Partnership to lead South Ayrshire Council

 18 May 2017  |  

The new South Ayrshire Council

The new South Ayrshire Council

A new partnership working arrangement – the first of its kind in South Ayrshire – has been agreed at South Ayrshire Council to provide political leadership and direction over the next five years.

Nine SNP Councillors, five Labour Councillors and two Independent Councillors came together to form the administration at the first meeting of the new Council today (18 May). The remaining 12 Councillors – all Conservative – will form the Opposition.

In agreeing the administration, SNP Group Leader Councillor Douglas Campbell becomes Leader of the Council, with responsibility for the Corporate, Strategic and Community Planning Portfolio. Labour Leader Councillor Brian McGinley takes up the post of Depute Leader of the Council and the Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder.

Councillor Campbell said: "I'm very proud to lead this Council for the people and communities across South Ayrshire and to ensure that we deliver on the things that matter to them and help them enjoy the brightest possible future.

"Our children and young people should be able to grow up in warm, modern and affordable homes; they should be able to concentrate and work hard at school because they have been fed and nurtured; and they should be able to reach their full potential – and that's exactly what we'll work together to achieve. We will also get to know our communities better and support them to help us make better decisions about how our money is spent to meet local needs.

"We know there are many challenges ahead – not least in managing the financial uncertainty facing all Councils – but we will tackle these head-on in a positive, productive and constructive way, and in partnership with our communities, to ensure we deliver on the promises we have made to the people we serve."  

Councillor McGinley added: "In coming together to form this new administration, our focus has been on the best interests of the people of South Ayrshire and we know that our priorities are their priorities – tackling poverty, delivering social justice, and giving everyone the same life chances and choices.

"We have a huge amount to be proud of in South Ayrshire and we want our people and our area to be the best possible and we'll get to work on doing that right now."

Councillors Alec Clark (who will chair the Service and Performance Panel) and Brian Connolly (who will chair the Regulatory Panel) said: "We know that high-quality and value for money public services really make a difference for our communities and we'll be working with our fellow Councillors to ensure that is achieved, not just in our own areas, but right across South Ayrshire and for the benefit of all.

"We will also be doing everything we can to support and protect our rural communities, which play a vital role in South Ayrshire both in terms of business and economy, as well as people and communities."

The Council meeting was chaired by Councillor Helen Moonie (Labour), who was re-elected to serve a second-term as Provost of South Ayrshire. SNP Councillor William Grant was elected as Depute Provost.

Joining Councillors Campbell and McGinley on the Council's Leadership Panel – which will be chaired by Councillor Campbell – are:

  • Councillor Peter Henderson (SNP) – Resource and Performance Portfolio
  • Councillor Julie Dettbarn (SNP) – Health and Social Care Portfolio
  • Councillor William Grant (SNP) – Lifelong Learning Portfolio
  • Councillor Ian Cochrane (SNP) – Sustainability and Environment Portfolio
  • Councillor Philip Saxton (Labour) – Housing and Customer Services Portfolio

Appointments were also made to the Council's other panels and outside bodies – full details are available at

Councillor Campbell concluded: "Formalising this partnership working arrangement today now allows us to get started on the day job – working with our partners and communities to make life better in South Ayrshire, and I look forward to working with all Councillors to do just that."