SNP block moves to give all councillors a vote on budget

In a close-run vote in South Lanarkshire Council the SNP controlling group have refused to give budgeting powers to the full council.

South Lanarkshire Council HQ

South Lanarkshire Council HQ

A Labour motion would have brought about new proposals to reform council rules and guarantee every councillor a meaningful say on the Annual Budget.

At present, the Council’s budget is set by its Executive Committee but Labour’s proposals would have required the approval of the full council, making sure all elected members were involved in the final decision.

At last year’s elections the SNP promised greater transparency and accountability in Council decision making so their opposition to Labour’s motion appears to be at odds with that promise.

Councillor Joe Fagan

Councillor Joe Fagan

Joe Fagan, leader of the Labour Group on councillors, said:

This Motion sought to establish a simple principle – that every councillor should have a meaningful say on the Budget process.

I believe that important decisions about Annual Savings as well as the Council’s overall spending should be taken by all 64 elected members of the Council, not just by a single Committee.

This is a time of great change in local government, with more new councillors and minority administrations than ever before, and there is a consensus that the Standing Orders of the Council now need to be updated.

This Motion would have started the process of modernising the Standing Orders, strengthening the role of councillors and making the Council itself more democratically accountable.

That’s why it was so disappointing to see the ruling SNP Administration break with the consensus and vote down a simple, measured proposal for reform.

It was an act of naked cynicism designed to stifle debate.

The SNP in South Lanarkshire promised openness and transparency when they were elected but only pay lip service to those principles now.

They are shutting care homes, blocking scrutiny and betraying the principles on which they were elected. It’s been less than 18 months since the SNP took control of the Council and in that time they have made it abundantly clear that they simply cannot be trusted.


Posted by HLSLabour

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