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Climate officer post referred back to committee stage

Orkney Islands councillors will hold further discussions on whether or not to create a climate change officer post — at a cost of £70,000 a year — after the matter was referred back to committee yesterday, Tuesday.

The OIC policy and resources committee last month saw a debate on the issue, after which a vote was taken on whether to agree OIC leader James Stockan’s motion to introduce the new role — or to support Councillor Duncan Tullock’s amendment, which opposed the establishment of a climate change officer.

At that meeting, Councillor Tullock was joined by Kirkwall East councillor David Dawson and fellow West Mainland councillor Owen Tierney, in criticising the establishment of this new role and the costs associated. They asserted that it went against current council policy, which dictates that there should be no permanent increases to the current officer establishment.

At the end of discussions, the council leader received more support, and councillor Stockan’s motion won, 12 votes to seven.

However, at a general meeting of the council yesterday, Tuesday, the council leader agreed that the issue should be referred back to the policy and resources committee, following a further call by Councillor Tullock.

Councillor Tullock said that he made his amendment in light of the failure of Scottish Government to provide a budget settlement to OIC, plus the concerns expressed to him by his constituents on the issue.

Councillor Stockan said that he himself had received support for the establishment of the post, but he was happy to have it taken back to committee.

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