MAJORITY SNP-LED ALLIANCE SET TO RUN COUNCIL
Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 18:36 Written by Gordon Neish Sunday, 06 May 2012 20:15
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THE SNP group on Argyll and Bute Council announced this evening (Sunday) that it had support from enough councillors to form an administration – no matter the result of the Dunoon vote on Thursday.
A weekend of political horse-trading culminated in a meeting in Tarbert, Loch Fyne earlier today, after which SNP leader Roddy McCuish announced seven councillors who will work with the currently 12-strong SNP group. With a total of 36 councillors the SNP can now count on the support of 19 – a clear majority.
At 7pm one SNP councillor excitedly texted: "It's 19!"
Councillors Robert MacIntyre (Independent, Lomond North), Elaine Robertson (Independent, Oban North and Lorn), Iain MacDonald (Independent, Oban North and Lorn), George Freeman (Independent, Lomond North), Donald Kelly (Conservative, South Kintyre), Dougie Philand (Independent, Mid Argyll) and John MacAlpine (Independent, Kintyre and the Islands) have all agreed to work with the SNP group on the council.
Councillor McCuish said: ‘The people of Argyll and Bute have given us a clear mandate for change in the way the work of this council is conducted.
‘There are a clearly a number of partners who share our aims and have already shown they have the backbone to implement a positive agenda for the people in the towns, villages, rural areas and islands.
‘At a meeting today held in Tarbert, Loch Fyne, we made progress through open, honest and frank discussion. A clear way forward has been discussed and agreed.
‘We will now entering into discussion with others to extend the progressive majority further.’
Councillor Donald Kelly, of The Argyll First group of councillors (along with cllrs Philand and MacAlpine), said: ‘We are delighted to have made a coalition with the SNP group and with independent councillors.
‘Our motto has always been ‘Time for change” – which we can deliver with these partners.
‘In forming a coalition with this group we will have a realistic opportunity to give transparency and accountability to the people of Argyll and Bute.’
Thursday’s Dunoon election could add a 20th member to the alliance if the SNP’s Michael Breslin is elected.