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Thursday, 12 August 2010

Liberal Democrats now the only effective opposition in Glasgow

It appears the SNP Councillors in Glasgow are not taking there jobs seriously any more and have given up.
SNP Councillors have yet again failed to attend one of the key Scrutiny Committees on Glasgow City Council.

In the week when news surfaced of a Labour Councillor being arrested the SNP were quick to rush out press statements about the tip of a corruption iceberg and the need for more scrutiny of the Labour Council.

Yet just last week SNP Councillors failed to attend either the Finance & Audit or the Operational Delivery Scrutiny Committees and yesterday failed to attend the External Governance Scrutiny Committee.

These committees are chaired by opposition Councillors and are the very bodies that allow opposition councillors to hold the Labour Administration to account.

As the current official opposition the SNP Group earns over £60,000 in additional salaries from Glasgow’s external companies and have a full time policy officer paid for by the Council yet they don’t think scrutiny of these arms length companies or whether Labour are failing to deliver on front line services is worth turning up for.

Voters elected the Councillors and therefore pay them, and to represent their interests and to hold this Labour Administration to account for its actions.

If the SNP Council Group won’t do its job as an official opposition then Glasgow’s Liberal Democrat Councillors will step and be the official and effective opposition that Glasgow so badly needs.

Labour must be held to account in Glasgow and the SNP are failing the voters of Glasgow so it is down to Councillor Paul Coleshill and his fantastic team to step up and hold the Labour Councillors to account.


BellgroveBelle said...

Are scrutiny committees independent when their chairs are selected by the Labour administration?

Anonymous said...

The chairs of the original 2 scrutiny committees were offered to the SNP and the Liberal Democrats but the SNP demanded both places. They knew they weren't going to win a vote at the full Council meeting so they nominated no-one and the full Council meeting elected two Lib Dems. The Lib Dems nevertheless appointed unofficial SNP deputes for both scrutiny committees Cllr Graeme Hendry and Cllr Alison Hunter.

The opposition therefore now set the agenda for the committees and have a majority of the members on these committees. So are they independent - I'd say so.

The problem is the SNP want any opposition place solely elected amongst the 32 opposition Councillors where they have 19 votes. Strangely the SNP had no problem taking 10 paid company positions from Labour, netting £60,000 in additional cash, without any discussion with the other opposition groups. They also took all 10 Community Planning Board places from Labour again with no discussion with the rest of the opposition.

If Steven Purcell had given the 2 scrutiny chairs to the SNP we wouldn't be hearing a word from them about the 'independence' of these posts.

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