Labour set to take power in Fife
Gary Fitzpatrick • Published 9 May 2012 09:30
LABOUR has taken a major step towards forming the new administration in Fife by securing the support of four independent councillors.
The election prioduced no overall majority and the parties have been locked in talks over the past few days with little sign of progress until this morning when all four independents told the Press they would be supporting Labour.
With Labour the biggest party on 35 seats, the backing of the independents takes them on to 39 - the halfway mark out of 78 councillors in Fife.
The only way to block Labour taking control would be for the other three parties the SNP, Lib Dems and Tories to join forces.
They could also reach 39 councillors but to go against the biggest party would be a highly controversial move and potentially damaging to future fortunes.
In the event of a 39-39 deadlock cards would be cut to decide who runs Scotland's third largest local authority.
Labour leader Alex Rowley (right) said, "If we can go ahead with our plans it will be a very inclusive adminstration. We're not forming any coalitions but would work with others as a minority administration."
The Lib Dems and SNP groups have meetings planned for today to decide their next move.
For the past five years, the once strong Labour bastion of Fife has been run by a SNP/Lib Dem coalition.
Full election coverage in tomorrow's Press.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 09 May 12