Council leader slams SNP as £1.6m cuts agreed

South Ayrshire Council leader Bill McIntosh has hit out at Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney for cutting the council’s revenue budget.

Councillor McIntosh was speaking at a meeting of the full council where councillors agreed to pass £1.6m of cuts ahead of the 2016/17 budget in March.

However, McIntosh says the tough choices being made are as a result of Mr Swinney cutting the revenue budget by £7.4m for South Ayrshire.

Councillor McIntosh said: “Balancing the budget has just got a lot more difficult following the budget.

“There has been a £7.4m cut in the revenue budget from the Scottish Government which means a 19% cut in our capital budget.

“John Swinney can boast all he wants but he has made it harder to balance the budget.”

The council had consulted the public on these planned £1.6m cuts but only 256 people responded out of a population of almost 112,000 in South Ayrshire.

Remarkably, the response was the largest ever received by the council but ironically 41 respondents said the counci should improve their consultation policy.

The cuts mean that vitals ervices education, social care and even the price of burying your loved ones is going to be hit over the next three years.

Councillor Alec Clark said: “256 is frankly a dismal response in terms of the population.

“What was the total cost of the advertising budget spent on this?.”

That was revealed top be around £1,500.

SNP Councillor Alec Oattes said: “I find it very hard to believe there will be no impact by taking £600,000 from social care.”

A bid by the SNP to stop the cuts being passed before the budget next year was defeated by 17 votes to nine.