Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘This is a brutal game’: Aberdeenshire Council deputy leader Peter Argyle loses Aboyne seat

Liberal Democrat Peter Argyle lost Aberdeenshire seat at the Scottish local elections. Picture by Scott Baxter/DCT Media.
Peter Argyle at the count on Friday. Picture by Scott Baxter

Aberdeenshire Council deputy leader Peter Argyle, who also led the local authority’s Liberal Democrat group, has lost his seat in a close race for the Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside ward.

Mr Argyle, who had served on the council for 23 years, was the only serving Liberal Democrat to lose their seat in an election that resulted in a net gain of one for the party.

The group now has 14 councillors in Aberdeenshire – despite losing the Mearns seat that belonged to Provost Bill Howatson before he stood down.

That result was described as an “absolute positive” by Mr Argyle, although he admitted to being “massively disappointed” that he would not be able to join them.

He said: “I really hoped I would get back and continue to work and serve people in Aberdeenshire, but the electorate decided otherwise.

“This is a brutal game, and you’re either in or you’re out. If you’re out, that’s it, end of, pull the curtain, walk away and do something else.”

Peter Argyle, who was a councillor in Aberdeenshire for 23 years. Picture by Kenny Elrick

A journalist before he was elected to the local authority in 1999, Mr Argyle was known during his tenure for his snappy three-piece suits and his eloquent way of talking through local issues.

He said: “I really enjoyed doing it, and I like to think that I achieved some things locally for the good and achieved things for Aberdeenshire as a whole and leaving it as a better place than I found it, which sounds awfully pious.

“But yeah, the curtain’s drawn and that’s it.”

‘Unjust’ treatment of ex-councillors

He used the opportunity to raise the issue of a lack of support given to councillors who are voted out, compared to MPs and MSPs.

“I think that’s something that really does need to be looked at, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in that situation,” he said.

“It just seems somehow unjust that people can serve in a role for many years, or even five years, and then that’s it.

“You get nothing – no redundancy, no notice, walk away. It just doesn’t seem right.”

Councillor Peter Argyle in 2009. Picture by Colin Rennie

The three women elected to the ward were Geva Blackett, a former SNP councillor who left the party after the Scottish Government struck up a coalition deal with the Greens, Anouk Kloppert, who switched to the ward after representing Ellon and District since 2017, and Sarah Brown of the Conservatives.

Mr Argyle said the three would face serious challenges over their upcoming five-year term.

He said: “We know that budgets are going to be under huge pressure, we know that there’s going to be this inflation with all the things that are happening, lot of pressure for business.

“It’s not going to be easy for the people in the ward, and therefore it’s not going to be easy for the three who have been elected. But I wish all three well.”

Reflecting on the role he has held since the beginning of the century, he said: “I’m just glad that I’ve had the opportunity to spend 23 years of my life trying to make things better.

“And what more could I ask for? Except another five years…”

Already a subscriber? Sign in