New leader of the SNP Group within Falkirk Council, Cecil Meiklejohn, has named the team she believes will hold the Labour / Tory coalition Administration currently running Falkirk Council to account.
There is continuity in the retention of Martin Oliver (Economic Development), John McNally (Leisure & Tourism) and Steven Jackson, (Environment and Community Care Committees in their portfolios from the previous term.
Popular Braes Councillor, Gordon Hughes takes over the important Education brief from veteran Councillor Tom Coleman and up and coming Councillor, Steven Carleschi becomes the SNP’s spokesperson on Planning.
Former leader, David Alexander becomes the party’s Housing and Social Care spokesperson.
“The SNP received more votes than any other party last month and so the community clearly have a liking for SNP policies.
I believe that I have selected a strong and articulate team more than capable of not only holding to account this Labour / Tory coalition administration but more importantly, bringing forward SNP policies for the benefit of the community.
The SNP chief did express concern that her team may be prevented from properly scrutinising the actions of the current council leaders with the use of closure motions to curtail debate. Cllr Meiklejohn points to nine separate attempts made by a single Labour Councillor to close down debate in the first three council meetings.
Cllr Meiklejohn said,
“It does not bode well for open and transparent local government when one particular councillor who will be chairing one of the council’s most important committees clearly fears thorough scrutiny of the matters before him.
It is to the credit of Provost Reid that he rejected seven of the nine attempts to close down debate, the final rebuttal led to a petulant walk out by that Councillor but who will ensure that debate is permitted at meetings chaired by that particular Councillor?
While I can understand the fear clearly felt by members of the Labour / Tory coalition there has to be a commitment to democratic scrutiny.
I have every confidence that the SNP team will ensure that happens.”