Letters to the Editor

Voting for change

I take issue with Ian Miller’s assertion that voters in Midlothian did not vote for change on May 3 (Letters, May 17).

The Labour vote here has been in steady decline for a number of years.

For the first time in living memory, less than half the councillors on Midlothian Council now belong to the Labour Party.

Despite the advantages of incumbency and an opposition SNP group which was non-existent just a few short years ago, Labour, in one of its traditional heartlands, is now weakened to the point where, even with my support, it could only have retained power on the cut of a pack of cards.

If nothing else, we need a council which can make decisions; when people’s jobs and livelihoods depend on the council being able to operate, the last thing we need is paralysis.

Given that my own election campaign was highly critical of the previous Labour administration and as the SNP-Independent coalition offers a more stable alternative to a minority Labour administration, I have no difficulty in supporting the setting up of that coalition.

Without a clear majority by any party, we need change of another kind – in the way that politics operates in Midlothian, to a less adversarial style with both sides of an argument seeking consensus rather than confrontation.

By voting in a balance of both SNP and Labour, together with ‘new voices’ on the council, this was one change people voted for on May 3, and we need to respond to that.

Ian Baxter

Broomieknowe Gardens,


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