Landmark joint leadership for Fife Council
Archived news: published on Thursday 18 May 2017 by Fife Council
Co-Leaders, Cllr David Alexander & Cllr David Ross
Fife Council, the third largest local authority in Scotland, will be run as a joint leadership with power shared equally between the SNP and Labour groups.
At the first meeting of the newly formed Fife Council today it was agreed that Cllrs. David Alexander and David Ross would equally share the leadership of the council in a “spirit of collaboration and co-operation” to provide the best service possible for the people of Fife.
New Co-Leader of Fife Council David Alexander, said: “With neither party having a clear mandate from the people of Fife to lead the council, it is only right that the two main parties come together in a spirit of collaboration and co-operation to run Fife Council. This is a unique opportunity to take Fife forward in a united and constructive manner”.
His Co-Leader David Ross reiterated this, saying: “We recognise that people in Fife have high expectations for the Kingdom and the two groups have agreed to work together to meet those expectations.”
The parties have now signed a Power Sharing Agreement which lays out their shared aspirations and expectations, while acknowledging that they share very different views on Scottish Independence and the Union.
The agreement seeks “to build an atmosphere of trust, respect, openness, transparency and fairness in the relationships between all councillors and political groups represented on the Council in order to work in the best interests of the people of Fife”.
A set of 6 principles are outlined in the agreement which both groups have signed up to:
- We will work to reduce poverty, inequality and deprivation, to work towards a more sustainable society and for a more prosperous and equal Fife.
- We will seek to work with employees and their representatives to resist the policies of austerity.
- We are committed to protecting and enhancing local services.
- We will seek to protect jobs by opposing compulsory redundancies.
- We will work to ensure that local government is properly funded and accorded the place it deserves in civic society as an independent and democratically elected tier of government.
- We will work with citizens and communities to prioritise the best actions for their local area. We will put local people at the centre of our decisions.
Cllr Alexander continued: “We have very opposing views on some key issues for Scotland but we are prepared to work together to get the best for Fife. Both parties have conceded things to get here. However, what some people may not understand is that many local politicians have, certainly in my case, known each other for decades and have good personal relationships. We need to use and build on those personal relationships in order to put the interests of Fifers first. We are both fully committed to that and I am looking forward to seeing what the future of Fife will look like.”
Cllr Ross added: “We both recognisethat we have an opportunity here to put our national differences to one side on the Council and work together on local issues for the benefit of Fife.
“We’ve spent the last five years arguing with each other and there has to be a better way of doing business on the Council. This is a real chance to work differently and focus on the things we agree on rather than where we disagree. It will take time and effort to build up trust between us, but if we succeed, then the outcome will be much better for everyone in Fife.”
While a draft structure has been agreed on for the Council’s new governance, more time is needed to set out the complete remit and organisation of these committees. In light of this, the full Fife Council meeting of 25thMay has been cancelled and the Council will next reconvene on 15thJune. At this point conveners and spokespeople will be appointed to various roles within the council.
Meanwhile Provost and Depute Provost have been named as Cllrs Jim Leishman and Julie Ford respectively.
Full details of the Council’s Programme for Administration are attached.
Tel: 01333 351014 Contact David Alexander online
By Post: Fife council, Fife House North Street, Glenrothes,KY7 5LT