Labour “occupying” old offices in city chambers despite election defeat
LABOUR’S DEMOTION in Glasgow City Council to an opposition party for the first time in 40 years is yet to hit home with some of its members – who are still occupying offices meant for the council administration a full week after the election took place.
Council sources have told CommonSpace that the transition to offices for new councillors is yet to be completed, and in other cases, key equipment has yet to be returned by previous councillors.
The issue has led to an intervention from council officials, who emailed members frustrated with the issue urging patience. The senior official, in an email seen by CommonSpace, reaffirmed that the transition would go ahead – but urged new councillor not to move into offices while others were still “occupying” them.
Labour, which had run Glasgow City Council and its previous incarnations continuously over four decades, has been synonymous with the city’s local bureaucracy over that time.
“They genuinely didn’t think they’d lose,” a councillor told CommonSpace on the current stand-off.
Some changes have already taken place. The SNP group, led by councillor Susan Aitken, held its first group meeting in the lavish council debating chamber – a room designated for the council’s largest group.
— David McDonald (@SNPdavid) May 6, 2017
The SNP won 39 council seats, Labour won 31, while the Tories and Scottish Greens grew to eight and seven seats respectively.
While a majority of 43 seats is required to guarantee passing key votes and council budgets, the SNP are expected to serve as either a minority administration or look for a more substantial agreement with the Green group.
A council spokesperson, responding to the reports, said: “The number and relative size of our political groups is significantly different. We also have more councillors than before, including a sizable number of new members. Allocating suitable accommodation that works for them and their support staff is a bit of a logistical puzzle, but progressing well.” Glasgow Labour did not respond to requests for comment.
Picture courtesy of Graeme Bird
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