Labour power-grab will cut out local people

The SNP has condemned moves by Labour in North Lanarkshire Council to strip committees of the power to refer matters to full council as the worst kind of dinosaur politics.

Currently, North Lanarkshire Council’s committees have the power to refer matters to full council for consideration by all councillors if 25 percent of committee members agree to do so. This ensures that the input of councillors with specific local knowledge of matters affecting their ward can contribute to controversial decisions.

On Thursday Labour will use their majority on the council to remove this power, cutting local input out of many council decisions.

Labour on North Lanarkshire Council have already been criticised for only sending Labour members to COSLA, despite official advice recommending that delegations should reflect the political makeup of each council.

Commenting on Labour’s plans, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said:

“If Labour goes ahead with their plans it will be a slap in the face to local communities in every part of North Lanarkshire Council. They will be sending out the clear message that local input into decisions are less important than securing Labour’s own agenda in North Lanarkshire.

“Coming straight after their disgraceful decision to ignore official advice and send only Labour members to COSLA, it is clear they are resorting to the worst kind of dinosaur politics.

“Instead of listening to local voices, this move will severely undermine the ability of local people to ensure their views are represented. It should not be possible for local representatives to be completely bypassed on major decisions affecting their area as Labour are planning.

“Labour must drop these shameful plans and maintain the vital link between local residents and the decisions made by North Lanarkshire Council.”