Magazine article Public Finance

Now SNP Jointly Runs Ten Councils

Magazine article Public Finance

Now SNP Jointly Runs Ten Councils

Article excerpt

The Scottish National Party has added to its success in becoming the minority government at Holyrood by winning influential positions of power locally.

As all but two of Scotland's 32 local authorities became hung councils after the May 3 elections, parties were forced to enter into an unprecedented round of negotiations to agree coalition deals.

These have now been finalised, resulting in the SNP joining with the Liberal Democrats or Independents to form the administration in ten councils.

The Nationalists have linked up with the LibDems to run Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Fife, East Lothian, Perth & Kinross and Renfrewshire and have joined with Independent councillors to form the administration in Highland, Argyll & Bute, West Lothian and West Dunbartonshire. The SNP has formed a minority administration in East Ayrshire.

The ability of the SNP and the LibDems to co-operate at local level is in marked contrast to the LibDems' refusal to enter into coalition talks with the Nationalists in the Scottish Parliament.

The LibDems insisted nationally that they would not consider j oining with a party that was committed to holding a referendum on independence.

In the elections, the introduction of proportional representation for local government and the rise in support for the SNP combined to end Labour's power-base in Scotland. …

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