IT IS UNCERTAIN which political party will be forming an administration at Clackmannanshire Council tomorrow when elected officials will meet in the chambers.
The 18 Wee County councillors will assemble in Kilncraigs for the first time on Thursday, May 18.
They will have to make a number of important appointments, such as the position of provost and council leader, which will shape the political administration of the local authority.
In order to form an administration that has the support of more than half of the chamber, either party could look to enter a formal coalition with any other group.
While the SNP have the most bodies with eight party members elected earlier this month, they will not be able to command a majority on their own against the Labour and Conservative parties, who now have five councillors each.
Nationalist group leader Les Sharp, who was re-elected, said he offered to begin discussions on an alliance with Labour when the results were announced, but the move was rebuffed.
The Advertiser understands repeat offers have since been made, but there has been no progress towards a partnership.
A Conservative and Labour alliance, like the one at Stirling Council in the past five years, is possible and would result in a majority, but Labour's Dave Clark previously made it clear such a deal is unlikely, though not impossible.
Speaking after the election results were announced, he told the Advertiser: “You never say in politics you will never do anything and make it a hostage to fortune, but I can be quite clear in this moment in time we ain't thinking about that at all.
“The Tories are the Tories, the SNP are the SNP, and we have a profoundly different agenda from both of them, so I don't know where the common ground would be found to be truthful.”
The Advertiser also understands the nationalist party is not keen on forming a minority administration as any of their policies could easily be voted down by a Labour and Tory opposition, which could push amendments through with little resistance.
Instead, Cllr Sharp and his team said they are hoping to provide “a stable administration” and offers for a coalition were made in order to achieve that.
He said: “In the interests of providing a stable administration I offered to begin discussions with the Labour group [two weeks ago], a move which was rebuffed with a preference for 'fireworks'.
“Local people and staff at the council deserve a period of stability so it’s now over to the other two parties, who between them do command a majority, to work in the interests of Clackmannanshire.”
The Conservative's Bill Mason did not wish to indicate whether his party is in talks with another group, but said his team, who are all new to elected office, have a lot to consider.
He added: “We are putting a lot of thought into how we can best serve the residents of Clackmannanshire.”