New SNP led council administration

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A series of political changes took place at Aberdeenshire Council on Monday, June 8 following a special meeting of the Full Council.

The council is now led by an administration, ‘The Partnership’, comprising the 28-member SNP group and the four-strong ‘Progressive Alliance’ between Scottish Labour and Progressive Independent Councillors.

At the meeting, Cllr Hamish Vernal was elected as Provost and Cllr Allison Grant as Deputy Provost.

Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes and Cllr Richard Thomson were appointed as co-leaders of Aberdeenshire Council.

In an arrangement thought to be the first of its kind in Scottish local government, Cllr Kitts-Hayes and Cllr Thomson agreed to job-share the positions of Leader and Depute Leader.

In addition to being chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Cllr Kitts- Hayes will attend COSLA Leaders’ meetings and work on the City Region Deal project, while Cllr Thomson will chair the Community Planning Board, the Policy Budget Steering Group and the Council’s Review of Future Governance Committee.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Kitts-Hayes said: “This partnership arrangement, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, marks a historic day for Aberdeenshire Council.

“The new Partnership Administration is committed to working together for the benefit of the residents and communities of Aberdeenshire. We’re looking forward to getting on with the job.”

At the meeting North Kincardine Cllr Alison Evison was elected to be the Chair of Education, Learning and Leisure in Aberdeenshire, and Cllr Raymond Christie was elected Vice-Chair of social Work and Housing.

Councillor and Leader of the Scottish Labour Group Alison Evison commented: “Scottish Labour has helped form a new administration in Aberdeenshire, one that will push a progressive agenda forward. The new administration is founded on the principles of equality, transparency and accountability. We intend to work together with communities and residents to deliver services, and believe that the most creative and effective responses to the challenges of future years will be developed in partnership with others.” There were no changes to area committee chairs or vice chairs.

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