Dumfries and Galloway Council appoint new leader as Conservatives take over

The new administration will take control with immediate effect. Credit: ITV Border

Conservative councillor Gail MacGregor has been elected as the new leader for Dumfries and Galloway Council.

A special meeting of the full council was held on Tuesday 7 March, with elected members agreeing the new administration which will take control with immediate effect.

Cllr MacGregor has also been elected as the depute convener for the council. Fellow Conservative councillor Malcolm Johnstone was elected as convener, depute leader and civic head.

Cllr Macgregor said: “I’m delighted and thrilled to be elected leader and depute convener of Dumfries and Galloway Council.

“Ours will be a collaborative administration, working together with other political groups to implement the ambitious council plan we agreed last week."

The council also agreed on the size of the committees and committee chairs and vice-chairs.

Cllr Jonhstone said: “What the communities we serve need is stability in order to deliver high-quality education and social care, create the environment for businesses to thrive and grow, tackle the cost-of-living increases and improve the quality of our roads network.

“In line with our council principles, I look forward to working with all our elected members to safeguard our future, support our citizens, support our communities and be a responsive council.”

Councillor Maureen Johnstone was appointed the Provost of Dumfries.

The previous council collapsed and SNP leader Stephen Thompson resigned after it failed to get approval for its annual budget.

Mr Thompson said he was left with no alternative but to step away from the role, after councillors opted against plans to increase council tax by 6.5% - instead backing proposals by the Conservatives which will see a rise of just 6% percent.

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