New chairpeople named for council committees

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With a new Labour/SNP administration of 24 members for Dumfries and Galloway Council, new faces will take the helm for the authority’s various committees.

Speaking at the meeting of full council where the decision was taken to place Ronnie Nicholson as new council leader, he said: “Taking on the role of council leader is a great honour but with it comes great responsibility.

“Although a Labour-led council is something I have always strived for, the post of council leader is not. I have accepted the position in order to deliver a Labour-led administration and with it, the priorities of the many people who put their trust in Labour last May.

“Our council faces a huge number of challenges. Our local economy is in deeply perilous place with unemployment consistently above the national average and we now have the unenviable record of the lowest paid region in Scotland. “With this mind, I pledge that the council I lead will make building our local economy our number one priority.

Over the next two years, our council faces the need to make nearly £30 million in savings. The days of trimming at the edges of budgets have gone and our local communities face the prospect that many of their services they have come to expect will simply not be there in the future. In the past, it has been a source of frustration that good ideas have being ignored because of who they came from. This will not be the case under my leadership. This will be an inclusive council in which all members will be invited to bring their ideas to the table and we will listen to them.

However, it is not just the views of councilors that are important. It is important that the views of the local communities we represent are at the heart of the decisions this council makes.

“I also wish to place on record my sincere thanks to Ivor Hyslop for his time as leader. Whilst we had political differences, no one can doubt the immense commitment he brought to the role of council leader over the past six years. I hope that in this post I can show the same level of dedication to the people of Dumfries and Galloway that Ivor has shown.”

Who’s at the helm of which committees:

Audit and Risk - chair Alistair Geddes (SNP); vice Archie Dryburgh (Lab).

DG First Management - chair Stephen Thompson (SNP); vice John Martin (Lab).

Education - chair Jeff Leaver (Lab); vice Rob Davidson (SNP).

Planning Applications - chair Jim Dempster (Lab); vice Iain Dick (SNP).

Planning, Housing and Environment Services - chair Colin Smyth (Lab); vice Jim McClung (SNP).

Policy and Resources - chair Ronnie Nicholson (Leader); vice Brian Collins (Depute Leader).

Social Work Services - chair Andy Ferguson (SNP); vice Ted Thompson (Lab).

Scrutiny and Performance - chair Ivor Hyslop (Conservative); vice Independent – TBC.

Employment and Appeals - chair Alistair Witts (SNP).

Pensions Sub - Tom McAughtrie (Lab).

Police, Fire and Rescue sub - Andrew Wood (SNP); vice John Syme (Lab).

Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee - chair Ronnie Ogilvie (Lab); vice Stephen Thompson (SNP).

Nithsdale - chair David McKie (Lab); vice Yen Hongmei Jin (SNP).

Stewartry - chair Rob Davidson (SNP); vice David Stitt (Lab).

Wigtown - chair Jim McClung (SNP); Marion McCutcheon (Lab).