THE leaders of the SNP and Labour groups on Edinburgh Council yesterday signed a deal to re-create the Capital Coalition that has run the city since 2012.

Councillors Adam McVey for the SNP and Cammy Day for Labour signed the agreement which had been vetoed by Labour’s Scottish Executive on Wednesday night.

The party’s 12 members on the council voted eight to four to join the 19-strong SNP group in the Capital Coalition Labour’s policies on coalitions since the elections on May 4 has been all over the place – Labour leader Kezia Dugdale suspended the party’s councillors in Aberdeen for joining with the Tories to form a coalition, but in other authorities such as West Lothian and Midlothian, behind-the-scenes deals with Conservative groups have been allowed.

The Executive had also approved several SNP-Labour coalition deals elsewhere, so the delay over Edinburgh’s deal was mystifying, except that several Labour activists locally had objected to it.

With 31 of 63 seats, the coalition will still be short of an overall majority but The National understands the Scottish Greens with their eight members will not object to the formation of the coalition.

After that, it is extremely unlikely that the Greens, the 18 Tories and six LibDem councillors will vote en bloc on many issues, if any at all. Criticism of the deal by the Unionist parties is anticipated, however.

One SNP source said: “Given that on a UK basis, the Tories are depending on a coalition of sorts with the Democratic Unionists, and we all know what they stand for, to ensure their survival in Westminster, they are going to have a hard time arguing against this arrangement in Edinburgh.” The coalition agreement focuses on several key areas, including the construction of 20,000 affordable new homes, investment in transport infrastructure, improving waste services and roads maintenance and the delivery of a City Region Deal.

The coalition will also target educational attainment, building two new secondary schools and 10 new primaries by 2021.

Most controversially, the coalition will also support the extension of Edinburgh’s trams to Newhaven if the case for it can be proven to be robust. Adam McVey said: “As the city’s youngest-ever council leader, I’m keen to bring a new vision to our exciting and vibrant capital. The SNP and Labour teams are ready to get to work for the city bringing an energetic, determined approach to address Edinburgh’s needs.”

Cammy Day said: “Labour and the SNP can offer the strong partnership required to lead the council, and we look forward to working together and putting Edinburgh first.

“Our vision has always been to progress projects and policies which benefit the citizens of Edinburgh and we will continue this throughout our term of office, working with our trade union colleagues and devolving decision-making to local communities as far as possible. I call on the Greens to join and support our vision of how we can unleash our city’s potential.”

Committee conveners will be appointed at a meeting of the council next Thursday. To meet legal requirements, members of the council’s planning and regulatory committees, boards and joint boards were appointed at the first meeting of the new council on May 25.