‘Carve up’ at council is a disgrace, insist fed-up councillors

Cllrs Anne McNair, Una Walker and Billy Hendry  at the election count
Cllrs Anne McNair, Una Walker and Billy Hendry at the election count

A POWER grab by political parties at East Dunbartonshire Council has been condemned.

Labour, Lib Dem and the Conservatives have teamed up to run the council for the next five years

The SNP has been left out in the cold with no positions of power within the authority – despite the fact that both Labour and the SNP had eight councillors elected.

Labour’s Rhondda Geekie has been elected leader, the Lib Dem’s Ashay Ghai deputy leader and Labour’s Una Walker Provost.

Bishopbriggs and Torrance councillor Anne McNair (SNP) said the move was “cynical in the extreme” and that a deal with the SNP would have been the voters’ wish.

She said: “Labour councillors have thrown away a great opportunity to be positive and imaginative with what could have been achieved in East Dunbartonshire, and have instead chosen to refuse to work with the SNP and reverted to the discredited old model of political carve-up.

“This has everything to do with political self-interest and nothing to do with the democratic wishes of the people of East Dunbartonshire.”

She added: “Liberal Democrats, with only three out of twenty four councillors, now hold the deputy leadership on the council and will chair two of the lead committees.

“The Tories, with only two councillors, hold the deputy provost position and will chair planning.

“This deal is a total disgrace and completely ignores what people in East Dunbartonshire actually voted for.”

But council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “These types of agreements are happening right across Scotland, because of the system that is in place - a system which means in East Dunbartonshire we will never have a party with an outright majority.

“We had to decide who we could work with and, although we have very different national politics, we have a good working relationship with our coalition partners.

“We’ve looked at the parties’ manifestos and put them together in an attempt to keep all the promises we made to the public.

“I understand the point that the SNP are making, but they must accept that while many people voted for them, many also voted to keep them out of power.”

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