by Stewart Paterson

A GARSCADDEN/Scotstounhill councillor has been named to one of the top positions in the new SNP-led Glasgow City Council.

Cllr Chris Cunningham was put in charge of education covering all the city's primaries, secondaries and nurseries.

It was one of a number of appointments after the first full meeting of the new councillors which saw a new Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, approved but the SNP also lose two votes, underlining how the party will have to fight for a majority on many policies.

Swedish-born Provost Bolander beat out Labour's Phil Braat and Whiteinch councillor Ade Aibinu, from the Conservatives. Cllr Braat became deputy lord provost, defeating the SNP choice.

The new provost said: "This post carries great responsibility. I am thrilled by the honour of taking this post, the first EU national to do so.

“Glasgow is a friendly and warm city and has always welcomed people from around the world.

“I will do my best to do as our motto says ‘Let Glasgow Flourish’.”

Susan Aitken was elected unopposed as leader of the council, reported our sister paper, the Evening Times.

Her deputy David McDonald is in charge of Democratic renewal, and will oversee a change in how the council works with communities and devolve some decision making to an even more local level.

Despite having a minority of votes, the SNP proposed a 19-strong Executive Committee on which they would have had a majority of members with 10 to Labour’s seven and one each for the Tories and Greens.

However, an amendment from the Greens proposed a larger committee of 23 members with an opposition majority. The SNP would have 11, Labour eight, and the Greens and Tories two apiece.

It was voted through by 44 votes to 39.

It means the SNP will need to gain support from at least one of the other parties to get decisions through on the Executive Committee.

Labour has claimed the SNP is attempting to scrap two scrutiny committees, which have in the past been chaired by the opposition.

The SNP has said it has agreed terms of reference for a scrutiny committee but not appointed a chair will look at convening scrutiny committees if one is needed between now and summer recess.

After recess there could be a review of committee structures with a new form of scrutiny build in.

However the opposition parties may not be content and could revisit the issue at the next full council.