A new start on the cards for Argyll and Bute Council?

Talks aimed at bringing an end to the in-fighting and power politics among Argyll and Bute’s councillors appear to have produced a promising result.

Around two dozen councillors met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the forming of a new administration after plans for an SNP-Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition collapsed and led to the resignation on Monday of council leader James Robb.

Cowal councillor Bruce Marshall, a member of the Alliance of Independent Councillors (AIC), sent out a press statement after Thursday’s meeting announcing that those present had “agreed in principle today to work together for the benefit of the people of Argyll and Bute”.

Cllr Marshall’s statement said that an interim council leader would be agreed and announced early next week, at the same time as the agreement reached on Thursday was confirmed.

Bute councillor Len Scoullar, also an AIC member, told The Buteman: “The councillors [present] were all minded that the whole thing has been a shambles and that changes must be made in order for us to properly represent the people who elected us.”

Those present on Thursday included SNP and AIC councillors and independents Fred Hall and Michael Breslin, whose resignations from the SNP group earlier this year had left the previous administration in a decidedly precarious position.

Cllr Scoullar also said the Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups on the council had not been invited to Thursday’s meeting.