Labour hits back at “ramshackle” claim

Labour is under fire for its record at Motherwell Civic Centre-based North Lanarkshire Council.
Labour is under fire for its record at Motherwell Civic Centre-based North Lanarkshire Council.

North Lanarkshire Council’s ruling Labour group has defended its record after being branded “ramshackle” by the SNP.

The group came under attack after Councillors Gary O’Rorke and Frank McKay quit, bringing to six the number of Labour members who have resigned this year.

Referring to council service cuts and claims of corruption which are under investigation, SNP group leader David Stocks said: “Labour are in a mess and are no longer fit to run this council. There’s a complete breakdown in trust.”

However, Labour hit back saying: “We will always insist that any allegations of corruption should be investigated thoroughly and robustly.

“We will always make clear that we are opposed to residents of North Lanarkshire paying the price of a £31 million cut by the Scottish Government to our budget last year, which has unfortunately impacted some services in having to impose charges.

“We will always work to mitigate against these cuts, especially when they impact on our most vulnerable residents.

“Our focus in the run up to May’s elections has been, and always will be, solely on building more council homes, investment in our schools and creating jobs for the people of North Lanarkshire.”

The SNP said, despite the latest resignations, it won’t be calling for a vote of no confidence in the council leadership, preferring to wait until May when it is confident it will take control of the authority.

It’s understood leading party figures put pressure on the SNP group this week to demand a no confidence vote.

The Labour spokesman said: “David Stocks should be applauded for not listening to his own party headquarters, former Minister Alex Neil, MSP Richard Lyle and a minority of his own councillors who were desperate for him to play politics at such an important time.”