Council election limbo

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Dumfries and Galloway Council remains rudderless in the aftermath of the local elections as no party has a ruling majority.

The SNP, Conservative, Labour and Independent groups were all still locked in meetings yesterday (Thursday) trying to find common ground with each other in an attempt to form a coalition Administration.

Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol, the deputy leader of the Conservatives, said: “As far as the Conservatives are concerned there is no chance of a coalition with either Labour or the SNP. We could have done something with the Independent councillors, but there would still not be enough members to have a majority. There’s 16 of us and four of them and you need a total of 22. That would mean we would have to get another party to abstain or vote with us.

“We had three meetings last Friday about but we’re still no further forward!

“The SNP said they would keep us informed of what they were doing but they are not returning our calls. The Independents are in talks with other parties as well.

“It’s disappointing for the people of Dumfries and Galloway who voted for a Conservative administration but the numbers game means they are not going to get that. There is no chance of that unfortunately.”

Yesterday afternoon, Independent councillor Jim McColm, also Mid Galloway, added: “It’s either going to be a minority administration or a coalition, but at this stage it’s unclear what it’s going to be.

“The horse-trading continues!”

There were 16 Conservatives elected in Dumfries and Galloway with Labour and the SNP tied on 11, four independents and one Lib Dem. The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson, has stepped down as leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Labour Party. Following his resignation, he nominated Elaine Murray to the post, with unanimous backing.