A premeditated walk out by the Opposition SNP Group from Wednesday’s meeting of South Lanarkshire Council has been attacked as “undermining democratic accountability” by Rutherglen South Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown. Councillor Brown was speaking at the Council meeting following the walkout.
Robert Brown said afterwards:
“The SNP had a grievance about proposed changes in the membership of the Divisional Licensing Boards, SPT and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. They tried to stop the changes being discussed by a rather spurious claim that they were illegal. They were then told by Council officials they were wrong. Rather than put their case in debate to the Council, they all walked out – clearly a move that had been decided on in advance.
I think most people will see this as very petty – Councillors are certainly not elected to stage political stunts and walk out of meetings. It is a very arrogant and undemocratic way of proceeding. Speaking personally, I had not made my mind up how to vote and wanted to hear the arguments on the matter.
Since I was elected in May, I have been astonished how ineffective the SNP have been on South Lanarkshire Council. They very rarely ask questions, and I have hardly ever seen them move a motion on a matter of substance. As the main Opposition group on the Council, their job should be to articulate alternative choices to those of the Administration. ”