SNP seeks consensus in bid to end Stirling Council impasse


By a Newsnet reporter
The SNP Administration on Stirling Council has today proposed a fresh budget in an attempt at ending the gridlock caused after Labour and Conservative councillors joined together to block the original motion last week.
The fresh budget motion contains elements from the SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrat proposals.

The original budget failed to get enough support after Labour councillors at the local authority decided to join forces with the Tory group in order to vote down budget amendments that they themselves had proposed.

The vote left the local authority with no legal budget and workers facing the prospect of a loss of wages if one could not be agreed.

Commenting on today’s fresh moves, SNP Finance spokesman Councillor Scott Farmer said:

“It is essential that Stirling Council moves quickly to set a legal budget in order that Council services can continue.  Following an urgent Administration meeting on Monday morning, the SNP has requisitioned a meeting for 9am on Friday 24 February, which is the earliest opportunity under standing orders for us to do so.

“The people of the Stirling area will be appalled at the gridlocked position we now find ourselves in, and will rightly demand urgent action to remedy this.”

The SNP have tabled a new motion that incorporates the priorities set out by the SNP, Labour and the Liberal Democrats last week.  Mr Farmer said the SNP would seek consensus with the new budget reflecting the “common ground” between the parties, and added:

“To that end, we will seek to have discussions with all parties in advance of the meeting, and will look seriously at any constructive amendment that builds consensus.  This is not a time to be playing silly games with Council services and people’s livelihoods, and I hope that progress can be made in a mature way and that the current impasse can be overcome.”

If a council does not set its budget then it cannot pay its workers after the end of the old budget period.

The situation also has an adverse effect on repairs and prevents the purchasing of services and materials, which has a knock on effect on third party businesses.

The council has until March 11th to set a new budget.