The first meeting of the newly elected Falkirk Council ended with a Minority SNP Administration (13 members) after Labour rebuffed approaches from the SNP for a power sharing agreement. Instead the 9 Labour Councillors abstained when the SNP and Conservative members went head to head for senior positions.
However, there was confusion all round when Labour and Conservative Councillors combined to vote down an SNP motion that sought to reduce the number of Councillors receiving additional payments that would have saved over £33,000 for the hard pressed council.
Bizarrely, by supporting the Labour motion the Tories effectively cut their own representation on the influential Executive Committee from 2 members to 1. The SNP had proposed an Executive with a 6 Administration members to 4 from the ranks of the opposition.
Under the previous Labour / Tory Administration there had been an Executive made up of 12 members, 9 of the 12 places available with only 3 from the opposition.”
SNP Group Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn said,
“I approached the Labour Group with a proposal to share power as we recognise no party has an absolute mandate, although the SNP as the largest party have a responsibility to lead.”
“This was a genuine opportunity to work together for the benefit of the people of Falkirk and I am deeply disappointed that the Labour leaders blocked their members from participating in the Administration of the Council.”
“We were more than prepared to be both inclusive and constructive. The SNP group proposed saving money by paying senior Councillors less and making the Executive of the Council more balanced. However the antics of the Labour and Tory Groups acting in unison over these proposals to save does not bode well for the future.”
“The position Labour and the Tories put the council in for no other reason than seeking a division they knew they would win without assessing the impact was not acceptable and does their respective parties no favours what so ever.”
“Through the actions of Labour and the Tory groups the SNP were forced to scrap their slimmed down and less expensive structures.