Proposals don’t show council’s intentions

South Ayrshire Council county buildings
South Ayrshire Council county buildings

South Ayrshire Council’s approach to possible budget cuts in the region has been criticised by South of Scotland Conservative MSP Brian Whittle.

Brian Whittle MSP has accused the council’s SNP-Labour administration of failing to remove proposals they knew they wouldn’t support before putting them out for public consultation.

In a letter to the South Scotland MSP, council leader Douglas Campbell described the options in the public consultation as “assessments made by our senior staff and they are not proposals determined by the administration nor were they screened prior to being made available for consultation”.

Among those proposals was the closure of Maybole golf course, closing all public toilets in South Ayrshire, removal of all school crossing patrols and a review of teaching staff allocation.

Councillor Campbell went on to say that his administration’s policy was that “our residents are entitled to know what options are being considered, in full, to balance the budget and to enable them to voice their views or concerns prior to decisions being made”.

Mr Whittle said: “The entire purpose of this consultation is to allow residents to give feedback on the options that the administration is considering, yet Councillor Campbell admits they didn’t screen the proposals before releasing them to the public.

“If some of these proposals are now being ruled out by councillors why did they allow them to be included in the review in the first place?

“This administration has effectively asked the public to feedback on cuts proposals that don’t accurately reflect what the administration themselves want to do.

“It begs the question whether Councillor Campbell and his colleagues have given any thought to what cuts they will make to compensate for the options they can’t support and whether the public will have a chance to comment.”