Council battle lines are geographical as well as political

Names of councillors in the ‘Group for Change’ aiming to take control of Argyll and Bute have been confirmed today.

And they confirm a dramatic divide among the authority’s 36’s members, with Vivien Dance the only one of the ten representing Helensburgh and Lomond to be in this grouping.

Cllr Dance, who was elected as an Independent, has ‘none’ as her political grouping on the council’s website.

The largest contingent in the new grouping are described as Independents: Bruce Marshall, Dick Walsh, Duncan MacIntyre, Alex McNaughton, James McQueen, Alistair MacDougall, James McQueen, Donald MacMillan and Iain MacDonald,

Former SNP councillors who resigned earlier this year, Michael Breslin and Fred Hall, are also in this grouping, as well as the Argyll First trio of John McAlpine, Douglas Philand and Donald Kelly.

Bizarrely, two SNP current SNP councillors,  William Blair and Robert E MacIntyre, are also included in the Group for Change, meaning that unless there are further changes of allegiance there would be SNP members on both sides of the council chamber.

The eighteenth councillor included in the new group is Isobel Strong – also of the SNP – who has not signed up due to her recovering from an operation. As convener of the council she would have a casting vote.