Labour’s Pat Reid was re-elected Provost only this time the former UNISON activist has a Tory, John Patrick, as his depute and peer.
Other appointments brought the accusation of “gerrymandering” as Labour and their allies created artificial majorities for themselves on several of the council committees.
On the 8 person Policy & Resources Committee where the previous administration had lost several votes due to the tightness of the numbers the non aligned Independent, Robert Spears was replaced by tame Tory, John Patrick who will be keen to demonstrate his gratitude to Labour colleagues for his new found promotion.
The non aligned Independents were also frozen out of a place on the Planning Committee in favour of the madcap Councillor, Billy Buchanan, and his close confidant, the Lower Braes Tory, Malcolm Nicol.
Bizarrely Buchanan won a vote to become Planning Convenor by 17 votes to 15 against the SNP’s Steven Carleschi. All of the Labour members who queued to privately condemn the maverick Bonnybridge Councillor over his disgraceful election leaflet just a few weeks ago voted to reward Buchanan with this most responsible of positions.
Advice from council officials regarding the split in delegate places to the influential Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) was that the four delegates from Falkirk Council should be split 2 Labour 2 SNP. However, the second SNP position was given to the Tories proving that Labour and the Tories are working hand in hand to a national agenda as well as local.
To add insult to injury both positions on the Helix Board were grabbed by Labour despite the fact the Helix was an SNP creation. Cecil Meiklejohn lost out by 17 votes to 15, to Labour’s Craig R Martin.
Even before the appointment of Provost, the council heard that letters sent by the SNP to both the Labour and Conservative seeking talks on finding common ground and co-operation didn’t attract even the courtesy of an acknowledgement.