SNP: Labour council coalition deal “reeks of hypocrisy”

04/05/12. John Devlin. BISHOPBRIGGS. Leisuredrome Balmuildy Road Bishopbriggs G64 3HD results of election count - Milngavie/Bearsden/Kirki.
04/05/12. John Devlin. BISHOPBRIGGS. Leisuredrome Balmuildy Road Bishopbriggs G64 3HD results of election count - Milngavie/Bearsden/Kirki.

THE Labour Party has been accused of putting power before people after stitching together a deal to take control of East Dunbartonshire Council.

Labour’s lash-up with the LibDems and the Tories has left raging Nationalists out in the cold.

Following last week’s local elections Labour and the SNP are tied with eight councillors each, with three LibDems, two Tories and three independents.

The Nationalists were hopeful they would be able to take part in an administration coalition.

SNP group leader Ian Mackay accused the new coalition 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.

“However, the Labour group have proved, as they did five years ago when they colluded with the Tories to form an administration, that power means everything to them, regardless of the consequences.

“These three parties have different political priorities, yet they think it is a good idea to form an administration. The whole scenario reeks of self-seeking hypocrisy.

“The SNP will continue to represent the wishes of the residents of East Dunbartonshire without petty squabbling and power play.”

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 here returned a council where no party has an outright majority, so Labour spoke with and carefully discussed options with all the other councillors here.

“The SNP councillors suggested an arrangement whereby Labour and the SNP would take it year-about to occupy certain positions, but we did not feel that was a sustainable way forward.

”We need strong leadership in this council and this agreement will allow the maximum number of Labour policies to be implemented.

“I hope to continue leading the council in an open and inclusive style which puts the people of our area first.”