Dumbarton Reporter Column – 11th October 2022

Labour’s early record in Administration is deeply concerning. At their first meeting in charge, they voted to ban all opposition from key committees while stacking others with enough Labour members that only half of them need to attend.

Labour gifted a huge swathe of prime Alexandria Town Centre land to multi-national supermarket chain Lidl for free. Council Leader Martin Rooney didn’t even know the proposal was to give the land away until the SNP and Council managers highlighted it; he voted to do it anyway.

The SNP asked for a 2-3 week delay so the full facts could be presented to Councillors (including the clueless Labour Council Leader) and an informed decision could be taken. Labour claimed they needed to urgently bulldoze Mitchell Way in the coming days and any delay was unacceptable; this was August 17th, as I write this on October 7th not one brick has been removed from Mitchell Way.

They’ve instructed management to bring forward proposals for three or four weekly green bin collections, meaning that our rubbish will pile up and fly tipping will inevitably increase. It was pointed out to Labour that this has not worked well in other Council areas and hasn’t done much to improve recycling. Committee Convener Cllr David McBride agreed and said he was against changing collections, but after Council Leader Martin Rooney intervened, he flipped and voted in favour of having the reports drawn up for approval later in the year.

Labour even voted against their own Local Government manifesto commitment to put £1000 in every citizen’s pocket, through grants, fee reductions or other support for those in need, to help with the cost of living crisis. The SNP moved to support this Labour Policy, but bizarrely Labour Councillors passionately rejected it.

Labour also voted against building electric vehicle charging infrastructure into future Council Housing developments. The planning committee previously agreed that future housing developments would require these facilities, but the Council’s Housing Committee needed to agree that Council developments would have the same basic facilities for our tenants as private providers would need to have. Labour, it seems, value our tenants less than those who live in private housing.

The pretence of being a left of centre party, dedicated to helping ordinary people is long gone and now more than ever it’s evident that there’s nothing between the red and blue ‘Better Together’ chums.

With both Labour and the Tories dedicated to keeping Scotland down at every level of government and working hard to feed the Westminster system of greed, power and privileges over the wellbeing of the people, the only escape for Scotland will be with independence.

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