I am writing this column at the end of a long and eventful day following the vote in council chambers to replace the current provost and leader of the council, and work towards forming a new and stable administration.

​So we voted to bring about change and now the Strategic Partnership, led by Councillor Jim Lynch with Councillor Dougie Philand as Provost will work to deliver on that pledge. I congratulate them both on their appointments.

​It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the hard work of the outgoing provost, Councillor Maurice Corry who has done a great job in his two-year tenure.

His hard work as both Provost and a local member are a matter of record and I look forward to continuing to work alongside him locally and to draw on his vast experience.

The outgoing leader, Councillor Robin Currie, has served Argyll and Bute for decades and more recently as leader he has steered us through some difficult times in an economic climate that few people would have predicted when this council term started in 2022. His experience is going to be invaluable to us all moving forwards.​

READ MORE: Argyll and Bute Council confirms new provost and leader

It is too early for me to comment on the specifics - that job falls to our new leader - but Cllr Lynch spoke in the chamber and set out his clear vision for a new administration and I’m of course proud to be have been a small part of that process.

When I was elected I promised to work tirelessly for the residents of Lomond North to bring about change, and I’m pleased to be able to work with all my colleagues across Argyll and Bute to help bring that to fruition.

​In other news, but related, the council will be holding another special meeting on April 15 to vote on the reversal of the 10 per cent increase in council tax. This will be a welcome decision for us all and will ease some of the financial burden and concerns for local residents.

​The timetable then moves quickly towards April 25 when the full council meets to finalise the political arrangements for the new administration.

Finally, the cost-of-living crisis is still a very real challenge for many families and households across Argyll and Bute,  and if you are experiencing difficulties, please reach out to your local ward councillors and ask them to signpost you to the best places for help and support.

We are all in this together and my contact details, as always are: mark.irvine@argyll-bute.gov.uk or 07788 543275.