Sally Pattle was nominated as chair of the committee by the SNP group and won the backing of all 15 SNP councillors to tie with veteran Labour councillor for the town Tom Conn on 16 votes. There was one abstention, from Councillor Stuart Borrowman.
The Provost, Councillor Cathy Muldoon cannot have the casting vote on such votes and so it fell to the West Lothian Council Chief Executive Graham Hope. He drew numbers from a bag- with the candidate with the higher number being elected.
The first number out of the bag was 8, for Councillor Pattle, followed by 4 for Councillor Conn.
Councillor Conn was elected as vice chair of the committee by 18 votes to 15 against the other councillor for the ward- the SNP’s Pauline Orr.
Councillor Pattle runs the Far From The Madding Crowd book shop in Linlithgow and is a member of the local community council.
The Local Area Committees cover each of the nine council wards and meet every six to eight weeks to discuss issues, specifically affecting the ward.
They can also have representatives of local community groups on board.
The committee can make decisions on spending in areas such as spending money allocated to wards through the Town Centre Improvement Funds and other allocated spending from the Scottish Government.