Dundee’s new Lord Provost Ian Borthwick has warned there are “difficult times” ahead — but has promised to use his vast experience to benefit the city.
Mr Borthwick was speaking after being handed the chain of office of Lord Provost of Dundee.
The 78-year-old Independent councillor for Strathmartine — who is Scotland’s longest serving councillor — said the role would not change who he was and that he would stick to his Independent principles.
He said: “I will use my significant experience in local government to bring the best I can to the role.
“I would like to think I will make every endeavour to justify the substantial confidence shown in me.
“There is little doubt there are tremendous changes and significant developments going on in Dundee, but the future’s looking good provided we keep our eyes on the target.
“All the local authority members will direct their activity towards doing what we can for the people we represent.
“That has always been my philosophy.”
He said there were challenges and difficult times ahead, but the council would identify the problems and give what assistance it can.
Mr Borthwick added that he was also keen to work towards greater transparency.
He said: “It has become clear in recent times that we must work closer together to ensure greater transparency at the council here in Dundee.
“It is important that we encourage greater transparency. I will be looking to the elected members for support for this.
“I believe that without this we would lose impetus as a city and as a council.”
At last night’s statutory meeting of the new city council, the new leader of the SNP administration John Alexander said he was very excited to take on the position.
He said: “My role now is to get to grips with the issues we face in the city. One of the major problems we are facing is substance misuse.
“I will continue to work to make sure this city is a better and more vibrant place.
“It’s not just about doing this for the next generation but generations to come after that.
“My job will be about setting out policies and objectives and about creating partnerships to make changes that will be beneficial not just over the next five years, but that will still be working in 10 years.”
Mr Alexander said he was looking forward to working with the new Lord Provost.
He said: “I have a tremendous working relationship with Ian. He is already recognised as a city father and I don’t see that changing.”
New conveners were elected to head all eight of the council’s standing committees.
Gregor Murray will lead Children and Families Services, Lynne Short will head up City Development, Alan Ross will remain convener of Community Safety and Public Protection, Will Dawson will remain at Development Management, Stewart Hunter will take over at the licensing committee while Kevin Cordell will take on Neighbourhood Services.
John Alexander will head Policy and Resources as leader of the administration and Labour’s Kevin Keenan, as leader of the major opposition group will head up Scrutiny.