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Highland Council - New Administration of Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors

10th May 2017

Councillor Margaret Davidson announced today that an agreement had been reached to form anew administration to run Highland council for the next five years.

Councillor Davidson will once again be the leader of the council and she said,"We are pleased to announce that a coalition of Independents, Liberal Democrats and Labour Councillors have formed an Administration to take Highland Council forward for the next five years. This is an agreement that provides a sustainable Administration for the long term, and represents the widespread opinion across the Highlands.

Meanwhile the Scottish National group councillors expressed their unhappiness. Cllr Smith issued the following statement -

Today the Independents in Highland Council announced that they have done a deal with the Lib Dems and Labour Groups to form an Administration. They met with their Independent Group at 1pm today, without first giving us the chance to negotiate. The reasons given for choosing the others was that they didn't like the rhetoric on the doors against the SNP!

As an SNP Group we returned the same number of councillors as in 2012, although percentage-wise more, as there are less wards now. We are astonished that the Independents have taken this stance. We are a Group of 22 and they are a Group of 28 and together we would have formed a robust, stable and experienced coalition, which would have remained in place for the 5 year term. Given that our vote stayed high and the Lib Dems, Labour and Independents all lost seats to the Tories, this does not make sense and is a betrayal of the public vote.

We proved ourselves trustworthy in allowing the Independent minority Administration to stay in power for nearly 2 years and instead of being rewarded for that trust, we have been kicked aside in favour of a threeway alliance. Cllr. Margaret Davidson and her team have taken a short-sighted view of the future and we struggle to see how working against the party in government is a positive thing for our Highlands.

As an Opposition, we will of course, do our best to scrutinise what goes on and continue to have the best interests of the Highland people at our core.

The conservatives and the single green councillor will sit in the opposition along with the SNP.

74 Members were elected on 5 May including 31 new Members.

The proposal for a majority Administration of the 41 Members of the 3 Groups will be put to The Highland Council meeting on 18 May for formal agreement. Office Bearers are to be formally agreed at this meeting, including the appointment of Cllr Margaret Davidson as Leader of the Council.

Independent 28

Scottish Conservative and Unionist 10

Scottish Green Party 1

Scottish Labour Party 3

Scottish Liberal Democrats 10

Scottish National Party (SNP) 22

Total elected 74

74 Members were elected on 5 May including 31 new Members. Further information here:


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