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Long-standing councillor Robin Currie has been made the new leader of Argyll and Bute Council.
The Liberal Democrat, who has been a member of the council since its inception in 1996, representing first Islay North, Jura and Colonsay and later Kintyre and the Islands, was chosen at a meeting of the full council today (Thursday, September 24).
Councillor Gary Mulvaney moved that Councillor Currie should be appointed, seconded by Councillor Kieron Green. The motion was unanimously agreed.
Depute Provost, Councillor Roddy McCuish, welcomed the new leader: ‘These are very tough times for councils. Robin’s calm resolve to getting things done, and his in-depth experience of challenge in local government, will be key in ensuring that the council continues the progress we are making for the area.’
Councillor Currie said: ‘I am passionate about Argyll and Bute, it is an amazing area that deserves the best. Becoming leader of its council is an honour.
‘We have to be realistic about the challenges we face, primarily budget gaps that mean continued change to what we do and how we do it, and a falling population that means we must attract people and jobs to the area.
‘Perhaps it’s because I am an islander, but steering a ship safely into harbour is the best analogy for me in describing my role as leader.
‘I know where we want to be, and I am clear on what we have to do to get there: we must progress Argyll and Bute to the population and economic growth that will deliver a successful future; achieving this will be a team effort, so as leader I will draw on the expertise of my colleagues, locally and nationally, as well as on the priorities we agreed together for the council.
‘We have a skilled, dedicated council workforce. We have a beautiful area offering envied lifestyle opportunities. And we have transformational investment in place to support the economy of Argyll and Bute.
‘There will be more difficult decisions to be made, but I am confident that by working together we will also have progress to celebrate for Argyll and Bute.’
Councillor Currie succeeds Helensburgh Central councillor Aileen Morton after she announced last week that she was standing down as leader.