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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Tune in . . .

BUDGET meetings in Dumfries and Galloway usually throw up plenty of drama.

It might be worth getting the popcorn out for the live stream on the council’s YouTube channel at 10.30am today – if last year’s meeting is anything to go by,

A major fallout between the SNP/Labour/Independents coalition.

One independent group became three.

And the Conservatives group strolled into power, taking what they insisted should have been theirs nine months earlier anyway after gaining the most councillors at the elections in May 2022.

Up until that point, they had been kept out because Labour, SNP, independents and one Liberal Democrats councillor all joined forces to form a rainbow alliance and seize control of the local authority.

The SNP and Labour groups had been all pally, and former co-leaders Stephen Thompson and Linda Dorward seemed to be working together well in leading this unlikely administration.

That was until Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar spoiled the party, publicly insisting in late 2022 that he wanted “no deals with the SNP”.

The coalition crumbled in spectacular fashion. The Conservatives budget was passed – which meant they would take control of the council for at least the next 12 months, with Councillor Gail Macgregor, pictured with Cllr Malcolm Johnstone, appointed new leader.

Will there be more power-shifting political drama at Tuesday’s budget meeting? Unlikely…but, then again, you couldn’t script this stuff.


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