Ann Ritchie, the SNP councillor for Bo’ness and Blackness has been appointed Depute Provost of Falkirk Council.
The Nationalist, who was elected for a second five-year term following the local government poll on May 4, beat off the challenge of her Ward rival, Lynn Munro of the Scottish Conservatives, to win the prestigious post on a 13-8 vote when the new council held its first meeting on Wednesday.
Earlier, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, her group leader and head of the minority SNP administration, had created a surprise by nominating Labour’s Alan Nimmo for the post first.
In a genuine effort to establish some kind of working relationship from day one, Mrs Meiklejohn invited him to join Provost Tom Coleman at the top table.
However, given the nine-strong Labour Group’s pledge last week not to work with any party that does not oppose austerity, it was no surprise when he declined.
Mrs Ritchie was then put forward and won the ballot comfortably after Labour abstained.
She retained her seat in Ward 1 last month after winning 1510 of the 5399 valid votes cast with Councillor Munro on 1412 and Labour’s David Aitchison on 1106.
Councillor Ritchie will deputise at civic events when Provost Coleman is not available.
Councillor Meiklejohn also named her colleague as part of the External Scrutiny Committee and confirmed she will also be part of the Licensing and Civic Licensing Boards.