East Ren name cabinet

COUNCILLORS met last night to confirm the cabinet posts — including that of leader and provost — for the new East Renfrewshire council administration.

As reported in last week’s Extra, Labour and SNP came to an agreement to form an coalition along with independent councillor Danny Devlin, despite the Conservatives being the second biggest party in the area.

Last night’s meeting was called to confirm roles for each of the 13 members of the administration, and as The Extra went to press, councillor Jim Fletcher retained the role of council leader, with SNP leader Tony Buchanan as deputy, as well as handling economic development and regeneration.

SNP councillor Alastair Carmichael is taking the role of provost, with Labour’s Betty Cunningham as deputy provost.

Education will be controlled entirely to Labour, with councillors Elaine Green and Paul O’Kane as convener and deputy, and the same situation applies to health, as current community health care partnership (CHCP) convener Alan Lafferty looks set to continue in the role.

Labour’s Mary Montague will also retain her position for community safety, as is independent Danny Devlin, for housing.

But environment — previously the remit of former councillor Eddie Phillips — will be taken up by new SNP man Vincent Waters.

Councillor Fletcher also told The Extra that he would be putting forward an amendment to introduce a new cabinet role for corporate affairs — covering HR, finance and various shared services — which he suggested would be filled by Labour’s Ian McAlpine.

The Labour leader said that he was satisfied with the administration and said: “When you’re in a coalition, giving away some posts goes with the terrain.

“Part of the partnership is the acceptance that you can’t run everything yourself, and that you have to reach an agreement.

“There are 13 councillors in the administration and everyone has a job, whether it’s a specific cabinet remit or another post”.

SNP leader Tony Buchanan commented that he was also happy with the proposals, and added: “I think that once again we’ll have a solid administration and work well together to deliver for the people of East Renfrewshire”.

Councillor Buchanan added praise for the nominated provost, Alastair Carmichael, commenting: “We believe Alastair will be an excellent provost as he’s very much a people person, and I’m sure he’ll thoroughly enjoy working across the area”.