Councillors meet to elect leaders
TODAY will see the swearing in of 36 newly- elected Argyll and Bute councillors, yet the SNP, the group with the greatest number will not be part of the administration.
An alliance of Tory, Liberal Democrat and independent councillors will take control of the local authority, leaving in place the majority of the administration who were in charge prior to the election.
The council will meet to elect a leader, a deputy leader, a provost, a deputy provost, the chairmanship of committees, members of the planning cohort, area chairmanship and deputy chairmanship.
Also on the agenda are councillors’ salaries, COSLA membership, licensing board membership, appointments to outside bodies and committee memberships. Also to be elected at the meeting are teacher representatives and religious members who sit on the council.
While the leadership of the council will not be confirmed until the first full council meeting today (Thursday), it is understood that Aileen Morton, Helensburgh central ward, is in the running for council leader despite also being a general election candidate. This is Ms Morton’s second term as a councillor. Ms Morton is standing for election in the Dumbarton seat, described by pundits as ‘the ‘tightest’ election contest in Scotland.
Others who may have put their hat in the ring for leadership are thought to be Liberal Democrat Alan Reid, former MP from Dunoon, and Conservative and Unionist Gary Mulvaney, who had the highest vote (1,789) in the council area.
The administration of the council will be m ade up from six Liberal Democrats, nine Conservatives and at least seven of the 10 independent councillors.
A breakdown of the local council first preference vote shows that throughout the council area:
3,571 people voted for nine Liberal Democrat candidates, electing six.
9,172 people voted for 15 SNP candidates, electing 11. One UKIP candidate received 32 votes. 10 Conservative and Unionist candidates received 8,315 votes, electing nine candidates. Three green candidates amassed 609 votes. 29 Independent candidates collected 10,079 votes and elected 10 candidates. The average vote from the 33,142 cast was 448, which 29 candidates elected achieved. Turnout varied from 60.3 per cent in Cowal, to 47.5 per cent in Oban, South and Isles. The average turnout for Argyll and Bute was 53.27 per cent. In one ward, South Kintyre, an election was not required