SNP move will being end to consesus at South Lanarkshire Council
Dec 26 2012
by Douglas Dickie, Rutherglen Reformer
The age of consensual politics at South Lanarkshire Council looks to be over after the SNP walk out.
The authority has always prided itself in ruling by consensus, but it is difficult to see this rift being healed in the near future.
The situation stems from the SNP’s attempt to take the chair of the licensing board in East Kilbride and Hamilton.
Labour say it is proof they can no longer be trusted and at the meeting last week, the other parties as well as the two independents supported that view.
The SNP, determined to up their game as opposition since surprisingly failing to take control of the council in May, have been accused of internal fighting and being “rudderless” while group leader, Councillor Anne Maggs recovers from surgery.
But spokesperson, Councillor Jim McGuigan this week rubbished those claims: “There is no internal fighting in the SNP. This was a unanimous decision by the group and we are certainly not rudderless.
“Other parties have taken the view that consensus politics is no longer possible, and on the basis of that, we will adapt and change.
“On every issue, we have always looked at it and decided on the basis of what is good and what is bad for the people of South Lanarkshire. This has been brought on by the other parties.”
Council leader, Eddie McAvoy, said the licensing board issue was merely the tip of the iceberg. He also said two SNP representatives, councillors Jim McGuigan and Lesley McDonald, had been removed from the recruitment committee after breaking protocol, although Councillor McGuigan did not comment.
He said: “It’s a shame. All my life I have worked to a conciliatory agenda and for 12 years that has worked.
“But since the election in May, for some reason, they (the SNP) are causing disruption and bringing the council into disrepute. As far as I am concerned the trust we had is now broken.”