Crunch time is close for budget setting

Maybole Golf Course
Maybole Golf Course

South Ayrshire residents still have time to air their views on how they feel about the council’s proposed budget and savings.

This includes a range of major cuts to services and closure of local facilities such as Maybole golf course, recycling centre and customer service centre.

According to local Conservative MSP, Brian Whittle, the cuts proposed by the council’s ruling SNP and Labour coalition also includes cutting one in six full time equivalent teaching posts - around 17% of teachers in Ayrshire.

“The proposals from South Ayrshire Council’s governing coalition are reckless and so poorly thought out,” said Mr Whittle.

“These plans to reduce teacher numbers and cut outdoor learning entirely could have a lasting impact on the education pupils in South Ayrshire receive. Considering the Scottish Government pledged to make education their number one priority, it’s hard to understand how a council led by the same political party can propose these cuts and have any credibility.

“There’s already been a significant public backlash to these plans. This budget consultation gives people across South Ayrshire the opportunity to say, loud and clear, that they expect more from the ruling coalition than this.”

The council received a little bit of good news last week - that they will be getting an additional £872,000 than originally thought from the Scottish Government.

“We were allocated an additional £3.4 million for 2017/18 and 2018/19 as part of the Scottish Government’s budget,” explained, Tim Baulk, South Ayrshire Council’s head of finance and ICT.

“The extra money is to be welcomed and will be factored into the council’s budget setting process, which is currently out to public consultation.

“Following consideration of feedback from our communities the final decisions on service delivery will be for councillors to decide.”

Public consultation on the council’s proposed budget ends on February 11, 2018.