SNP take the reins
Minority administration will form after Labour rule out coalition
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.”