The number of Highland Council’s strategic committees will double next year from three to six, in a shake-up which will affect the salaries of senior members.
The decision means that vice-chairmen and women will no longer be paid at all in order to pay all eight committee bosses £26,292 annually.
Currently, vice-chairmen and women are paid £21,441 per annum.
From next year the care, learning and housing committee will split into three, comprising education; housing and property; and health, social care and wellbeing.
The environment, development and infrastructure committee will become two committees, economy and infrastructure; and communities and place.
The new education committee chairman is councillor John Finlayson, who said: “The council’s ambitions for attainment for all children and young people will hopefully be better supported for now by having a dedicated committee.”
Councillors Hugh Morrison, who represents North, West and Central Sutherland and Nicola Sinclair, Wick and East Caithness, are among those taking on new roles in the new structure.
Mrs Sinclair said she was honoured to have been elected vice-chairwoman of the new health, social care and wellbeing committee.
She said: “I was elected to council on the back of my campaigning for healthcare services in the far north and am excited by the opportunity to contribute to discussions at a senior level.
“I hope the new smaller committees allow for greater scrutiny and more decisive action where needed.”
Mr Morrison will be vice-chairman of the new communities and place committee.
Both councillors said they had no objection to the loss of pay for vice-chairmen and women.
Mrs Sinclair said: “I am convinced the public would not wish to see us spending more money on committees as frontline services continue to feel the pinch.”
Mr Morrison said: “I knew when I was asked to be vice chair that there was no renumeration for that post but I am still happy to do it.”
Sutherland councillor Linda Munro will now chair the health, social care and wellbeing committee.
Lochaber councillor Allan Henderson chaired the former environment, development and infrastructure committee, and will now chair communities and place.
He said: “The council needs to sort recycling and waste management in local areas and then find a Highland solution.
“We will be working closely with the Scottish Government on this to drive down the amount of waste requiring to be landfilled, in the very short term, and in the longer term to be turned in to waste derived fuel.
“We also need to focus on the large number of staff employed in this service, and the age profile, and invest in training and talent attraction to maintain the excellent standard of service that the people of the Highlands now expect and receive.”