Friday, 21 December 2012

Garnock Flood prevention scheme still waiting for SNP Government funding.

At  a recent meeting of North Ayrshire Council I asked the administration why there had been a delay in publishing a Flood Prevention Order planned for December 2012. Previously an outline flood protection scheme had been prepared identifying the level of investment and extent of work required and the Executive instructed Council Officers to submit the document to the Scottish Government as a bid for future funding and that a Flood Prevention Order be published by December 2012.

Councillor Ferguson who now has the responsibility for the Environment in the SNP administration replied, "The business case for the Upper Garnock Valley scheme was submitted to Scottish Government in December 2011. Bids received, at that time, by Scottish Government far exceeded the funding available.” “Clearly the timescale and any potential phasing for undertaking a full scheme will be reliant upon the availability of national funding.”
As a supplementary question I asked the Portfolio Holder for an indication of the timescale for works to commence. Councillor Ferguson indicated that a public consultation exercise will be undertaken in February to March 2013, which will include a road show. A report will be prepared and submitted to the Cabinet with a scheme submitted to the Scottish Government by the summer.

The Floodwarning station at Radio City is now online and you can access it at

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

SNP council choose worst site for Garnock Campus

North Ayrshire council voted by 18 votes to 12 to site the replacement for Garnock Academy and a merged Kilbirnie Primary School to a new Campus at Longbar. The plans also include the replacement for Garnock pool be included in the same building. The SNP coalition forced this decision through with only Kilbirnie and Beith independent Councillor Jean Highgate joining the Labour group on opposing this site choice.

The decision provided Moorpark Primary parents an option to opt out and keep their current school site, this is a clear acknowledgement of the unsuitability of the Longbar site for a Garnock Campus. Parents understandably have little faith in the SNP council ever listening to their viewpoint following the change to the Longbar site for the Campus. The choice of the Stoneyholm Road site was acceptable to the vast majority of parents in Kilbirnie and Beith being closer to the community for Kilbirnie pupils to walk and maintaing access to free school transport for Beith secondary pupils. However the council inexplicably chose to go back to the remote Longbar site, totally ignoring the views expressed in the statutory consultation, ignoring the views of their independent consultants and ignoring the 1700 people who signed our petition. Parents understandably have little faith in the SNP council listening to them this time and were reluctant to take part.

Despite these factors the results of the consultation have been announced showing over 80% of those who responded are strongly against the school moving to the remote Longbar site. We are told a paper to be discussed at the councils SNP Cabinet will now suggest a further consultation including altering the catchment area in an attempt to stop the Moorpark School being swamped as parents seek to avoid sending their children to the distant site planned for the new Garnock Campus. How many times must parents be asked the same question, before the council accepts Longbar is no place for a school?