The SNP within Falkirk Council have ruled out a pact with the Tories after next years local elections in the event of the party failing to win an outright majority. Labour, who are currently in a formal alliance with the Conservatives refused to match the SNP commitment.
During a debate of Tory/Lib Dem cuts to public services and increasing contributions towards pensions at the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, SNP Group Leader, David Alexander said:
“At last May’s elections to the Scottish Parliament the Liberal Democrats, rightly, took a beating for their role in keeping the Conservatives in power in Westminster.
“Those same Tories have been put at the heart of the current coalition administration within Falkirk Council thanks to the Labour Party.
Next years elections will offer the people of Falkirk district a clear choice, they can have to Tories or they can have the SNP as a vote for Labour is a vote to keep David Cameron’s Falkirk battalion in power and carrying out Tory policy.”
The SNP leader pointed to the impending privatisation of the Refuse Collection Service, the new charges on pensioners and disabled people and the transfer out of Falkirk Council control as proof of a right wing Tory agenda.
The SNP leader went on to challenge Labour to enter the mainstream of Falkirk politics and rule out a Labour/Tory pact after May’s poll but this was rejected by Labour leader, Craig Martin who described the Conservative Group as “Labour’s Partners”.
Councillor Alexander said:
“Councillor Martin needs a reality check if he believes the people of Falkirk will support a partnership that includes the Tory Party given the mayhem being created in the lives of those with least in our communities.”
“Or perhaps it is recognition that there is very little difference in policies and outlook between the Labour Party as it has become and the Tory party as it has always been.”
At the moment Falkirk Council has 14 Labour members to the SNP’s 13. Labour are sustained in power by four members of a grouping that includes former Independent Councillors, Alex Waddell and Billy Buchanan, called the Conservative/Independent Alliance.
Outwith this Tory led alliance is Falkirk Council’s only Independent Councillor, Robert Spears.