A PETITION started by the Community Party has asked the council to hold its next budget meeting in the evening instead of during the day.

The change.org petition has currently gathered over 230 signatures.

Community Party councillor Jim Bollan said trade unions contacted him with concerns about the start time of the meeting on March 27, which is scheduled for 2pm.

They argue that many council workers will not be able to get time off work to attend the meeting because they need to deliver vital services.

And they have requested the start time to be changed to 6pm because it’s such a significant meeting.

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However, Provost William Hendrie said: “As you will be aware, the council’s budget meeting is always held at 2pm, and I see no reason to make an exception this year.

“Moving the meeting would disadvantage anyone who has already taken annual leave or who works shifts and has the afternoon off.

“The purpose of the public gallery is to allow people to hear what is being said at the meeting.

“Staff and the public can listen to the meeting when they finish work and hear what was said thanks to the recording facility put in place. There is no need for anyone to take annual leave.”

Council leader, Jonathan McColl, said: “I fully endorse the Provost’s point of view.”