Falkirk Labour Group has a new leader in Robert Bissett

Councillor Robert Bissett was unanimously elected the new leader of Falkirk's Labour Group after Dennis Goldie stepped down from the role. Councillor Joan Coombes was elected deputy leader of the Labour Group
Councillor Robert Bissett was unanimously elected the new leader of Falkirk's Labour Group after Dennis Goldie stepped down from the role. Councillor Joan Coombes was elected deputy leader of the Labour Group

Councillor Robert Bissett has been unanimously elected Dennis Goldie’s successor as leader of Falkirk Labour Group.

Councillor Goldie resigned from the leadership role last week, stating an “ongoing medical condition” meant he no longer had the energy to effectively carry out the duties the post demanded. He is, however, staying on as an elected representative at Falkirk Council.

At a Labour Group budget meeting today Councillor Bissett was elected as the new leader and Councillor Joan Coombes was voted his deputy.

Councillor Bissett said: “We used the budget group meeting to also hold the election of new leader and I was elect unanimously. I nominated Joan Coombes to be my deputy and this was also carried.”

Before he stepped down from his post as leader, Councillor Goldie had been serving as convener or both the executive and education executive at the council.

“Dennis will still be present at the executive meetings,” said Councillor Bissett. “However he will no longer be convener. It’s under discussion at the moment if we will have someone from the Labour Group retain the position of convener on these committees or if we will return it back to the administration.

“We are deciding on that at a meeting on February 18.”

Councillor Goldie had held the post of Labour Group leader since 2017 when Councillor Craig Martin, who was then council leader and Labour Group leader, decided not to stand for election.

In a statement released last week Councillor Goldie said: “I have this morning tendered my resignation as leader of the Labour Group on Falkirk Council. I feel at this very difficult time in local government, Falkirk Council employees and the citizens of our area require an energetic person as leader of the opposition on the council.

“As the longest serving member on the council, first elected in May 1980, I have had the honour to have held all the senior posts in the local authority.

“I have an ongoing medical condition which needs attention and simply do not have the energy the post of Leader of the Opposition and Labour Leader requires. I will of course stay on the Council and represent the citizens on Falkirk North.”