POWER shifted in West Lothian last Thursday when a higher than average 53.29 per cent poll turn-out saw Labour become the biggest group on West Lothian Council.
At the first meeting of the new administration yesterday (Thursday), there were 16 Labour councillors, 15 SNP, one Conservative and one Independent. Linlithgow councillor Tom Kerr was elected Provost for another five years.
Labour group leader John McGinty was elected council leader saying the election was a great result for the party, and he rejected an offer from the SNP which offered support for Labour’s budget proposals in return for agreeing to a list of SNP provisions.
In Linlithgow, the three sitting councillors were delighted to be re-elected. Labour councillor Tom Conn said he was committed to working towards improved facilities at Kettilstoun Mains and he wanted the town centre to be more attractive for visitors and more support for local businesses.
SNP councillor Martyn Day was pleased his party had won the popular vote and vowed to fight for investment in jobs and young people as an effective opposition member.
Conservative councillor Tom Kerr said: “It has been a great honour to be provost over the last five years and it will be a great honour to again be provost for the next five years.
‘‘Thanks go to my ward for electing me and I promise to work hard for this area.”
In the Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh ward, Labour’s Tony Boyle and the SNP’s Diane Calder joined Janet Campbell (SNP) and Alex Davidson (Labour) in promising to work hard to represent the area well over the next five years.
In the Armadale and Blackridge ward, covering Torphichen, Stuart Borrowman (Independent), Jim Dixon (Labour) and Isabel Hutton (SNP) were elected.
The Action To Save St John’s Party lost all three councillors. In a party statement, they said they were extremely disappointed and said the council had lost a dedicated voice for health care. Former councillor Ellen Glass who represented Winchburgh was given special thanks at Thursday’s meeting.