Power struggle sees SNP frozen out of East Dunbartonshire Council

Tom Johnston House - EDC HQ
Tom Johnston House - EDC HQ

CONTROL has been seized by Labour, Tory and Lib Dem councillors locally – with the SNP snubbed despite having the same number of members as Labour.

At the recent local elections both the SNP and Labour ended up with eight councillors, the Lib Dems three, the Conservatives two, and the Independent Alliance two.

Independent councillor Duncan Cumming completed the complex chamber make-up – leaving a number of possible permutations.

SNP councillors insisted to the Herald they had been given a “mandate” by the people of East Dunbartonshire to be part of the next council administration.

And Bishopbriggs North and Torrance councillor Anne McNair suggested that the SNP and Labour groups could work together and “concentrate on local interests”.

However, all such hopes were scotched last Thursday when the leaders of the Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative groups came to an agreement to keep the SNP from power.

It leaves the unlikely partnership with an outright majority.

Labour group leader Rhondda Geekie said: “After lengthy discussions with all political parties I am delighted that Labour will continue to lead the council.

“Although Labour gained two extra seats, the people returned a council where no party has an outright majority, so Labour spoke with and carefully discussed options with all the other councillors.”

But SNP Group leader Ian Mackay slammed the coalition partners, accusing them of “self-seeking hypocrisy”.

He said: “This was our chance to put the people of East Dunbartonshire first, to work together for a stable, strong council.

“The voters returned an equal verdict for both parties, therefore it would have made good sense for us to put petty politics behind us and get on with the job.”

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