Respected Glasgow City Councillor Alex Dingwall has decided to join the Liberal Democrats. He was until yesterday an SNP Councillor for Maryhill and Kelvin. However, recent threats by the Holyrood Government to take away care of the elderly and schools from Councils prompted him to leave the party he'd been a member of for 31 years.
"the decision to leave has not been an easy one but the move away from a local to a centrally set income tax and the recent threats to take away control of schools and care for the elderly from local authorities show the SNP simply doesn’t trust its councillors, preferring instead to govern local communities by ministerial decree."
“That’s why I am pleased to be joining the Liberal Democrats. I share their commitment to local government and to the core principle of keeping local decisions local.
“I will continue to work constructively for my constituents and for the people of Glasgow, but now in a way which is entirely in keeping with my personal and political beliefs.”
I'm sure that he'll find a warm welcome in the Liberal Democrats and will be a great boost to Katy Gordon's campaign to win Glasgow North at the General Election. She has known him for a while as they've both been on the same side on a number of local campaigns - against Labour's school closures, notably Wyndford and St Gregory's and against the ridiculous idea to put a nightclub in the Botanics.
“I’ve known Councillor Dingwall for many years and I’m really pleased to welcome him to the party.
“This is a real boost to the Liberal Democrat campaign in Glasgow North. People are fed up with Labour and Councillor Dingwall’s decision demonstrates once again that the real alternative is the Liberal Democrats.”
My understanding is that Glasgow Liberal Democrats are really delighted to have Alex Dingwall on board - he's an effective Councillor and will be a real asset to the Liberal Democrat group on the City Council.
Clearly this adds weight to what Yousuf has been saying about trouble and strife in the SNP Group on Glasgow City Council. This also confirms what I hear from various people around the country that the SNP does like to run its Council groups from the centre with instructions comming from on high. Denying the locally elected representatives their rightful say is bound to end in tears.