Councillors face crunch meeting

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).'Scottish Conservative Party Conference, 20/2/15.'� Malcolm Cochrane Photography '+44 (0)7971 835 065 ' 'No syndication 'No reproduction without permission

It looks certain the 
Conservatives or Lib Dems will take control of East 
Dunbartonshire Council next week - supported by the other.

A special meeting is set to take place at council HQ on Thursday, January 11, in a bid to form a new administration.

The SNP minority administration dramatically quit just before Christmas after the Conservatives and Lib Dems united again to vote through controversial cuts to voluntary redundancy terms for council staff.

Tory group leader Andrew Polson has indicated he is willing to become new council leader, providing he gets the support he needs from “one other group”.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems have six councillors each, while the SNP have seven, Labour have two and there is one Independent.

Councillor Polson accused the SNP of leaving East Dunbartonshire residents “in absolute chaos” and told the Herald: “I as Conservative Group Leader am prepared to step up to the plate. We have six able and willing councillors who can be part of that but our council needs stability therefore we will require the support of at least one other willing group”.

In his resignation letter, former SNP council leader Gordan Low accused the Lib Dems and Tories of “acting in a coalition in all but name to obstruct the work of the council and impose their own agenda”.

But Lib Dem leader Vaughan Moody denied there was a “stitch-up” between the Lib Dems and the Tory groups in a bid to take control of the council, calling it “nonsense”. He branded the SNP “Scaredy-Nats” and accused them of “political cowardice”.

Both he and Councillor Polson claimed the SNP were “running away” before having to make hard decisions ahead of the budget-setting process in February.

Meanwhile, Independent Councillor Duncan Cumming who, along with the two Labour councillors, supported the SNP against cutting staff terms, appealed to the main parties to stop “scoring cheap political points”.

He said: “Amongst the 22 councillors there is a wide skill set and qualifications that could be put to good use. With the Council having to find massive savings due to 
Government cuts, it is essential all councillors pull together on behalf of their communities, rather than indulging in petty bickering which is undoubtedly counter-productive”.

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