MODERN politics seems to have been, in the words of William Shakespeare, “full of sound and fury signifying nothing” in recent years, as we fought endlessly over those two troublesome issues of our times - independence and Brexit. All political parties have retreated behind their own trench lines.

Voters have been left bemused at the intensity of fire, as parties generate more heat than light.

In the face of partisan intransigence, power belongs to the problem solvers. Whilst the leading political parties have vacated the centre ground, it has masked a deep-seated desire on the part of voters, urging us as politicians to work together, to collaborate and focus on the betterment of all.

That is why I was delighted that Phil Braat was appointed to the post of Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow at the recent full council meeting. Phil received support from across the Chamber, because he had won the respect of other political parties to bring a reassuring but also modernising approach to the role.

Unfortunately, the culture of working across the political parties to achieve effective outcomes for the city has not been a feature of the minority SNP administration in the City.

The rhetoric before the 2017 council election was of “transparency and openness”, yet in recent months there have been newspaper headlines about the former Lord Provost’s expenses, and in recent weeks the spectacle of favoured shop lets at peppercorn rates to the husband of the leader of the council.

At the same time, the astonishingly bad handling of the new Communities Fund continues to cause genuine alarm to community projects across the whole of the City. Had the administration listened to legitimate concerns raised a few months ago by Labour and others, they would not be embroiled in such a disaster as they now are.

The reality of the City Council and the wider political realm is that we are all minorities – even the Scottish Government, though it often acts otherwise.

If we are serious about facing up to our city’s challenges, we need to find the space to collaborate and fulfil the aspirations of all Glaswegians.

The template for facing up to the challenges in the city started more than 20 years ago when we confronted the condition of our housing stock. The then Labour administration took the brave step to trust the tenants in the city with the choice of stock transfer. The success of that decision is clear throughout every ward in the city with new housing of the highest quality and the retention of a successful City Building construction company that provides apprenticeship opportunities for young Glaswegians.

The challenges the city faces in the coming years are enormous. They require us to take a step back from our partisan divisions, and build true and lasting consensus to take Glasgow forward. I hope in earnest that a change of heart will be forthcoming.