SNP take charge at council

North Ayrshire Council leader Marie Burns.

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The SNP were on Wednesday confirmed as the minority administration of North Ayrshire Council.

At the first full council meeting, following the local council elections, Councillor Marie Burns, re-elected to Irvine East, took on the role of leader of the council, while Shaun Macaulay, re-elected in Irvine West, and seen as one of the rising stars in the administration, was voted in as depute leader.

The leader and depute leader also automatically took over as cabinet chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively at the lengthy session.

Garnock Valley SNP Councillor Anthea Dickson was elected the new provost, taking on the role unopposed. Labour Saltcoats and Stevenston Councillor John Sweeney was elected vice-chairman.

At the election the SNP secured 12 of the 33 seats, leaving them without an overall majority. The Conservatives took 10 seats beating Labour into third with nine seats and two independent councillors make up the numbers.

Arran’s new sole representative, Conservative Timothy Billings, stood at chairman of the fire and rescue committee but Robert Foster of Labour was elected 19-11 in a vote.

The council also passed a move stipulating questions at the full council meeting had to be submitted in advance for a Question Time type session. They could not have been asked within the previous six months and there could be no pre-amble to try and limit the time of the meeting.