SNP’s McCuish wins fight to keep control of council

The SNP’s Roddy McCuish has won the latest battle for control of Argyll and Bute Council.

He remains council leader, despite a bid by the ‘Argyll and Bute for Change’ coalition to form a new administration yesterday.

A short life working group will be set up, chaired by Cllr McCuish, to look at new political management arrangements.

Roddy McCuish
Roddy McCuish

Group membership is still to be decided but will comprise 12 councillors drawn from the full complement of 36 elected members and will reflect the council’s current political make-up.

The group members will report their findings to all councillors at the next planned meeting in August.

Cllr McCuish said: “It is clear that we need to find a new way forward so that we can best serve the people of Argyll and Bute.

“That is what we are elected to do, and that is why it is so important that we agree on effective political management arrangements and structures.

“Ensuring that all councillors are able to participate fully in all aspects of council business has always been a key priority.

“For this reason, colleagues across the council, from all types of political backgrounds, will become part of this short life working group which will look at new and better ways of doing things. They will then take ideas forward for all elected members to consider when they next meet in a few weeks’ time.”

In the meantime, lead and deputy lead councillors for each of the council’s service areas will remain in post, while the new group will include and involve members from across the whole council.

Cllr Duncan MacIntyre had tabled a motion, detailed here, on behalf of the Argyll and Bute for Change group which would have seen almost all the senior political positions scrapped immediately.

But during the meeting, the SNP’s Cllr John Semple submitted an amendment which was backed by 17 members. With 14 against, two abstaining and three councillors absent this was enough to carry the day in the finely balanced council.

Cllr Semple’s amendment is summarised below:

  • There is a need for change in the council’s political management arrangement and structures
  • All councillors should be able to get involved in any process of change
  • A short life working group will be set up to look at new political management and structures
  • This will include 12 councillors from across the council to reflect its political make-up
  • The group will be chaired by the leader of the council
  • It will report to the council in August
  • In the meantime, the current political management will stay the same

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