In the first meeting of Perth and Kinross Council following the elections on the 5th of May, council members voted to fill key positions in the council as well as who will serve on internal committees and external bodies.
The first vote of the meeting on the 25th of May was for the role of provost. Highland Ward Independent Councillor Xander McDade was nominated in a motion from Councillor Brock, while leader of the Conservatives John Duff nominated Councillor Caroline Shiers. Councillor McDade was elected to the position by a vote of 20 to 18 with two abstentions.
Speaking about his election to the position Provost McDade said: “I am honoured to have been elected to represent Perth and Kinross as Provost. As Convener of the Council, I want to ensure that we work together in the interests of everyone in Perth and Kinross.
“In my role as first citizen and Civic Head of the Council I look forward to recognising and celebrating the amazing things volunteers and local groups are doing for our communities.
“I hope to modernise certain aspects of the role while also respecting many of our wonderful traditions. With the re-introduction of Bailies today we have already sought to honour our history whilst adopting a more collegiate and cross-party approach to the civic life of the Council.”
Following the appointment of the Provost, the Council moved to select a Deputy Provost, with SNP Councillor Andrew Parrott fulfilling the appointment. The council then appointed members from each of the parties and the independent group to the positions of Ballies, the Councillors are, SNP Cllr Mike Williamson, Conservative Cllr Andy Chan, Labour Cllr Alasdair Bailey, and Independent Cllr Rhona Brock. The Liberal Democrats will nominate someone shortly.
The Council will be run by the SNP as a minority administration with Strathtay Ward Councillor and Leader of the SNP Grant Laing, serving as the Leader of the Council.
Speaking about the formation of the new SNP council Leader of the Council Grant Laing said: “Today is the start of a journey of leading this Council and the area through the next five years. There is no doubt that we are facing challenging times – our residents, businesses, and the Council itself are facing financial, social, and environmental pressures on a scale unlike anything we have seen before.
“Tackling this requires decisive action and I look forward to working with the Provost, colleagues across the Chamber, Council officers and the people of Perth and Kinross to face those challenges head on.”
The Council also approved the SNP’s motion to invest over £700,000 in initiatives aimed at helping those most affected by the cost of living. £600,000 will be made available from the Covid relief fund to support tenants of non-council properties.
With an additional £104,000 being used to deliver the extension of the food insecurity fund over holiday periods. This will allow Council staff to plan for the provision of food and activities for the most disadvantaged young people and their families during the October, Christmas, and Easter breaks.
Speaking on the motion Leader of the Council Grant Laing said: “Food and shelter are two of the most basic human needs, and this investment will help adults and young people across Perth and Kinross who are facing impossible choices each day as disposable income becomes stretched further.”