End in sight for saga of council leadership struggle?

The long-running battle for control of Argyll and Bute Council might just be resolved next week.

The ‘Argyll and Bute for Change’ group will bid to be formally confirmed as the authority’s administration at a meeting of the full council on June 27.

Led by Oban’s Duncan MacIntyre, the new group is mainly composed of other ‘Independent’ councillors, apart from two SNP members, Michael Breslin and Gordon Blair.

Nine senior members are proposed, also including Dick Walsh – leader of the council until last year’s elections – Iain Angus MacDonald, Dougie Philand and Vivien Dance – the only Helensburgh and Lomond representative named, although intriguingly two names have still not been revealed.

And the group wants to review the whole structure of senior roles for councillors in the authority, with a special meeting in August to decide who will get the key jobs.

The current lead councillors for geographical areas and roles such as planning, education and adult care would all be ousted immediately, to be replaced by the nine senior members listed above.

If this grouping manages to secure enough of the council’s 36 votes to take control next week, the new administration would have a far smaller representation from Helensburgh and Lomond  than is currently the case,  as well as the Liberal Democrat, Conservative and some SNP members all being consigned to the opposition.

Cllr MacIntyre would be the authority’s fourth leader in little over a year, following bitter infighting in the wake of this year’s budget.

A motion lodged by Duncan MacIntyre is item 31 on the agenda, meaning it will not be discussed until several hours into the meeting. It is reproduced verbatim below.


That the Council confirms the Argyll and Bute for Change group as the new Argyll and Bute Council Administration group.

That all the senior political positions currently held within the Council with the exception of the Provost and Depute Provost, are removed with immediate effect.

That an interim arrangement of nine (9) elected members is put in place to liaise with the Chief Executive, Executive Directors and Heads of Service on Council business and to take forward a review of the political management structure of the Council with a report back to a special Council meeting in early August.

That a review of the senior member structure is carried out,with proposals for change being presented to the special Council meeting in August.

That the interim nine (9) Member arrangement comprises of the following members:

Duncan MacIntyre; Vivien Dance; Dick Walsh; Michael Breslin; Gordon Blair; Iain Angus MacDonald; Dougie Philand and two members to be notified.

Moved by Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Seconded by Councillor Iain Angus MacDonald.

1 Comment

  1. So Dick Walsh, the force behind the abortive school closure plans, will be the power behind the throne? How long until this bunch come back for our schools do we think?

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