Steve Cardownie: SNP and Labour must not break coalition

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I note that a former senior Labour councillor has called for an end to Edinburgh’s SNP/Labour coalition on the grounds that the Scottish Government’s financial settlement with the local authority was deficient and should not be administered by Labour councillors.

While there may be some dissatisfaction with the Government’s stance (and this is not solely felt by Labour councillors), the alternative to the coalition would only make matters worse. The coalition may not be perfect but a “free for all” could lead to chaos and dysfunction.

Given that the coalition does not command an outright majority of councillors, consultation and compromise with members of at least one other party already happens to some extent.

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If the various parties on the council were afforded convenorships and other senior positions, confusion would likely reign and the work of the council would get bogged down with interminable disputes.

A minority administration with only a maximum of 18 councillors out of 63 would lack credibility and would have great difficulty in progressing matters. So, although there will be disagreements and discourse within the coalition, it does offer a more stable administration than the alternative.

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