A HELENSBURGH councillor is the new leader of Argyll and Bute - and another well-known local face has been elected as deputy.

Aileen Morton, Liberal Democrat councillor for Helensburgh Central, was voted into the top job on Thursday, at the authority's first meeting since the May 4 election.

And her deputy will be another Helensburgh Central representative, Gary Mulvaney.

Both are in the midst of political contests on another front - Cllr Morton as her party's General Election candidate for East Renfrewshire, and Cllr Mulvaney as the Conservatives' Westminster candidate in Argyll and Bute.

Argyll and Bute Council today elected Cllr Aileen Morton as Leader and Cllr Len Scoullar as Provost of the new council. They will be supported by Cllr Gary Mulvaney as Depute Leader and Cllr Roddy McCuish as Depute Provost.

Cllr Morton said: “I fully recognise the responsibility of being chosen to lead Argyll and Bute Council at this critical time.

"My key priorities will be to fully exploit the potential for economic growth around our area, and to support our vital public services, especially education.

“Argyll and Bute is an outstanding place to live and to work, and we need to work with our local communities and other partners to ensure that message is heard across the country.

"I look forward to working with councillors right across the chamber to make sure our ambition is matched by our achievements.”

Cllr Mulvaney added: “The Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Group (TALIG) councillors who are forming the council administration are united by their desire to work together for the people of Argyll and Bute.

"Whilst we have been elected as independent, Liberal Democrat, and Conservative councillors we have agreed to put aside any political differences in the interests of our area.”

Bute independent Len Scoullar was chosen to serve as Provost, while the depute provost will be Oban independent councillor and former council leader Roddy McCuish.

* Meanwhile, Helensburgh and Lomond South councillor, and former council leader, Ellen Morton has been elected as chair of the authority's Helensburgh and Lomond area committee.

Her deputy will be Barbara Morgan, newly-elected Conservative councillor for Lomond North.