South Ayrshire public toilets and golf course saved from closure
A number of budget savings proposals have been withdrawn from consideration as South Ayrshire Council gets ready to set its budget for 2018/19.
Ruling administration Councillors have been reviewing the list of proposals – which was subject to public consultation at the start of the year – and removing the ones that will not be taken forward. A number of key decisions have already been announced.
The decisions have been informed by the feedback to the Balancing the Budget consultation as well as confirmation of the Council's funding for the next year.
The latest proposals to be removed from the list are:
Closure of Maybole golf course
Closure of Maybole recycling centre
Closure of Maybole and Prestwick customer service centres
Closure of all public toilets in South Ayrshire.
Making the announcement about the Maybole facilities, Councillors William Grant and Brian Connolly, said: "We were very encouraged by the response from the people of North Carrick to our Balancing the Budget consultation and want to thank them for taking the time to have their say.
"We had expected to be facing an unprecedented budget gap of £17 million and that meant that a number of unpopular savings proposals were included in our budget consultation.
However, thanks to the impressive feedback received, combined with the increased funding settlement from the Scottish Government, we can give the good news that Maybole golf course, recycling centre and customer service centre will all remain in the town. These are clearly much-needed resources that not only provide easy access to Council services, but also support a better quality of life for the local community.
"This is a very positive outcome that highlights the impact of genuine consultation – and that is all thanks to the people of North Carrick and the pride they have in their places. That community support for these facilities now needs to continue as we move forward to ensure they are protected for the future."
Councillors Peter Henderson and Alec Clark stopped off at Girvan Harbour's public toilets to confirm the news that public toilet provision will continue at its current level. They said:
"While very similar numbers of people agreed and disagreed about whether or not the Council should provide public toilets across South Ayrshire, there were some very vocal campaigns in support of retaining provision, particularly in relation to supporting and growing South Ayrshire's role as a tourist and visitor destination.
"Growing South Ayrshire's profile as a 'must visit' place is a key element of our programme for governance and has an important role to play in boosting our economy and enhancing our reputation, so progressing a proposal that would detract from that is not something we considered lightly.
"We also recognise the difference public toilet provision makes for local people too and that was borne out by the budget consultation; therefore we won't be including this proposal in our budget discussions on Thursday."
All 28 South Ayrshire Councillors will consider the budget at the Council meeting on Thursday 1 March.