This time last year, Moray Council’s SNP group was left crestfallen after losing party veteran Gordon McDonald as its representation in the chambers slipped from 11 members to nine.
But the group’s co-leaders say that fighting to protect the region’s “most vulnerable” from cuts has strengthened members’ resolve since then.
Graham Leadbitter, who was re-elected to the Elgin City South ward, and Fochabers Lhanbryde member Shona Morrison decided to jointly helm the group last spring.
Mr Leadbitter said: “As the main opposition in Moray Council we have been pro-actively challenging the policies of the Tory-Independent administration that are having disproportionate impacts on Moray’s most vulnerable families and individuals.
“I am hugely pleased with the way our new SNP group has worked together as a team.
“Out of the nine members, six were elected for the first time last May and they have worked hard to get to grips with the complex role of councillor and all of them are strong contributors in committees.”
Mrs Morrison added: “The biggest frustration for us in opposition is trying to prevent the regressive policies being followed by the administration, particularly on education issues.
“There will be further challenges when they present their next budget and the SNP will continue working hard to present serious alternatives that better protect the vital public services that are provided by our hard working Moray Council employees.”