LEAKED correspondence has exposed deep unhappiness among senior SNP councillors around Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a “radical” relaunch in the autumn.

Messages from a private Facebook group reveal fears about the dilution of council powers and anger at a lack of information from party headquarters.

Among the complainers was Iain Nicolson, the leader of Renfrewshire Council, who suggested the SNP Government looked down on councillors as “a waste of space”.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron also said SNP HQ, run by Ms Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell, treated people with “arrogance and sheer disrespect”.

Earlier this week, a London newspaper reported the First Minister intended to a unveil a suite of radical policies after Holyrood returned from its summer recess.

A key idea was the transfer of power and money from councils to local communities.

A government source told the paper voters would “sit up and take notice” of the changes.

It followed Ms Sturgeon promising a “refresh” after ten years of SNP government, with “creative, imaginative, bold and radical policies” and a “bold, ambitious vision for Scotland".

However leaks from the Association of Nationalist Councillors facebook group show the plan went down badly with some on the local government frontline.

Mr Nicolson started a thread on the subject by writing: “No views, postings on ‘leaked’ radical overhaul of Scottish councils? I would have expected some statement ‘from above’. “Possibly some reassurance that our Gov does not think we’re all a waste of space.”

In response, Will Dawson, a committee convener on SNP-run Dundee City Council, said: “Well if you look at the way HQ deals with us you already know the answer. Biggest group of elected members who are given no support and are not communicated with almost ever!”

After Mr Nicolson replied “It’s the silence”, Ms Cameron chipped in: “It’s the arrogance and sheer disrespect. I’ve not had an answer to ANY email I’ve sent HQ in the last few years.”

Mr Dawson then referred to a report in the National newspaper about the plan involving road works being handed to a national quango, saying: “If that’s true then we’re all buggered!”

Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of SNP-led Falkirk Council, said the changes could be part of a review of public services led by deputy first Minister John Swinney.

She wrote: “Perhaps we should be asking for a meeting and a briefing before the public announcement. It is nor [sic] just local government but across the public services. I just hope it has been looked at equitably.”

Tory MSP Alexander Stewart added: “This is a true reflection of the SNP's controlling approach to governing. It shows the SNP's controlling nature if their own councillors are unhappy in regard to the SNP HQ."

Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley, said: “There is nothing ‘radical’ about Nicola Sturgeon’s government, and it appears even her own councillors now realise this.

“Since 2011, her government has cut the budget to local services by £1.5billion, so it’s little wonder that councillors are privately telling each other they are fed up with SNP HQ.

“Labour recognises the vital role that our councils play and would stop the SNP’s cuts.”

Mr Nicolson declined to comment on what he called an “internal SNP matter”.

The SNP failed to respond to requests for comment.