Cairnryan House

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council will open Cairnryan House as a residential childcare unit in early September.

The new unit will be home four children after the original unit in Stranraer, Milton House, was declared unsuitable.

But an elected member has hit out at the decision not to make the results of the consultation undertaken by the council after disquiet from some of the residents of the village who were concerned about possible effects on village life.

Stranraer and North Rhins Councillor Willie Scobie had supported a motion calling for the findings of the consultation to be made public at a meeting of the Social Work Committee but lost out by one vote.

Councillor Scobie said: “The decision not to report the results of the public consultation to relocating Milton House to Cairnryan is a disgrace.

“This surely must fly in the face of the standards set on consultation where the people of Cairnryan will now be thinking what is the council trying to hide.

“What makes matters worse is that Tory Councillor Roberta Tuckfield voted against the result of the consultation being reported to the Social work committee and on a tied vote, Tory Councillor Denis Male used his Chairman’s casting vote to defeat the Labour motion to receive the report on the consultation.

“This could not have happened without the Tories being supported by the majority of SNP Councillors on the Social Work Committee where the Committee witnessed the SNP Whip, Councillor Iain Dick voting in favour of Labour’s motion to receive the report on the consultation result while his SNP were lining up to vote against the whip line.

“It was a sad day for democracy but an even sadder day for the public and what they thought was consultation will, quite frankly, be seen as a charade.

“The real loser will be the council by the actions of a few on partisan lines resulting in the loss of public confidence in the council as to what they mean by public consultation in the future.”

Wigtown West Councillor Roberta Tuckfield said: “Councillor Scobie’s question was really incompetent. What he was asking for he already knew.

“The consultation was carried out to national standards - that’s a very high standard. This is just a publicity exercise by Councillor Scobie to get something in the papers, which he finds very easy to do.”