Provost Douglas McAllister; Council leader Cllr Martin Rooney and Cllr Michelle McGinty.

By Bill Heaney

The Scottish Labour  Party councillor Douglas McAllister from the Kilpatrick Ward was named today as the new Provost of West Dunbartonshire.

Cllr Martin Rooney was nominated and elected unanimously as leader of the ruling Labour administration and Cllr Michelle McGinty was named as deputy leader.

Committee conveners, all Scottish Labour, are Clare Steel, Education; Craig Edward, Housing and Communities; Danny Lennie, Corporate Services; David McBride, Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, which will see him in charge of town centre regeneration with a budget of more than £20 million from the Conservative government’s leveling up fund.

The important position of planning convener has gone to Cllr Lawrence O’Neill, another Kilpatrick councillor, which should make him a significant player in Flamingo Land controversy, and Cllr Gurpreet Singh Johal and Cllr June McKay will be take the chair of the Appeals Committee the Licensing Board respectively.

The SNP leader of the opposition and chair of the Audit Committee is Dumbarton councillor Karen Conaghan.

Attempts by her former SNP leader, the controversial Cllr Jonathan McColl, and the SNP rump were dismissed out of hand by the new Council.

Meanwhile, the Council has done absolutely nothing to change the facilities for the press and public to witness the business being done in their name.

Cllr McColl and Cllr Conaghan, pictured right,  made an attempt to have SNP people as West Dunbartonshire’s representatives on a number of outside bodies, including COSLA, but they received no sympathy from Labour on that score.

Labour leader Martin Rooney said they would look again at that in the autumn when there would be a review of Council Standing Orders.

However, their contributions were conveyed to the press and public by disembodied voices from above over an echo plague sound system which made it impossible first to identify who was speaking and then to work out what they were saying.

The voices were difficult to identify since councillor and officials were sitting with their backs to the public gallery and many of the name plates on their desks were turned around the wrong way.

Provost McAllister and Chief Executive Joyce White need to do something about that – and do it quickly. The current sound system is disrespectful of the electorate who have a right to see and hear what is going on in the council chambers.


Members of the new Scottish Labour council in West Dunbartonshire with their national leader Anas Sarwar pictured on Loch Lomondside prior to the election. Top of page, the new Provost, who has been re-elected, at a function on Dumbarton Castle with Brigadier Donald Hardie and teachers and children from Kilpatrick School. Picture by Bill Heaney

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