Falkirk Council’s SNP Group is demanding the resignation of a senior Labour Councillor from two influential boards as well as an apology following an amazing own goal from former Falkirk Council leader, Linda Gow.
This follows a recent meeting of Falkirk Council during the debate on the establishment of a joint board to take forward the integration of Health and Social Care. In her speech Ms Gow sought to justify the freezing out of the SNP on the board. As Labour took all three places available to Councillors, the former council leader questioned the likely attendance of an SNP member quoting the attendance record of SNP members on council committees such as “Civic Licensing and Licensing”.
Despite being in opposition, the SNP point to the fact their attendance on these two committees almost match that of Labour’s throughout 2014. Council records show that Labour members attending the Licensing Board on 17 occasions collectively, while the SNP attended 15, with Civic Licensing the figures are 27 to 23.
However, the SNP’s anger is focused on the astonishing attack on the nomination of Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn leader of the SNP Group to take up one of the 3 places available on the newly created shadow board to take forward the integration agenda. The Nationalists are particularly angry with Mrs Gow’s comment that membership of the board was “too important to leave to people who may not turn up for meetings”.
In a twist on the issue the SNP has discovered that Mrs Gow, who is the nominated delegate from Falkirk Council to the paid post to NHS Forth Valley Health Board, attended only 4 of the 11 board meetings over the last two years where minutes are published (minutes of meeting Oct 14 and Feb 13 not on web site).
Now the SNP are not only demanding the resignation of Councillor Gow from both the new joint board and from NHS Forth Valley’s main board, but also demanding an apology for misleading the council.
SNP Depute Leader, Cllr Steven Jackson said,
“The double standards and rank hypocrisy demonstrated by Linda Gow is breathtaking and can not go unchallenged.”
“What is clear is that far from denying the SNP a place on the new board because they fear absenteeism on our part; what they clearly fear is scrutiny of their own member’s attendance first hand, which in terms membership of NHS Forth Valley Health Board is abysmal.”
“Where I do agree with Councillor Gow is that this area of joint working between Falkirk Council and NHS Forth Valley is too important to leave to individuals who may not turn up for meetings and so I am calling on Councillor Gow to stand down from membership of both boards immediately. “
“I am also calling on the leaders of the Labour and Tory groups of Falkirk Council to exercise some leadership and stop covering up for their member’s lack of commitment to posts undertaken on behalf of the people of Falkirk district.”
Dates of Health Board meetings in last two years,
27 November 2012….. Absent per minutes- apologies submitted
19 February 2013……Minutes not published
16 April 2013……Absent per minutes-no apologies submitted
18 June 2013….. Absent per minutes- apologies submitted
20 August 2013….. Present per minutes
25 September 2013…..Present per minutes
15 October 2013…..Absent per minutes-no apologies submitted
10 December 2013…..Absent per minutes-no apologies submitted
18 February 2014…..Present per minutes
22 April 2014…..Present per minutes
17 June 2014…..Absent per minutes-apologies submitted
19 August 2014…..Absent per minutes –apologies submitted
7 October 2014…..Minutes not yet published