Groundhog day

20th November 1998 at 00:00
Occasional visitors to West Lothian's education committee fear councillors are trapped in a political time-warp.

Last October, Ross Martin, Labour's education convener, and Peter Johnston, SNP leader, got stuck into each other over a Livingston community centre being metamorphosed into a gymnastics centre of excellence.

Johnston challenged Martin's conduct of the meeting and said it was turning into "an utter and complete farce". A year on, they were slogging it out over the very same issue.

Frank Anderson, Johnston's colleague, repeatedly challenged Martin's procedural guidance. "Frank, I'm trying to be helpful, here," Martin replied.

"We've just had a report and you're stifling debate," Anderson hit back.

Just to prove how things move on, Johnston intervened. "This is a farce, an absolute farce" How true.

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