SNP and Labour to run East Ren Council in “partnership”

SNP group leader Councillor Tony Buchanan will head up East Ren Council as leader
SNP group leader Councillor Tony Buchanan will head up East Ren Council as leader

SNP and Labour councillors – plus independent Labour man Danny Devlin – are to run East Renfrewshire as “a partnership”, it emerged on Friday.

The two parties, which are at odds on independence but in de facto alliance on local issues, have both said a deal has been arranged.

However no details on who will be council leader or act as committee convenors have been announced.

The news follows this month’s local council election, in which the SNP gained five seats to Labour’s four.

The Conservatives won seven, but cannot find allies needed to gain a working majority.

East Ren MP Kirsten Oswald has wished the council’s SNP group “every success as they work to form the first SNP-led administration in East Renfrewshire”.

Meanwhile rival contender Blair McDougall, who led the Better Together campaign in the 2014 independence referendum campaign, says only he can stop the SNP locally.

But both parties appear to be trying to draw a sharp distinction between local and national politics at council level, despite the turmoil following proposed deals in some other areas – notably Aberdeen.

In a statement, East Renfrewshire Labour Party said: “Labour will continue to play a central part in the Leadership of East Renfrewshire Council in partnership with the SNP Group and Independent Councillor, Danny Devlin.

“Labour has formed the Administration of East Renfrewshire Council in partnership since its foundation in 1996 and has worked with other parties on a shared agenda since that time.

“This bold and ambitious agenda rooted in fairness and equality has seen East Renfrewshire named as one of the best places to live in Scotland; with local schools regularly named number one in the country and local services annually praised by local people through the Citizen’s Panel Survey.”

It adds: “Through this partnership agreement, each pledge of our Labour manifesto for East Renfrewshire will be delivered.

“We will deliver our Labour agenda for East Renfrewshire in full and this has been agreed by all parties in the new administration.

“This includes building new schools building new affordable homes; increasing early learning and childcare, protecting our environment and improving our communities in partnership with local people.”

The council’s SNP group leader, Councillor Tony Buchanan, has said he’s delighted agreement has been reached

“to build on the work and achievements of the last 10 years.”

He says the administration has “a shared manifesto” to deliver a vision of a modern, ambitious council “creating a fairer future for all.”