LibDems and Tories form council coalition

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Argyll and Bute Council today elected Aileen Morton as leader and Len Scoullar as provost of the new council. They will be supported by Gary Mulvaney as depute leader and Roddy McCuish as depute provost.

Both Ms Morton and Mr Mulvaney are standing for election to Westminster on June 8.

Ms Morton has been a councillor for the Helensburgh Central ward since 2012. Prior to the 2017 council election, she was the council’s policy lead for economic development. She is married with two school-aged children and her professional background is in IT.

Ms Morton said: ‘I fully recognise the responsibility of being chosen to lead Argyll and Bute Council at this critical time.

‘My key priorities will be to fully exploit the potential for economic growth around our area, and to support our vital public services, especially education.

‘Argyll and Bute is an outstanding place to live and to work, and we need to work with our local communities and other partners to ensure that message is heard across the country. I look forward to working with councillors right across the chamber to make sure our ambition is matched by our achievements.’

Mr Mulvaney has been an Argyll and Bute councillor for 14 years. For the past few years he has been depute policy lead for strategic finance. Mr Mulvaney is director of a local business and a chartered accountant by profession. Mr Mulvaney is married to Janet and they have a daughter.

Mr Mulvaney said: ‘The Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Group (TALIG) of councillors who are forming the council administration are united by their desire to work together for the people of Argyll and Bute. While we have been elected as Independent, Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors, we have agreed to put aside any political differences in the interests of our area.’

Mr Scoullar has represented the Island of Bute for 18 years.

He said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to continue as provost, a role I have greatly enjoyed. I look forward to continuing to support councillors from all political groups fairly and equally in their contributions towards the work of the council.’

Mr McCuish has been a councillor in Argyll and Bute since 2007. A former leader of Argyll and Bute Council, prior to the 2017 election Mr McCuish was chairman for the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee.

Mr McCuish said: ‘Our communities are the best in the world and I look forward to working with local residents to make sure their views are heard and the council works for them.’