Principal roles assigned as council settles in at South Lan
Councillors from Rutherglen and Cambuslang have bagged plumb roles in the make-up of the new South Lanarkshire Council.
Both Cambuslang East’s SNP members have been handed the chair position of two vital committees.
Katy Louden, who has backed calls for a new secondary school in Cambuslang East, will chair the education committee. Alistair Fulton will preside over the planning committee. John Bradley (Cambuslang West) will chair the Cambuslang and Rutherglen area committee. His depute chair is Carol Nugent (Rutherglen South).
Cambuslang West councillor Ann Le Blond has been give the role of depute leader in the Conservative group.
She is the second Cambuslang councillor to land a depute leader role with Walter Brogan second-in-command at the Labour group.
The composition of the authority has also changed dramatically in the past week.
Sheena and Jim Wardhaugh, who both sit in East Kilbride, quit the SNP group after years of service.
And Avondale and Stonehouse councillor Margaret Cooper and Joe Lowe, Hamilton South, left the Labour Party.
Councillor Gerry Convery also stepped down as leader of the Labour group after just a few weeks in charge.
The resignations mean the SNP have 25 councillors, Labour 19, the Tories 14 and there is one Liberal Democrat.
Councillor Ian McAllan, Clydesdale East, was voted in as provost at the first meeting of the full council last week. East Kilbride councillor Collette Stevenson became depute provost.
As expected, Hamilton South SNP councillor John Ross was voted in as leader and Maureen Chalmers who represents the Blantyre ward, is depute leader.
Councillor Ross said:“It is my intention to govern for everyone in South Lanarkshire, no matter if they voted for the SNP or not.
“I will seek to find compromise with other elected members across our county and govern with openness and transparency.”
Councillor Alex Allison, leader of the Conservative group, criticised Labour for abstaining on all the votes last week and refusing to consider a coalition.
He added:“The fact is no party won a majority of seats in this county, so all parties have a responsibility to behave in a responsible way to ensure the council can function effectively.”
But Councillor Walter Brogan said:“I’m not apologising to the Tories for refusing to enter into talks with them. Labour has been crystal clear that we would only consider power-sharing arrangements with partners who would oppose further austerity measures against the people of South Lanarkshire.”
Councillor Robert Brown, the sole Liberal Democrat, said the council should be more open.
He added:“The council meeting itself has become a sham with hardly any major decisions being made by the full council.