Council leader survives vote

South Ayrshire Council leader Bill McIntosh who is under mounting pressure this week.
South Ayrshire Council leader Bill McIntosh who is under mounting pressure this week.

South Ayrshire Council leader Bill McIntosh has survived a vote of no confidence in his administration from the opposition SNP group.

However, it got rather personal in council chambers at the meeting of full council on Thursday 6 March.

SNP group leader Douglas Campbell’s motion wanted council to agree that the current administration had failed to deliver leadership, strategic direction or continuous improvement and that council had no confidence in the administration.

And he also called on leader Bill McIntosh, Provost Helen Moonie, Depute Provost Mary Kilpatrick and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of all panels to resign.

He said in a ten minute speech designed to rile the Conservative and Labour administration: “The task the Council has been set by the Government is to provide Best Value, community leadership and to improve the depth and pace of service improvement.

“Our contention is that the current Administration and the way in which the Council is currently organised and governed is failing and will continue to fail to meet that challenge. “

Councillor Campbell also called on councillors to show the electorate they can work together.

“When the Administration answers the motion it is not to us that they need to direct their reply.

“What do they need to do, today –now, is convince the public that South Ayrshire Council under two Parties which have consistently opposed each other over the decades, which constantly criticise each other policies, which claim to have a different ethos are providing a strong consistent direction of travel, can exhibit strong Leadership, and are willing to tackle the fundamental challenges in embedding Best Value in South Ayrshire Council.”

However, he was rounded on by Girvan and South Carrick Councillor, John McDowall who is also Depute Leader of the Council.

He said: “The key aspect about partnership working is about trust, integrity and confidence in one’s ability.

“There’s no councillor in South Ayrshire that works harder than Bill McIntosh.

“I need to make clear that I have complete and absolute confidence in Councillor McIntosh.

“The words trust, integrity and confidence don’t sit well when I think of Councillor Campbell.

“How long will it before he becomes an independent, independnt councillor.

“And how long will be before he faces a vote of no confidence from his own members because if what I’m told is true that will happen shortly.”

Councillor McDowall concluded by remarking on Councillor Campbell’s decision to resign from the Labour Group in 2008 by saying “Hell hath no fury like a scorned wimp.”

That prompted a response from Girvan and South Carrick SNP Councillor Alec Oattes who said McDowall had made “an obscene attack on our leader and I’d like to make clear he retains my full support.”

Former Council leader Hugh Hunter also lambasted Councillor Campbell.

He said: “When I read this motion my heart sank.

“I simply cannot back this motion and give it any credibility because it is absolutely dripping with self-interest.”

Labour Councillor Phillip Saxton said: “It seems that Councillor Campbell thinks he could lead this council better.

“The only person Councillor Campbell is interested in is Councillor Campbell.”

The motion was defeated by 16 votes to nine with the three independent councillors, including Girvan and South Carrick Councillor Alec Clark, abstaining over the motion and subsequent amendment during the session.