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Scottish councillor's Austrian commute

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Fife council headquarters in Glenrothes. Photo: McWesty/Wikimedia
14:50 CEST+02:00
According to a report in The Scotsman newspaper, a Scottish National Party councillor called Arthur Morrison attended only seven out of the 47 meetings for the committee on which he serves last year. His excuse? He lives in Austria.

Morrison is reported to have admitted that the fact that he spends only one out of five weeks in Scotland was "not a happy situation" for his constituents, while colleagues described his record of attendance as "appalling."

The councillor explained that most of his £16,234 (€20,282) salary is spent on air fares to and from his home in Austria, where he runs an IT business.


Councillor Arthur Morrison.  Photo: SNP

Mr Morrison said: “I try to get back every four or five weeks – usually five. I tend to miss all the major meetings."

“My goal is to take work in Austria to Kirkcaldy and to try to create employment."

“I used to hold surgeries, but for the last year I haven’t. It’s difficult to get back for a short time with costs of £3,000 to £4,000. Most of my (council) salary goes on expenses to fly back to Kirkcaldy. The SNP are concerned. It’s not a happy situation and it tears me apart.”

Mr Morrison is a member of the council’s appeal sub-committee, the central area planning committee, Fife licensing board, the health and social care partnership and the Kirkcaldy area committee. He is also expected to attend meetings of the full council.

The newspaper reported that Morrison is in compliance with its rules, as councillors are required to only attend one meeting in a six-month period.

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