Behind-the-scene talks over the leadership of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are continuing
Individual independent councillors from the old guard of returning members are set
to be nominated for the key posts on the council. But they may face a challenge from
a SNP-led grouping.
However, if the SNP’s plans gain traction, councillors from Uist and Barra would
be put forward for both posts.
The SNP group are in negotiations with a number of individual councillors with view
to agreeing a possible rainbow pact. Seven SNP councillors were elected and although
they have gained one member compared to last term, the figure is simply not enough
to achieve a majority.
Approaches are being made to independent councillors, particularly those representing
Uist where the SNP’s overtures to tackle the cuts to rural services, restore inter-island
flights and increase roads maintenance may resonate.
Sweeteners for a deal includes supporting one of the new faces for the convenor’s
Vacancies on the main committees are also to be filled next week with Angus McCormack
being pitched to head the revamped education and children’s committee which is now
the named the Education, Sport and Children’s Services Committee.
At this stage, Uisdean Robertson, Donald Crichton and Angus Morrison are all said
to be potential contenders for committee chairmen - possibly transportation or sustainable
Being tipped as a nominee for the new communities and housing committee - formerly
called environment services - is Stornoway councillor, Charlie Nicolson.
Power struggle at the comhairle
11 May 2017
The new council together for the first time
Returning Stornoway North councillor, Roddie Mackay, (pictured) has strong backing
to be nominated as council leader when a vote over the role is taken on Tuesday.
Point member Alasdair Macleod is receiving growing support for the convenor’s post
but he may face a rival in the shape of the previous incumbent, Norman A Macdonald.