Fife Council’s budget meeting was almost derailed before it began due to a last-minute submission by the Labour administration.
It put forward a last-minute amendment to its own budget proposals which none of the opposition parties had been expecting.
There followed a lull during which councillors pored over the paper, causing an exasperated council leader to call on Provost Jim Leishman to “call a recess or begin the debate”.
Party leaders then held an impromptu discussion with Provost Leishman who finally decided that the amendment could be included in the debate.
David Ross apologised and insisted the amendment was “in the spirit of what we previously agreed”.
Proceedings had begun at Fife House at 10am with an impassioned plea from Tam Kirby of the Fife People’s Assembly, calling for an anti-auserity budget and for councillors to leave out any “schoolboy joke making like we’ve seen in the past”.
He added: “I implore you to demonstrate leadership.
“It’s time to put aside petty point scoring, we’re not interested in that.”
Opposition parties then put forward their own amendments with the SNP’s David Alexander calling the administration budget “the most dangerous and damaging I have ever seen”.
The debate then got underway which will continue this afternoon.