCGF was solely for use on the St Andrew’s Church project – and was returned in January.
He called for a report to be made available to members showing how improvements in Alexandria were funded, and accused the council leader of being “ill-informed.”
The Leven member said: “Councillor Rooney has made an incorrect comment. I’ll call it for what it is. A lie.
“He appears to be ill-informed on matters around the Alexandria area.
“When he refers to the St Andrew’s Church project, RCGF monies for that were certainly not switched into a Spaces for People capital project.
“The roads project is one of 12 in the Alexandria Masterplan that is funded by an entirely separate stream.
“Money from the St Andrew’s project was returned in January. The Main Street regeneration works are not RCGF.”
Convenor of the committee, Labour’s Councillor Craig Edward, responded by saying: “The terminology used there, a lie is…” to which Mr Dickson interjected by saying “accurate”.
Councillor Edward added : “We need to be very mindful. This is a shared committee and we’re all here with one purpose, so I’m not keen on that kind of language to describe another member. I would ask that you look at that going forward.
“In terms of an officer with an answer, would an officer be able to obtain an answer for councillor Dickson?”
Councillor Dickson responded: “Chair, it’s not for me. I understand. I’ve been involved throughout the whole journey. It’s for Councillor Rooney.”
Labour deputy leader, Councillor Michelle McGinty, said: “We are only repeating what we were told.
“We were told that the renovation works in Alexandria had to happen and that money was transferred from the church project.
“I would welcome getting a briefing on the history of the Alexandria site.
“But I take offence to Councillor Rooney being called a liar.
“I think there should be an apology.”
An SNP motion to provide a timeline of works in Alexandria, and to ensure that all new council owned properties built in West Dunbartonshire had electric vehicle chargers installed was defeated by six votes to five.