Steve Cardownie: SNP shouldn’t lose sleep over Ritchie’s resignation

Edinburgh councillor Lewis Ritchie has quit the SNP and will continue as an independent
Edinburgh councillor Lewis Ritchie has quit the SNP and will continue as an independent
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The SNP Group in the City Chambers will obviously regret their numbers have been reduced from 19 to 18, with the resignation of Councillor Lewis Ritchie who will continue as an “independent”.

Although not now the largest party (the Tories also have 18), the SNP was already part of a minority administration with Labour so his resignation doesn’t alter the fact that the coalition needs another Group’s support or for the opposition to be fragmented to carry on as normal.

Being the largest Group has a nice ring to it, but losing that tag should not cause too many sleepless nights. The adoption of the administration’s budget is all but assured and the coalition should take some satisfaction from that – and also breathe a huge sigh of relief that the savings first envisaged will now not be necessary. So it will be business as usual for the coalition.

However, that “business” is likely to throw up some unforeseen challenges as well as the ones already known about, such as school rationalisation and school and road repairs to name but a few. Uncharted waters for many new councillors, but it is part and parcel of the job.

READ MORE: ‘Punch row’ councillor quits SNP

Well-intentioned diesel drivers face being hit in the wallet again
The onslaught on diesel car owners continues unabated, with the City Council now considering whether or not to impose an additional charge on parking permits issued to owners of such vehicles.

I am one of the many who went diesel as I was informed that they were better for the environment. Apparently I was not alone, as the number of diesel cars on Britain’s roads has risen from approximately seven per cent in 1974 to around 40 per cent today. As well as increasing the price of parking permits, there is also talk of banning such vehicles from the city centre, so my well-intentioned actions have come back to bite me on the posterior. Three-year-old car for sale, city dwellers need not apply!