At the special meeting of Falkirk Council called by the SNP, the party sought to debate amongst other issues, Support for Families, Social Enterprises and Economic Development issues.
The move to debate these and other matters was defeated by the casting vote of Provost Pat Reid after a tied 14 – 14 vote in the council chambers. The Provost who has a responsibility to be fair to all groups deemed that these matters were not “full council” concerns.
Instead of debating these issues in an open and transparent manner where all Councillors could participate Labour and their Tory allies voted to refer these issues raised by the SNP to the unrepresentative Executive Committee. Unlike the full council where the two most recent votes were were tied, on the Executive Committee Labour have awarded themselves a majority of 6 in a 12 person committee.
SNP Group Leader, Cecil Meiklejohn said,
“David Cameron isn’t the only unionist politician afraid to debate big issues,
Provost Pat Reid showed a major lack of a backbone in running away from debating issues that were clearly matters that effected each and every Councillor, to claim otherwise is at best, daft, at worst, dishonest.
Of course Provost Reid wasn’t seeking an open and transparent debate he was looking for a political advantage for his Labour and Tory alliance.
The Executive Committee is not only unbalanced in terms of numbers but the 5 minutes allocated to the proposer of motions to speak to the committee reeks of tokenism.”