Labour denounces lack of consultation on cut-down Garnock Campus
Labour councillors have expressed their anger over the consultation process for the Garnock Campus which has been scaled down by the SNP.
The Labour Councillor for the Garnock Valley, Cllr John Bell, has expressed his anger at the continued lack of consultation and voiced safety concerns over the new Garnock Campus, after a meeting was arranged at 24hrs notice to prepare Councillors for a planning application for the Campus. Commenting on the reduced sports facilities in the plan, Cllr Bell claimed that £1m would have been available for these facilities if the Campus had been built on the original site at North Lochshore. Cllr Bell also criticised the lack of time and detail allowed for local parents and Councillors to influence the Campus’ design.
Speaking after the display boards were revealed on 24th April, Councillor Bell said;
“This so-called consultation is totally inadequate for a complex project like the new Garnock Campus. Despite the real concerns expressed about the distance and safety of walking routes to the remote Longbar site, the consultation provides little information on how pedestrians will access the Campus never mind outline the works which must take place to improve the safety of routes from the towns.”
“The SNP Administration is not even providing the level of facilities initially promised, with only one grass football pitch and a synthetic rugby field planned. An extra £1million would have been available for these facilities had the school been built on the Town Centre Kilbirnie, a site offered for free, rather than the SNP’s remote and costly site at Longbar. Now, ironically, much of the Longbar site is to be left as marsh-land as it has been deemed too expensive to provide adequate drainage.”
The SNP shambles continues, they forced through the choice of a remote isolated site, despite overwhelming community opposition, despite the fact that a better site was available at no cost and now they have to cut back on the facilities due to the limitations of their chosen site.”
NAC Labour Group Leader Cllr Peter McNamara commented:
“In previous North Ayrshire school building projects the previous Labour Council allowed time for consultations with Pupils, Staff, Parent Councils and the wider community. We consulted on the design of the schools, layout, safe access for the staff and pupils and even on the detail of the colour schemes and types of furniture that would be used. The opinions of local people and groups were taken into account because Labour believes that they are important and, if they are ignored, the consultation will fail.”