Bute’s councillors urge islanders to give feedback on proposed council cuts

A consultation is due to begin soon on proposed savings for Argyll and Bute Council.
A consultation is due to begin soon on proposed savings for Argyll and Bute Council.

Bute district councillors are encouraging islanders to have their say on Argyll and Bute Council’s upcoming budget.

The council is to begin a consultation on November 13, giving members of the public across the region a chance to input their feedback on proposed savings for 2018-19.

Among the proposals to save money are to close 36 of the 57 public toilets in the area.

Details of both the proposed savings and the consultation are available in the minutes of the October 19 meeting of the district council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

The consultation will make feedback available online and in material form at council offices.

Councillor Jim Findlay was addressing the issue in responding to a concerned Bute resident, who said the facilities in Port Bannatyne are important to events hosted in the Port.

Councillor Findlay said: “The consultation process will run from November 13 until early January.

“I have encouraged Bute Community Council to be detailed in their responses to the consultation.

“I listed reasons why the facilities at Port Bannatyne bus turning area should not be closed, and indicated that the community council should be robust in their communication to the district council.

“These facilities support the members of the Petanque Club, coach parties, visitors to Bute who have just crossed over on the Rhubodach ferry, cyclists on the tour of the island and walkers on the West Island Way.”

He also referred to specific events including the Port Gala Day, the motorbike rally, the vintage scooter rally and T in the Port.

“Please write or email the Bute Community Council, and perhaps encourage others from the Port Bannatyne community to also do so, to express your concern about any decision that may take place to close these facilities.”

Provost and fellow district councillor Len Scoullar told the Buteman: “The council anticipates that our budget gap from Scottish Government will be between £1m and £8m and has to prepare a list of savings to realise this as a balanced budget must be presented next February.

“We are hoping that our communities will take part and help us reach conclusions that will guide us on the saving options. I am very aware of the problems which these cuts create but we do not have a choice in this very sorry matter as we must make the budget balance.”