SNP and Greens reach deal with Glasgow City Council

The SNP and the Scottish Greens have reached a co-operation agreement to work together in Glasgow City Council, the Herald can reveal.

Green councilors will chair a new net zero and climate progress monitoring committee and a just transition task force, while the two sides will work together to develop a joint strategic plan for Glasgow City Council which they plan to complete this fall or winter.

The Greens will also chair the Neighborhoods, Housing and Public Realms Committee, and will have Vice Chairs on the Education, Skills and Early Years and Environment, Sustainability and Harm Reduction Committees. carbon emissions.

But the SNP will continue to run the council as a minority administration, statements from both sides added.

The new administration will be formally proposed and supported by both sides on Thursday at a full council meeting where the leader of the council, Lord Provost and committee organizers will also be named.

The arrangement does not bind the Greens in any votes beyond the appointment of an administration, but leaves open the possibility that a stronger pact will be formed between the parties.

SNP Group leader Susan Aitken said: ‘People in Glasgow will face huge challenges in the years to come, from the daily impact of the cost of living crisis on incomes and the longer-term effect of the pandemic and Brexit on communities until ensuring a fair and just transition is offered to all Glasgow residents and that our city is climate ready.

“At a time of great uncertainty, this agreement between the SNP and the Greens can help provide the confident and responsible leadership that this city and its people need.

“It’s about doing politics and governance differently. It is clear that the SNP and the Greens have a lot in common and have agreed in recent years on how best to tackle the major challenges affecting the people of Glasgow.

“Most importantly, we share a willingness to work together to take the bold, urgent and progressive action that the immediate and future needs of the people of Glasgow demand.”

In a statement, the SNP said that “the agreement commits to constructive cooperation to meet shared and progressive priorities and aims to provide both the freshness of approach and the assurance of purpose needed to help address the impact of the cost of living crisis, facilitate the city’s recovery from the pandemic and accelerate climate action”.

The City Council’s SNP and Greens groups have worked closely together on a number of key areas in recent years, including joint budgets.

Both groups will continue to exist and meet as distinct and separate parties with their own internal procedures and appointments.

The SNP statement added that in the coming weeks and months, “the two groups will work together constructively to agree a strategic plan for the term of the Council 2022-2027.”

The strategic plan will include commitments aligned with the SNP and the Green Manifesto, as well as additional commitments from each group. The strategic plan is expected to be finalized and approved by the full board in fall/winter 2022.

In a statement, the Scottish Greens said the party would commit to “climate action and council reform” as part of the working agreement with the SNP.

The party said it “is confident that its increased role” on the city council “will lead to greater progress in tackling the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis”.

He went on to say that the two groups are also committed to providing a “more open, inclusive and participatory council, committing to be more responsive to the needs of the people of Glasgow after the election left the council under no overall control”.

Green group co-host Councilor Martha Wardrop said: ‘The outcome of the recent election has made it clear to us that the people of Glasgow agree with our vision for a more effective, more democratic and people-oriented council. the future.

“With our largest group of Green Councilors to date, we will hold a minority SNP administration to account while working collaboratively with all parties to deliver a fairer, greener and more inclusive Glasgow and to bring about the change for which people voted.”

Co-organizer of the Greens group, Councilor Jon Molyneux, said: “While other parties may want to pick up arguments from years past or debate national issues rather than local priorities, the Greens will work with the people of Glasgow to make sure the council listens to those we represent and bring to our communities. We will work collaboratively over the next few months to deliver a new five-year plan for the board that delivers the incremental change people want to see.

Negotiations began in City Chambers last week with Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council’s SNP group, and SNP senior adviser Ricky Bell, in charge of negotiations for their party.

The May 5 poll saw the SNP re-elected as Glasgow’s largest party, winning 37 seats (down two from 2017), Labor taking 36 (up five), the Greens ten (up down three) and the Conservatives two (down six). ).

From left SNP Glasgow Councilor Chris Cunningham, with fellow Glasgow Councilors Jon Molyneux of the Scottish Greens and Ricky Bell of the SNP at the Glasgow count on May 6 this year. Photo by Colin Mearns.

The co-operation agreement between the SNP and the Greens in Glasgow will not have to be approved by Greens party members in the city.

Indeed, it does not bind the Greens in any vote beyond the appointment of an administration. However, should this situation change, party members would be consulted and an additional, stricter deal would require the approval of Glasgow branch members.

Scottish Conservative councilor Thomas Kerr, group leader in Glasgow, was scathing about the deal.

He said: “An SNP-led council was bad enough for the people of Glasgow, but add the Greens to the equation and it’s a recipe for even more misery – especially for motorists.

“In their Glasgow manifesto, the Greens not only backed the introduction of the hated SNP workplace parking charge, but called for it to be extended ‘to include other non-residential parking spaces’.

“So people who depend on their car to get to work – including those on relatively low wages in the hospitality industry – risk being hit with another tax just for the privilege of doing their job.

“It’s the last thing the people of Glasgow need in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

“We can also be sure that the scourge of the city’s potholes will be ignored by the anti-car Greens and their fellow nationalists.”

Members of the Scottish Greens backed the Bute House deal last August, which saw co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater appointed junior ministers in Nicola Sturgeon’s government.

It was the first time the party had won a government position in the UK.

The Bute House Accord did not result in a formal coalition as it allowed the parties to agree to disagree on certain policy areas, for example whether an independent Scotland should be a member of NATO. The SNP supports membership while the Greens do not.

After local elections on May 5, First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would be open to her party reaching Holyrood-style deals on councils with the Scottish Greens, but added that such arrangements would be left to local parties.

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