New ruling group to ‘combat austerity’

The working agreement is signed by Douglas Campbell, Brian McGinley, Brian Connolly and Alec Clark.
The working agreement is signed by Douglas Campbell, Brian McGinley, Brian Connolly and Alec Clark.

Social justice and tackling austerity are at the heart of an agreement reached between the SNP, Labour and Independent councillors.

The agreement lays out clearly what each group expects of each other and the ambitions for South Ayrshire.

Although not a formal coalition, the agreement is a ‘working arrangement’ to share power with all parties commited to tackling poverty and combating austerity.

All three groups say the agreement is ‘most suited’ to delivering a range of key manifesto pledges subject to principles and conditions based on ‘aligned political values, commitments and aspirations’.

The agreement states: “The agreement is based on the principle that each person in our community whether young or old should be able to receive the nexessary help and support to allow them to achieve all they can be. This means the promotion of social justice by which all policy developments will be considered through the prism of tackling deprivation.”

The agreement also states that the new ruling group’s aim os to promote South Ayrshire as the ‘premier quality venue for the west of Scotland’.

The agreement states: “We will use the natural and built assets of Ayr and the associated burghs of Troon, Prestwick, Maybole and Girvan in addition to our many attractive villages to promote our many assets including Burns heritage, Nation Trust venues, parks and seafronts and our excellent schooling, history, arts and culture.”

Douglas Campbell, Leader of the SNP Group, said: “Our agreement will provide leadership and consistency on delivering an ambitious programme for South Ayrshire. In working together, SNP, Labour and Independent Councillors, have a number of key priorities, to ensure that all children can attain their potential, that the frail and vulnerable receive the assistance they need and to support economic growth and job creation.

“Over the next 5 years we will bring a new approach in working with and for communities to deliver key services at a local level.”

Brian McGinley, Leader of the Labour Group, said, “This is an important set of values and commitments that signals a significant change in what we want to achieve as a council.

“We are determined to work together to provide first class services for our citizens so that real needs are met and South Ayrshire is driven forward to meet the local challenges and embrace the significant opportunities that are around.”

Alec Clark, on behalf of the Independent Councillors, said, “This agreement underlines our joint commitment to all of the communities of South Ayrshire and our determination to support our towns and villages to achieve their full potential.”

The main principles in the agreement are that there will be no compulsary redundancies at the council, to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, to mitigate the effects of austerity, to identify and tackle rural, child and fuel poverty, to provide suitable affordable homes and to make the local economy and services work better for all those who live and work in South Ayrshire.