Prin­ci­pal roles as­signed as coun­cil settles in at South Lan

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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.

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