New leadership named for council

Argyll and Bute Council’s new political structure was confirmed in a meeting at Lochgilphead today.

Long-serving Independent Dick Walsh’s Alliance with Independents, Lib Dems and Conservatives lost control in the elections earlier this year.

Leader of the council is the SNP’s Roddy McCuish and the deputy leader is John Semple. The new Provost is Councillor Isobel Strong and the Depute Provost is Douglas Philand.

Councillor McCuish said: ‘I am honoured to be the elected leader of Argyll and Bute Council and am delighted to get the opportunity to help form a new administration. Only by all 36 Councillors working together can we make Argyll and Bute the place it deserves to be.”

Provost Isobel Strong said: ‘It is a great honour to be Provost of Argyll and Bute and I’m delighted to be elected. Billy Petrie will be a hard act to follow but I will represent the people of the area as best I can and treat all councillors fairly.’
Councillor Walsh’s group of Independents controlled the council until the 1999 elections, when a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ of SNP, Lib Dems, Tories, Independents and one Labour member took power.
A by-election saw them lose control however and Cllr Walsh and his allies have been in power ever since.
The SNP shared power after the 2007 elections but walked out following a row over plans to close 26 schools; the Lib Dems and Tories stepped to replace them in 2010, holding key posts and trying in vain to push through the school closure programme.

Other appointments include:

Lead Councillor for Human Resources and Sport is Douglas Philand. Deputy is Robert MacIntyre.

Lead Councillor for Strategic Finance and European Affairs is James Robb, deputy Gordon Blair.

Lead Councillor for Planning and Regulatory Services is Sandy Taylor, deputy Mary-Jean Devon

Lead Councillor for Energy, Development, Infrastructure and Tourism is John Semple, deputy Louise Glen – Lee.

Lead Councillor for Adult Care and Learning Disabilities is Anne Horn

Lead Councillor for Roads and Amenity Services is Donald Kelly, deputy Robert G MacIntyre.

Lead Councillor for Children and Families is Mary Jean Devon.

Lead Councillor for Education and Lifelong learning is Mike Breslin, deputy Richard Trail.

Lead Councillor for Community, Culture, Customer and Communication is Louise Glen – Lee.

Lead Councillor for Housing is George Freeman, deputy Iain Angus MacDonald.

Lead Councillor for the opposition is Dick Walsh, deputy is Lib Dem Ellen Morton

For Helensburgh and Lomond, Lead Councillor is James Robb, deputy Richard Trail.

Chair of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee and Chair of the Licensing board is Sandy Taylor, deputy Mary – Jean Devon.