Provost Tom Kerr appointed association secretary.

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The Scottish Provosts Association was officially re-launched in Edinburgh in an attempt to enable provosts to be even more effective in their role as civic heads, help encourage better voter turnout in council elections and to rejuvenate local democracy in Scotland.

Councillor Graham Garvie, Convener of Scottish Borders Council, has been appointed President of the Association. Councillor Malcolm Bell, Convener of Shetland Islands Council, takes up the role of Vice President while Councillor Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council, has been appointed as Secretary.

Councillor Garvie said: “Everybody knows that councils deliver key services in their communities but often the vital role of the civic head as a community ambassador in these same communities can be somewhat overlooked, and it is primarily for this reason that the Scottish Provosts Association is being re-created.

Councillor Kerr explained: “The Association will offer internal support, training, development and advice to its members. We also aim to champion local government and local civic leadership as a centuries old institution. We need to ensure that this remains relevant to local people and that this relevance is translated into increased voter turnout at local government elections. “

The Association’s membership will be open to civic heads from all of Scotland’s 32 councils and their deputes.