Sign of the times in political spat

Mock-up of Motherwell Civic Centre
Mock-up of Motherwell Civic Centre

RELATIONS between the main political groups on North Lanarkshire Council have hit a low with its Labour rulers being accused of gagging the opposition.

Council leader Jim McCabe has responded by branding the SNP contingent ‘immature’ and defending a decision to axe the Nationalists’ two places on a prestigious outside body.

He pointed to a Facebook post by Councillor Tommy Cochrane comparing council bosses to Russian Kremlin leaders as an example of the SNP’s childish behaviour.

The 26-strong SNP group boycotted a visit to Motherwell by leaders of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the umbrella group for councils.

They are furious that Labour have taken all six of the North Lanarkshire seats on COSLA, having set aside two of those for the SNP in previous years.

Councillor David Stocks, leader of the council’s SNP group, said: “We represent 37 per cent of the North Lanarkshire voters yet we are now denied any representation by Labour.”

However, Councillor McCabe retorted: “If the SNP group on this council start to resemble a credible opposition and behave with maturity we might well reconsider.”

A full report will appear in next week’s Motherwell Times and Bellshill Speaker.