Thursday, 4 February 2010

SNP Control in West Lothian Reduced to Knife Edge

After the 2007 election the SNP formed an council administration in West Lothian with the support of the sole Tory and the three Save St. John's Hospital members. However, one of the St. John's councillors Gordon Beurskens (pictured) has withdrawn his support for the SNP leaving a 13-13 split in the council chamber. The Conservative Provost Tom Kerr would hold the deciding vote on any split decision.

The Whitburn and Blackburn is currently under a Standards Commission investigation into allegations of planning corruption from 2008. But is claiming that the SNP are taking up a "hypocritical" stance with regards to council Chief Executive Alex Linkston.

In today's Courier he announces:

"I have formally withdrawn my support for the SNP administration. I'm not stepping down from the Action to Save St. John's Hospital Party but I can no longer support their formal arrangement with the SNP group.

"My reasons for that I will happily spell out at some stage in the future but they involve my disillusionment with the council chief executive Alex Linkston.

"I believe his position is now untenable and I cannot support an administration group that in private doesn't back him but publicly back him and take a hypocritical stance.

"Obviously I didn't take the decision lightly but it is a personal decision. I will vote with my conscience from now on.

"I have certainly had some approaches from other councillors but this is not about destabilising the administration.

"I have a responsibility to the council and their employees and the wider West Lothian population but I have got to the stage now that I think I have a responsibility to my family and friends who have come second too often recently."

The fact that Mr Linkston of course was the officer that had to take the complaint against Mr Beurskens may well have something to do about the councillor feeling there is a personal vendetta against him. The fact that his two colleagues, Ellen Glass and John Cochrane, do not feel the same way about the SNP administration may suggest it does.

From my dealings with SNP councillors over the last 9 years I have personally heard nothing but praise for the work that Alex does, even when they were in opposition they said he dealt a fair hand. If any of the SNP councillors wish to add a comment (even anonymously) please feel free to do so though the email address in the side bar.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about Alex. When I've had dealings with him, he's been fair, clear and very helpful. The West Lothian election guidance and preparation is excellent.

    I wouldn't say that the Council were perfect in any way, and I've had particular concerns about arbitrary decisions resulting in school bus passes being withdrawn from children who've had them for years, but generally I think they do a good job.