A NEW SNP minority administration has been formed in Glasgow, with Susan Aitken returned as council leader.

The first meeting of the new term saw the SNP, supported by the Greens, take control of Glasgow City Council for the next five years.

Ricky Bell was voted in as deputy leader of the council and Cllr Jacqueline McLaren, SNP, is the new Lord Provost. 

As part of the deal with the Greens over forming an administration, Christy Mearns was re-elected as deputy Lord Provost. The Green group councillor, for Anderston/City/Yorkhill, received the SNP’s backing.

Aitken said she was “enormously grateful” to colleagues for their support. “Serving the people of this city I love is the greatest privilege and biggest responsibility of my life.”

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She added: “The SNP will work every day for Glasgow and for Glaswegians — striving to improve our neighbourhoods, tackle poverty and inequalities, confront the climate emergency and build an economy that works for all.”

The new Lord Provost, who replaces Labour’s Philip Braat, said she was thrilled to become the sixth woman to take the post.

McLaren said: “In 2017, I became a councillor to represent the hardworking people of my community. I am an ordinary Glaswegian who has been given an extraordinary opportunity to represent the people of my great city. 

“I want the people of Glasgow to know that I am available to them and I am here to serve them. I hope to be a Lord Provost that will help to improve the lives of others, those that have been forgotten about and left behind. 

“I want my term to be about making this building more accessible to the public to demonstrate how this city operates and be available and inclusive to the citizens of Glasgow, a Lord Provost of the people.”

Both the SNP and Greens have said their agreement isn’t binding on any votes beyond today’s meeting.

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However, they will work together on “shared, progressive priorities” — and a strategic plan for the council term 2022 to 2027. Over the last council term, the support of the Greens helped the SNP to pass its annual budget proposals.

Green councillors will also fill a number of senior roles on the council, including a new post of chair of a net zero and climate progress monitoring committee, which will be taken by Lana Reid-McConnell.

Glasgow Labour’s business manager Frank McAveety criticised the Greens for “propping up the failing leadership of Susan Aitken and claiming to be separate from the administration”.

“In the last administration, Labour had helped Martin Bartos (then a Green councillor) to facilitate a role for him on SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) and yet they backed to the hilt the SNP today to not even allow any Labour representation.”

Four SNP and one Greens councillor have been appointed to the SPT board.

McAveety called it “an old fashioned fix”, saying: “On the grounds of proportionality, there should have been two Labour members.”

He also believed Labour’s candidate for Lord Provost, Cllr Patricia Ferguson, should have been elected, citing her years of experience as an MSP, Scottish Government minister and former deputy presiding officer.


Susan Aitken (SNP):  leader and convener for city and city region economy and just transition Ricky Bell (SNP): deputy leader and city treasurer and convener for financial inclusion Greg Hepburn (SNP): business manager and convener for open government Christina Cannon (SNP):  convener for education and communities Allan Casey (SNP): convener for workforce and homelessness and addiction services Ruairi Kelly (SNP): convener for neighbourhood services and assets Kenny McLean (SNP): convener for housing, development, built heritage and land use Chris Cunningham (SNP): convener for health, care and caring and equalities Annette Christie (SNP): convener for culture, sport and international relations (and chair of Glasgow Life) Angus Millar (SNP):  convener for climate, Glasgow green deal, transport and city centre recovery George Redmond (Labour): leader of the opposition Soryia Siddique (Labour): depute leader of the opposition Frank McAveety (Labour): opposition business manager Franny Scally (SNP): contracts and property committee convener Graham Campbell (SNP): education, skills and early years city policy committee convener Elaine McSporran (SNP): environment, sustainability and carbon reduction city policy committee convener Martha Wardrop (Greens): neighbourhoods, housing and public realm city policy committee convener Lana Reid-McConnell (Greens): net zero and climate progress monitoring committee convener Anne McTaggart (SNP): wellbeing, empowerment, community, citizen engagement and general purposes city policy committee convener Frank McAveety (Labour):  finance and audit scrutiny committee convener Maureen Burke (Labour): operational performance and delivery scrutiny committee convener Elaine Gallagher (Greens): just transition working group convener Alex Wilson (SNP): licensing and regulatory committee convener Ken Andrew (SNP): planning applications committee convener Annette Christie (SNP): repatriation and spoliation convener Ricky Bell (SNP): Strathclyde Pension Fund committee convener