A SCOTTISH council has appointed a 29-year-old as the youngest local authority leader in Scotland.

Orkney Islands Council named councillor Heather Woodbridge on Tuesday at a special general meeting.

The election followed the retirement of former councillor James Stockan in February. He led the council, which is Scotland's smallest local authority, for six years.

Woodbridge, an independent, was elected in 2020 after a by-election was called following the death of her father, Kevin Woodbridge.

She has also became the first woman to lead the council.

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Commenting on her new role, Woodbridge said: "It's an exciting moment for Orkney moving forward and, I think, with a change of leader comes opportunities to strengthen relationships, opportunities to build new ones and opportunities to strive forward.

"Fairness is the biggest thing for us. There's no doubt that local authorities across Scotland are in the same financial difficulty and very much feeling those pressures going forward. But it is very much a case of let's ensure this is fair.

"We know there's not a lot of money going around but lets ensure that the distribution is fair."

President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), Shona Morrison, welcomed Woodbridge to the role and wished her well.

Morrison said: "Heather sits on Cosla's Barriers to Elected Office Group where she is a valued member and contributes significantly on issues like councillor safety and has views on being a young woman in a rural ward.

"It is good to see her breaking down the barriers further and I wish her well in her new role and look forward to working with her."