Bute councillor is named new depute provost

INDEPENDENT Bute councillor Len Scoullar has been named depute provost of Argyll and Bute Council in the authority's new administration.

Councillor Scoullar's appointment was confirmed after the Alliance of Independent Councillors (AIC) formed a partnership with the council's Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups.

The previous coalition between the AIC and the SNP broke up over the authority's proposals to shut 25 primary schools in a bid to save 2 million.

The list of the authority's new senior councillors was confirmed by 19 votes to 11, with three 'no votes' at a meeting of the full council on Monday.

Council leader Dick Walsh said: "I am very pleased that the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have joined with us to work in partnership for our communities.

"We have a significant task ahead in ensuring the sustainability of long term service delivery to our residents, and we will ensure we focus on doing what is right in the long term, rather than trying to score any short term political points."

Bute SNP councillors Robert Macintyre and Isobel Strong lost their senior posts – the former as deputy leader and spokesperson for the economy, environment and rural affairs, and the latter as depute provost and spokesperson for education - in the vote.

Councillor Macintyre – who remains the leader of the nine-strong SNP group – told the meeting: "It is with regret on the part of the SNP group, and, I believe, many in the Alliance, that the coalition has broken up.

"The hawks ate up the doves, and the vultures were waiting on the sidelines to pick up the scraps."

The full list of the authority's new senior councillors is as follows.

Cllr William Petrie (AIC, Lomond North - Provost); Cllr Dick Walsh (AIC, Dunoon - leader and spokesperson for leadership and economy); Cllr Duncan MacIntyre (AIC, Oban North and Lorn – spokesperson for transport and infrastructure and depute spokesperson for rural and island affairs, housing and Gaelic); Cllr Ellen Morton (LD, Helensburgh and Lomond South – depute leader and spokesperson for education and lifelong learning).

Cllr Neil Mackay (LD, Oban North and Lorn – spokesperson for enterprise, energy, culture and tourism); Cllr Andrew Nisbet (LD, Helensburgh and Lomond South – spokesperson for social affairs); Cllr Bruce Marshall (AIC, Cowal – spokesperson for environment); Cllr Robin Currie (LD, Kintyre and the Islands – spokesperson for rural and island affairs, housing and Gaelic); Cllr Rory Colville (LD, Kintyre and the Islands – spokesperson for third sector and communities and depute spokesperson for enterprise, energy, culture and tourism).

Cllr Len Scoullar (AIC, Isle of Bute – depute provost and spokesperson for European issues); Cllr Vivien Dance (AIC, Helensburgh Central – chair of Helensburgh and Lomond area committee and depute spokesperson for education and lifelong learning); Cllr Al Reay (LD, Helensburgh Central – depute chair of Helensburgh and Lomond area committee and depute spokesperson for transport and infrastructure); Cllr Alex McNaughton (AIC, Cowal – depute spokesperson for third sector and communities); Cllr Alison Hay (LD, Mid Argyll – depute spokesperson for environment); Cllr Elaine Robertson (AIC, Oban North and Lorn – depute spokesperson for social affairs).

Non-aligned independent James Robb sought to move an amendment that senior councillors be paid only 1 more than ordinary members, but his amendment was ruled 'not competent'.