The launch of major party manifestos this week has somewhat overshadowed critical local government discussions in the aftermath of last week’s local elections as political parties negotiate their positions of power within local authorities across the country. Cratus employs a uniquely local perspective which means that in the absence of locally focussed news, we will ensure local government issues rise to the surface of an already complicated political pond.
As battle lines are drawn on NHS staffing numbers, mental health initiatives, energy bill caps and affordable housing, councillors have taken on their own battles to seek coalitions of power to avoid minority power local councils.
In Scotland, not one single local authority has secured overall political control. The Scottish Nationalist Party received 32% of the first preference vote and has ruled out working with the Scottish Conservatives, second from the top with 25% of first preference votes. This particular battle line makes the maths difficult when it comes to getting over the line in some councils.
Just over 1.88m votes were cast in Scotland with voter turnout on the increase at 46.9%. Interestingly, the lowest turnout was in Glasgow, a former Labour stronghold with a Yes vote for independence. 39% of voters came out to vote for Scotland’s second largest city and largest local council. Both SNP and Green councillors are already toeing their party lines and when asked by Cratus earlier this week, explained that discussions are ongoing about a possible SNP/Green coalition at Glasgow CC. The naming of new Provost and Executive Members is expected next Thursday at the first full council meeting. Officers are working at lightning speed behind closed doors to meet these expectations.
Much like Glasgow City Council who lost their Labour leadership after almost 40 years in power, COSLA, the Scottish representative body for councils in Scotland, could see its first SNP President in its entire history. Cratus will also be monitoring COSLA’s June Convention to track the new appointments and balance of power of this national body. COSLA will no doubt be particularly buoyant following the indication that Glasgow, Aberdeen, Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire councils are expected to rejoin at the June Convention.
What will next week hold for local government and your business interests? Another week, another manifesto? Scottish councils will be one week closer to agreeing their coalitions of power or one step closer to a minority controlled local authority. Thereafter, Cratus Strategic Services will monitor the impact these political power plays will have on policy frameworks and relationships across our sectors of industry.
To discuss how Cratus Scotland can help you cut through the politics and pitch your business ambitions to newly formed local authorities, please email [email protected] and Cratus Scotland colleagues will be in touch.