A year on since historic Midlothian Council election win

Photo: Kate Chandler'Midlothian Council Elections - May 2012'Ward 2 Bonnyrigg'Candidates elected are  Derek Milligan Scottish Labour, Bob Constable SNP (pictured) and Ian Baxter Scottish Green Party
Photo: Kate Chandler'Midlothian Council Elections - May 2012'Ward 2 Bonnyrigg'Candidates elected are Derek Milligan Scottish Labour, Bob Constable SNP (pictured) and Ian Baxter Scottish Green Party

Just over a year has passed since the SNP took power at Midlothian House for the first time, so we asked the major players how they felt it had gone.

Council leader Bob Constable (SNP) looked back on an “exciting and challenging” year.

He said: “Over this first year the SNP administration has managed to make some significant changes which we are very proud of.

“The disengagement of our main opposition has been one of the most disappointing things of the last year.”

Councillor Constable listed first year achievements including the introduction of the living wage and no redundancy policy for council staff, securing funding for a replacement Newbattle High School, the introduction of a petitions committee and continued council house building.

But Labour group leader Derek Milligan slammed his rivals.

He said: “When the SNP, Green, Independent councillors collaborated to grab power from Labour, Midlothian Council was in a healthy financial position with a balanced budget and £14.5 million in reserves, with sound plans to further reduce spending.

“Since then reserves have been wiped out and planned savings abandoned.”

Councillor Milligan also criticised the handling of the Newbattle High School consultation.

To read more on this story, including the views of independent councillor Peter De Vink and Green councillor Ian Baxter, pick up a copy of the June 6 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.