SNP take the reins

Mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion will form af­ter Labour rule out coali­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - General Election - Dou­glas Dickie

The SNP will for­mally take over at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil later this week.

As ex­pected, the group have opted to form a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter the Labour group ruled out a coali­tion.

Coun­cil­lor John Ross will take over from Ed­die McAvoy as coun­cil leader at a meet­ing of the full coun­cil at Al­mada Street to­mor­row, Thursday.

All the par­ties filled their lead po­si­tions last week.

Coun­cil­lor Ross, who will pre­side over a group of 27 coun­cil­lors, will be aided by de­pute leader Mau­reen Cham­bers and busi­ness man­ager Peter Craig.

Labour had al­ready con­firmed Gerry Con­very as group leader but Cam­bus­lang East coun­cil­lor Wal­ter Bro­gan has been re­warded for his ser­vice with the de­pute leader role.

Davie McLach­lan was handed the role of busi­ness man­ager at the 21-strong Labour group.

The Con­ser­va­tive group, who have jumped from four to 14 mem­bers, will be led by Alex Al­li­son with Richard Nel­son act­ing as busi­ness man­ager.

The rest of the­coun­cil will be made up of Robert Brown, who won in Ruther­glen South for the Lib­eral Democrats, and Jackie Burns who will sit as an in­de­pen­dent af­ter be­ing ex­pelled from the Labour group days be­fore the elec­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Ross ad­mit­ted there would be chal­lenges to run­ning a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion but he in­sisted the SNP group was ready for the job.

“We have a strong team from all dif­fer­ent back­grounds and ex­pe­ri­ence and are ea­ger to show how ef­fec­tively we can im­ple­ment our pro­gramme for govern­ment,” he said.

“Make no mis­take, a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion will have its chal­lenges but we are ready to rise to them. The peo­ple of South La­nark­shire voted for com­pe­tence and vi­sion last Thursday and it is our duty to meet their ex­pec­ta­tions.

“Although there will un­doubt­edly be dis­agree­ments, as coun­cil­lors we have a duty to serve our com­mu­ni­ties with dili­gence and determination. We must leave par­ti­san party-pol­i­tics at the door.”

A state­ment from the Labour group said their part­ner­ship would be with “lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and trade unions to op­pose com­pul­sory re­dun­dan­cies and to de­fend lo­cal ser­vices.”

It also said: “We are dis­ap­pointed not to be the largest party. The Tories and the SNP have used this elec­tion to ad­vance their con­sti­tu­tional ar­gu­ments. This is to their shame as lo­cal govern­ment is at a turn­ing point. Tory aus­ter­ity at West­min­ster has been passed on to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil by the SNP at Holy­rood.”

Coun­cil­lor Al­li­son said the Tories would put the needs of com­mu­ni­ties first.

He said: “This was a ter­rific re­sult that means for the first time there are Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lors for ev­ery part of South La­nark­shire.

“We have an ex­cel­lent group with a broad range of ex­pe­ri­ence and a shared determination to deliver for our con­stituents.

“Through­out the cam­paign we said we would en­sure the coun­cil fo­cuses on lo­cal is­sues. We will be ab­so­lutely true to our word and deliver on that com­mit­ment to put the needs of our com­mu­ni­ties first.”

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