JIM Leishman will continue in his role as Provost of Fife.

At the first meeting of Fife Council since the elections on May 5, it was confirmed that the Dunfermline Central Labour councillor will keep the chains of office – and have three deputes.

He was chosen with 40 votes to 33 after being nominated for re-election by Labour group leader David Ross.

“I think Jim Leishman has performed the role of provost with real commitment and dedication over the past 10 years, a tremendous ambassador for Fife,” he said.

Provost Leishman was delighted to be chosen to fulfill the position again.

“You are making a man very proud to get elected the Provost of the Kingdom,” he said. “I have enjoyed thoroughly working with everyone for the last 10 years. I am fully committed for the next five years.

“If I can help anyone out in your areas, in wards, I will try my best to be there and standing beside you.

“I am a very proud Fifer and promote Fife wherever I go. We should be proud of where we stay.”

A Labour proposal to have three deputes rather than the previous one was also successful despite opposition from SNP councillors who said the move was “overkill”.

Cllr Ross said to the provost: “We feel that past experience has shown that there is a lot of civic business generated and particularly given your own position, one of your traits is you cannot say no to anyone when wanting assistance and wanting civic recognition so we feel it merits significant support.

“These are civic posts not political posts. Each political group will have at least one person who is capable and committed to these posts. We feel appointing three depute provosts will allow us to make the best approach to representing Fife and taking forward the civic agenda.”

SNP group leader, councillor David Alexander, said: “It is my understanding the actual demands on the civic head and depute are relatively slight and to provide three deputes is overkill.”

Cllr Julie Ford said: “Having served as the depute provost for the last five years, which I was proud to do, having seen the dwindling numbers of requests coming in for civic heads, I don’t think it merits having three depute provosts."

However Provost Leishman urged those in doubt to contact his office for a “complete record of everything I have done”.

He added: “I can assure you there was plenty to do. In my mind, the more the merrier for me.”

At last Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Ross was voted as council leader with Cllr Alexander named as leader of the opposition.

Spokespeople for various services were also chosen.

Dunfermline South councillor Cara Hilton takes the position of education spokesperson, Judy Hamilton is spokesperson for housing and building services.

Altany Craik is spokesperson for finance, economy and strategic planning and Jan Wincott's brief will be environment and climate change.

Linda Erskine takes up the position of spokesperson for communities and leisure and David Graham will cover health and social care.

Tom Adams will be chair of Fife’s regulation and licensing committee.