Alex Salmond. Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party
Scottish local elections 2012
Scottish elections 2007
London elections 2012
British local elections 2011
English local elections 2006
Elected mayors in England
English mayors succeed
Against directly elected mayors
Government must lead on elected mayors
English local government reforms
Recruiting local councillors
Mayor of London
City of London Corporation
UK local government
City regions (UK)
Edinburgh changes leader
City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |
Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More
City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More
City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More
City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More
City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More
City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More
City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More
City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More
City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More
City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More
City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More
City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More
City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More
City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More
City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More
City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More
City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More
City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More
City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More
City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More
City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More
City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More
City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More
Nationalists negotiate coalition deals
in some of Scotland’s largest cities
By Brian Baker
4 June 2007: Mayor changes are likely to affect Scotland’s cities and major towns over the next four years after the first ever Scottish National Party election success, which has resulted in that party running a minority administration in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood (Edinburgh) and becoming the largest party in Scottish local government.
Several cities and towns have had political changes following the controversial 3 May 2007 election in which over 180,000 ballot papers were disqualified in the parliamentary and council elections, held, against much professional advice, on the same day. Most were in the votes for the parliament, though over 40,000 were in the local election, which was conducted under the single transferable vote system for the first time.
An inquiry is being held by the Local Government Commission, though critics point out it was one of the bodies responsible for the conduct of the two elections which were held on the same day despite contrary advice from professionals. The Commission has sought to add credibility to its inquiry by appointing Canadian Ron Gould, a veteran of election oversight in over 70 countries to head it. Its full report is not expected until 2008.
Only two of the 32 unitary local authorities in Scotland remain under single party control. One of these is the largest city, Glasgow, which remained under Labour and retained its young modernising leader Steven Purcell. However, he now presides over a city in which opposition to Labour is stronger than for 50 years. Labour has 45 of the 80 members and the administration will now be under more effective scrutiny.
Elsewhere, the SNP has taken power in several cities and towns in coalitions or partnership agreements. Whilst the other parties were not willing to form a coalition government for Scotland with the nationalists, deals to form partnership administrations have been done at local level across the country.
Edinburgh and Aberdeen are both being run by SNP and Liberal Democrat coalitions. Inverness, the fastest growing city in Scotland, is being run by a SNP and Independents coalition. Fife and West Lothian, two of the expanding areas within commuting distance of Edinburgh, have SNP led administrations. In West Lothian, they are backed by anti-hospital closure campaigners who also had candidates elected to several other councils.
After weeks of tense negotiations, Labour and the Liberal Democrats reached an arrangement in Stirling whilst in Dundee, where the SNP is substantially the largest party, all the other parties combined to exclude them from office.
Amongst the big cities, Edinburgh has the most to worry about from the SNP programme in government. Their nascent public transport system for the 21st century may be still born. After several robust exchanges in the early weeks of the new parliament the new Executive were still proposing to cancel the schemes and were conducting detailed financial analysis into costs. During the election the SNP promised to cancel both projects in order to free up funds in the budget for other infrastructure projects, many of them in the north of the country..
The £450 million Edinburgh Tram project is a key challenge for Scotland’s new government, not least because it is supported by all 82 of the non-SNP members of the Holyrood parliament.
Edinburgh’s new city leader, Liberal Democrat Jenny Dawe says “ it is vital for the future of Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland. There is a great desire among people in Edinburgh to have trams and it would be a disaster if the project were shelved.”
The issue and that of the planned Edinburgh Airport Rail Link were excluded from the coalition agreement between Liberal Democrats and the Nationalists in the city so SNP councillors can continue to oppose them.
The city’s Scottish parliament members from the other parties have formed a save-our-trams campaign and business leaders have warned of severe damage to the region’s economy if the transport projects are shelved..
Local income tax may be introduced for the first time in the UK during the four years of the parliamentary term. There is, just, a parliamentary majority in favour of this approach to paying for local services. First Minister Alex Salmond has said it will be legislated for during the first half of the four-year term and implemented during the second.
Meanwhile, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities representatives had an early meeting with Ministers. They were concerned about funding gaps if the new government pressed ahead with its election proposals to freeze council tax levels for the next two years. However, sources close to Finance Minister John Swinney have indicated there may be opportunities for councils to retain efficiency savings for which the target, as before the election, is 1.5 per cent a year.
New UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is deeply hostile to nationalism, is likely to make the change in local taxation difficult by withdrawing finance from the Treasury, which is provided to help cushion council tax bills under the benefits system.
The best Mayors for Stronger | Fairer | Greener cities. Elect your candidate for the 20/21 World Mayor Prize and Honours. The Prize has been awarded since 2004