Anyone who thought that the Labour Party locally may have learned some lessons from recent drubbings would have been sorely disappointed by the antics of that party in the first Falkirk Council committee meeting this term.
In a bad natured serious of interventions, mainly from both Gerry and Dennis Goldie debate was sacrificed for personal abuse directed at both SNP members of the Executive, David Alexander and Tom Coleman a well as the SNP in general.
The scene was set with a motion moved by Labour member, Craig R Martin who called on the Scottish Government to re-re-regulate the bus industry.
The motion was comprehensively dealt with by the two SNP members who, although supportive of the proposal, challenged the Labour member, a prominent member of the local NO Campaign where he would take the £1 billion in implementation costs would come from.
No member of the Labour Group even sought to attempt to answer the question demonstrating the traditional contempt for the general public.
With a false majority of 9 – 2 on the Executive Committee in Labour’s favour debate is always likely to be skewed placing an responsibility on the chair of the committee to act in an impartial manner. Sadly Martin proved to be no stronger in committee than at the full council.
SNP Executive member, David Alexander said,
“It seems that Labour have still to learn any lessons what from the humiliation they have faced in recent elections.”
“The general public no longer swallow the spin that passes for debate or the bile that so marked their campaigns in both the referendum and May’s General Election.”
“The over the top reaction to those with different opinions can only be described as intolerant. The amendments moved in each of the reports were designed to offer improvements or genuine criticism delivered in a positive and constructive manner.”
Having lost their dominance in terms of numbers of MPs, MSPs and party activists only a few council seats are what is left. This has created a trench mentality within the Labour Group in Falkirk Council”
As well as voting down the SNP amendment calling for a more rounded motion of public transport the Labour members also voted down SNP amendments to,
Offer sitting tenants in commercial premises the opportunity to purchase their unit at market value rather than the open market where competitors may bid for properties owned by the council but earmarked for sale with a sitting tenant.
Carry out an audit of the likely future needs of businesses in the Falkirk area as the first step to developing a credible Investment Strategy.
Establish an all party working group to take forward the budget process.
To call into the Scrutiny Committee the budget management of social services who are facing a £2m overspend this year.