‘Wise’ Labour leader praised — by Tories

Meghan Gallacher and fellow Motherwell councillor Nathan Wilson
Meghan Gallacher and fellow Motherwell councillor Nathan Wilson

North Lanarkshire Council’s “wise” Labour leaders will ensure the authority “achieves its full potential”.

That’s the view of the Conservative group on the council whose support ensured Labour holds on to power at Motherwell Civic Centre.

The 10-strong Tory group also slammed the “dysfunctional” SNP for branding the new administration a Tory/Labour “stitch-up”.

The Nationalists had been confident of seizing control from Labour after the council elections earlier this month. However, although they are the biggest party with 33 seats they were outvoted at the first full council meeting.

Labour, with 32 seats, got the backing of independent Alan Beveridge and the Tories so that Councillor Jim Logue was re-elected as leader.

Labour councillors in Aberdeen were suspended from the party for forming a coalition with the Tories, but Councilor Logue insisted no deal has been done between the parties here.

Councillor Meghan Gallacher, the Tory group leader, said had her party not sided with political opponents the leadership of the council would have been decided by cutting cards.

She stated: “That is no way to run a business with £1 billion turnover, looking after thousands of constituents. The Conservatives were not elected to sit on the fence. but to make a positive contribution to the working of the council, which we will do.

“There is no way this Conservative group will support the formation of an SNP administration. Given that the SNP Government has neglected its day job, to concentrate on independence at any cost, if the same thing happened locally it would prove detrimental to the wellbeing of everyone in the area.

“There are many areas in which the Conservatives and Labour strongly disagree, and that will not change. We will, however, support Labour in all areas we agree with and they will hear from us in areas where we disagree.

“The Conservatives on North Lanarkshire Council are not the austerity cutters our opponents like to depict us as. We are against needless waste of scarce resources and providing support where there is already ample provision, but are very much in favour of bringing material help to those who need it within the ability of the council to provide it.

“Politics aside, we have a high regard for Jim Logue and Paul Kelly as his deputy and believe that they, and not a dysfunctional SNP group, provide the leadership and wisdom for the council to achieve its full potential.”