LABOUR might not be in charge of West Dunbartonshire Council anymore but they acted like they were running the show.

In last week's council meeting - part one - they were confident in their sometimes rambling positions, even when they contradicted their previous actions, such as closing the Church Street social work offices in Alexandria.

Provost William Hendrie kept trying to shut down questions Labour were asking about housing, sometimes drifting into abrupt and tetchy orders to councillors.

And recent political press releases from the SNP warning of doom and gloom on council finances turned into timid and almost tacit acceptance that, well, actually, the council's in the best position it's been in for years.

There will still be cuts and "hard choices", but the blame laid at Labour's door disappeared in the public spotlight.

Meanwhile, some silent veteran councillors remained silent - Jim Finn, Jim Brown, Douglas McAllister - and were joined by newbie silent councillors Karen Conaghan, Caroline McAllister, Brian Walker and Sally Page. Former councillor George Black was in the public gallery and said more in the form of heckles than some elected officials.

But far too many people were talking just after 8pm when Bailie Denis Agnew made the purely procedural motion to carry the meeting on beyond 8.30pm. When council leader Jonathan McColl moved an amendment against it, confusion reigned.

Finally, a roll-call vote forced every councillor to say at least one word, and about 20 minutes later the entire evening collapsed - with 10 more items still left to debate on the agenda.

Some council officers - the staff who run the authority and get paid much more than councillors to do so - looked confused and even exasperated during the meeting and were more than happy to high tail it out of Clydebank Town Hall when it became apparent the SNP wanted to go home.

So there might be two councils in West Dunbartonshire now: the press release and web page version, and the one in public meetings. Both leave you frequently with more questions than answers.