South Scotland

Labour and SNP take control of Dumfries and Galloway Council

Council HQ Image copyright Google

A coalition between Labour and the SNP has taken control of Dumfries and Galloway Council.

It means the Conservative group, which won most seats at the recent elections, is kept out of the administration.

Between them Labour and the SNP have 22 seats on the 43 member local authority - enough for a narrow majority.

Former MSP Elaine Murray has been named the new leader of the council replacing her Labour colleague Ronnie Nicholson. The SNP's Rob Davidson is her deputy.

The new coalition said it was committed to "working together constructively" and would put aside constitutional issues to tackle local problems.

Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption New leader Elaine Murray and her deputy Rob Davidson issued a joint statement

It pledged to seek new opportunities for investment and aim to improve town centres across the region.

The administration said it would be "characterised by co-operation" with a "resilient and collegiate" approach.

There were 16 Conservatives elected in Dumfries and Galloway with Labour and the SNP tied on 11, four independents and one Lib Dem.

A Labour minority administration was previously in control of the council.

In a joint statement Ms Murray and Mr Davidson said the two groups looked forward to working together to deliver "shared ambitions for the region".

"We're committed to working together for the benefit of our communities, we've both stepped up to that to that responsibility today, and we're confident that we'll work together effectively and constructively," it said.

"Both groups have put aside our political differences on constitutional issues to concentrate on what needs to be done in the interests of the people and communities in our region.

"Both parties in this partnership are committed to tackling poverty, to opposing austerity, and protecting, as far as we can, our most vulnerable individuals and communities from its effects. "

They said their partnership was "passionate about delivering for Dumfries and Galloway".

The council also agreed who would chair a string of its committees:

  • policy and resources - Rob Davidson (SNP)
  • children, young people and lifelong learning - Jeff Leaver (Lab)
  • economy, environment and infrastructure - Archie Dryburgh (Lab)
  • social work - Stephen Thompson (SNP)
  • communities - Andy Ferguson (SNP)
  • planning - Jim Dempster (Lab)
  • Annandale and Eskdale area committee - Stephen Thompson (SNP)
  • Nithsdale area committee - Ronnie Nicholson (Lab)
  • Stewartry area committee - John Young (SNP)
  • Wigtown area committee - Tommy Sloan (Lab)

The role of provost of Dumfries and Nithsdale was taken by the SNP's Tracey Little.

Conservative group leader Ian Carruthers said he was disappointed with the outcome.

"To try and put it into context we got nearly 39% of the vote share across Dumfries and Galloway," he said.

"If you collectively add up both the SNP and Labour who have formed the administration I think they got round about 41%.

"We just think we had a clear mandate from people in Dumfries and Galloway."

He said that people had voted for a change but that was not now being delivered.


What about the other councils?

Aberdeen Council - Labour suspended nine councillors after they agreed a coalition deal with the Conservatives.

Aberdeenshire Council - A coalition of Conservative, Liberal Democrats and independent councillors will run the council.

Angus Council - Conservatives, Independents and Liberal Democrats form administration.

Argyll and Bute Council - Independent, Lib Dem and Conservative coalition

Clackmannanshire - The first meeting of the new council could not agree an administration. They will meet again on 1 June.

Dumfries and Galloway Council - A coalition between Labour and the SNP has taken control, meaning the Conservative group, which won most seats, is kept out of the administration.

Dundee City Council - SNP to form administration with Independent.

East Ayrshire Council - SNP minority administration

East Dunbartonshire - Meeting Tuesday 23 May

East Lothian Council- Labour minority administration

East Renfrewshire Council - The SNP and Labour are set to run the council despite the Conservatives winning the most seats.

Edinburgh Council - No agreement reached. A new administration will not now be formed for at least another week.

Falkirk Council - SNP minority takes control of the council

Fife Council - Joint leadership, with power shared equally between SNP and Labour.

Glasgow - The SNP has formed a minority administration, ending almost 40 years of Labour dominance.

Highland Council - 28 independents along with 10 Lib Dems and three Labour have formed an administration, keeping out the SNP and Tories.

Inverclyde Council - Meeting Thursday 25 May at 4pm

Midlothian Council - Labour will run a minority administration

Moray Council - The Conservative group of eight councillors is to join forces with six of the independent members.

North Ayrshire Council - Labour will continue to run the council despite a surge from the Scottish Conservatives in the local elections. The SNP have the same number of seats as Labour.

North Lanarkshire Council - Labour have formed a minority administration. There will be no formal coalition agreement with the Tories.

Perth and Kinross Council - A Conservative-led coalition with the Lib Dems and Independents.

Renfrewshire Council - will operate as an SNP minority administration.

South Ayrshire Council - A coalition of SNP, Labour and Independent councillors has been formed to run the council.

Scottish Borders - A new Conservative-independent coalition has taken formal control. It was previously an SNP/Lib Dem/independent administration.

South Lanarkshire Council - Labour members abstained in a vote on forming an alliance with the Tories. The SNP took control of the council, with a minority administration. They are seven seats short of a majority but the other parties could agree to work together.

Stirling Council - Next meeting Wednesday 24 May

West Dunbartonshire Council - It will be an SNP-Independent administration. The 10 SNP councillors have joined with one of the two independents to form an administration.

West Lothian Council - No deal agreed after Scottish Labour's ruling body told councillors not to enter a coalition with the Conservatives. They will meet again on Thursday 25 May.

Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland - All administrations dominated by independents.

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