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LABOUR To Run Inverclyde Council As Minority Administration

INVERCLYDE Council is to be run by a minority Labour administration.

Retired teacher Martin Brennan was unanimously chosen as Inverclyde's new provost. There are now two depute provosts, Ronnie Ahlfeld and David Wilson.

The eight Labour councillors rejected going into coalition with the seven SNP councillors. Labour's Stephen McCabe was voted in as leader of the council.

The 22 newly-elected Inverclyde councillors had their first meeting today at which the arrangements for the running of the authority were settled. Labour were backed at various times by sole Liberal Democrat Ciano Rebecchi and the two Conservatives. 

The four Independent councillors had rejected the notion of going into coalition with anyone and abstained in the contentious votes.

They had earlier released a statement saying: "We believe that we can achieve more, individually and collectively, by being part of a recognised working partnership of Independents within the Council. Consequently we have formed an internal Independent coalition. This is not a political party and does not affect our capabilities of voting individually.

"We take our responsibilities seriously and acknowledge the need for a stable administration within the Council at this challenging time. We would hope to work with all parties going forward in bringing together what is best for Inverclyde."

Earlier this week SNP leader Chris McEleny made a formal offer coalition offer to Labour saying: "A Labour minority of eight out of 22 councillors or indeed an SNP minority of seven out of 22 councillors would not create a stable administration to provide the political leadership our area needs."

Their offer was conditional on "a new co-leader being appointed" with Councillor Stephen McCabe [of Labour] and Cllr McEleny stepping down from leadership positions to allow a new "gender-balanced leadership team". 

The SNP believed this would have allowed both groups to progress past any political impasse. However the deal was rejected by Labour.

Upon taking over as Provost, Mr Brennan said: "I am deeply conscious of the special honour given to me and the responsibility that comes with it."

He added: "Sure there are divisions but in the past five years, the vast majority of our decisions have been passed without dissent.

"What unites us is a shared determination to improve the lives of all the people of Inverclyde."

| Full list of new councillors

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