Labour ‘not even try­ing’ to win

Party look­ing to do a deal with Tories, say SNP

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Labour has been ac­cused of “not even try­ing” to win con­trol of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil af­ter it emerged they would only field 32 can­di­dates in next month’s elec­tion.

The full list of can­di­dates was re le a s e d last Wed­nes­day.

With 64 coun­cil spots up for grabs, a party needs 33 councillors to win over­all con­trol of the au­thor­ity.

And the SNP group, who are field­ing 37 can­di­dates across the re­gion, have now claimed their ri­vals will rely on a deal with the Con­ser­va­tive group to re­tain lead­er­ship.

Coun­cil elec­tions use a com­plex sin­gle trans­fer­able vote sys­tem to elect councillors for mul­ti­mem­ber wards.

A state­ment on be­half of SNP group deputy leader, Sheena Ward­haugh, said: “Af­ter Bound­ary Com­mis­sion changes there will be 64 councillors in SLC.

“To gain con­trol would re­quire 33 can­di­dates to be elected. How­ever, Labour are only field­ing 32 can­di­dates. Even if they were all elected, which is not go­ing to hap­pen, they would not have over­all con­trol.

“The aim is clear – an­other Labour/Tory coali­tion.

“Th ir t y - seven SNP can­di­dates are stand­ing in South La­nark­shire, enough to take con­trol of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the coun­cil. Th­ese can­di­dates are a mix of ex­pe­ri­enced sit­ting councillors and vi­brant, en­thu­si­as­tic new can­di­dates all of whom passed an ex­tremely rig­or­ous as­sess­ment to find those who can best sup­port their con­stituents when they have prob­lems.”

How­ever, the Ruther­glen branch of the Labour party has ac­cused the SNP of try­ing to dis­tract vot­ers.

Ger­ard Killen, who is stand­ing in Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North, said: “This sounds like yet an­other ex­cuse for the SNP to dis­tract from their party’s dis­grace­ful fund­ing cuts to South La­nark­shire.

“They should be em­bar­rassed by their si­lence when SNP bosses in Ed­in­burgh forced down aus­ter­ity – and it’s that track record of let­ting Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang down which vot­ers will re­mem­ber when they go to the polls next month.

“There is no ques­tion over Labour’s pri­or­ity: con­tin­u­ing to put lo­cal ser­vices first, in­vest­ing in our area and our young peo­ple.”

A to­tal of 29 can­di­dates will stand across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang’s four wards. They will bat­tle it out for 12 seats, three in each ward.

They rep­re­sent six dif­fer­ent par­ties with one in­de­pen­dent stand­ing.

Full list of can­di­dates:

Turn to page 10 for our fo­cus on the Cam­bus­lang West ward

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