SNP take control in South Ayrshire

Pictured left to right are Girvan Independent councillor Alec Clark; Council Leader, Cllr Douglas Campbell; Depute leader, Cllr Brian McGinley, Maybole Independent councillor Brian Connolly
Pictured left to right are Girvan Independent councillor Alec Clark; Council Leader, Cllr Douglas Campbell; Depute leader, Cllr Brian McGinley, Maybole Independent councillor Brian Connolly

A new partnership working arrangement – the first of its kind in South Ayrshire – has been agreed at South Ayrshire Council.

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.”

Independent Girvan Councillor Alec Clark, is to chair of Service and Performance Panel.

Councillor Alec Clark (63) was first elected to serve Girvan & South Carrick in May 2012. Since that time, he has held the posts of Vice-Chair Corporate and Community Planning Scrutiny Panel, Chair of the Rural Panel and has been a member of the Ayrshire Shared Service Joint Committee and the Chief Officers Appointments/Appraisals Panel. He previously chaired Girvan and District Community Council, Girvan and District Business Associations, and the St Andrew’s Society of Gibraltar. A former local radio presenter, and currently a self-employed retailer, Councillor Clark is married with three children and five grandchildren.

maybole Councillor Brian Connolly is to chair the Regulatory Panel.

Councillor Connolly (57) was first elected to South Ayrshire Council following a by-election in 2006 before being re-elected to serve Maybole, North Carrick & Coylton in 2007. During his time at the Council, he has chaired the Appeals Panel, Corporate and Community Planning Panel, and Audit and Governance Panel and has also been a member of the Chief Officers Appointments/Appraisal Panel. A former RAF Officer, he is currently the Managing Director of BDC Fuels in Maybole. Councillor Connolly is married with three children and four grandchildren.