COUNCIL CHANGES LEADERSHIP - A NEW partnership has taken charge of South Lanarkshire Council.

A NEW partnership has taken charge of South Lanarkshire Council.

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors formed a minority administration that will have support from the Independent Group.

The three will help deliver each other’s progressive manifesto commitments and pursue their shared priorities for the area. 

However, each Party remains free to take its own policy positions on matters not covered by the partnership agreement.

Both the SNP and Conservative groups are now recognised as opposition parties. It means a change of political control at the council, which for the past five years had an SNP administration.

The newly elected Labour and Liberal Democrat partnership administration promised to set new directions for South Lanarkshire.

It announced it would bring forward new policies and initiatives to help overcome the challenges facing residents and the council, with a clear focus on improving life and services for people here.

It will also oppose both Scottish government funding cuts and its damaging agenda of centralisation. 

At the council’s first meeting since this month’s local elections, the partners nominated Independent Group leader Margaret Cooper and longstanding Labour councillor Bert Thomson to become provost and deputy provost.

They were elected with only SNP and Green councillors opposed. A new joint Labour and Liberal Democrat partnership administration was then elected. 

Labour councillors Joe Fagan and Gerry Convery became leader of the council and deputy leader of the council. 

The Liberal Democrats’ Robert Brown is the new chair of community and enterprise, with his party colleague Mark McGeever appointed chair of climate change. 

The partnership administration will also include chairs of finance and corporate resources, education resources, housing and technical resources, and social work resources. 

The partnership administration hopes to maintain constructive relationships and ongoing dialogue with the opposition SNP, Conservative and Green councillors. 

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