Questions over cuts to classroom assistants got personal between two councillors after Labour’s leader was asked about job losses last week.

After a question over 67 classroom assistants losing their jobs, a bitter row escalated, with Councillor Scott Davidson saying the job losses were ‘unacceptable’ with council leader and fellow Kilwinning Councillor Joe Cullinane blaming an education overspend by the SNP.

However the row didn’t stop in Cunnighame House – with both councillors then bashing the other on social media.

At a council meeting last Wednesday, Cllr Scott Davidson asked the leader: “Do North Ayrshire Labour regard Classroom Assistants in Kilwinning schools as Quality Support Staff?”

Cllr Cullinane said: “The administration consider all staff in all of our schools to be providing high quality support.

Cllr Davidson asked why they would then axe 67 classroom assistant jobs.

“It does baffle me that North Ayrshire Labour made it clear they would protect the jobs of all quality support staff in all our schools

He added: “It is not right and completely unacceptable that any group of workers were told in May prior to the election that their job would be safe should be out of a job a month after the election.

He asked: “How did you reach the final decision that it should be 67 classroom assistants who see there jobs axed”, and adding “do you regret this?”

Cllr Cullinane said he wanted to ‘give some facts’ with it the second council meeting the issue had been raised.

said: “I appreciate that Councillor Davidson is new to the chamber, but I’ll give some facts now since this is the second council meeting in a row it’s been raised. “The budget for classroom assistants for 2017/18 was £1,705,311, the budget in 2016/17, –the SNP’s budget – was £1,705,311. It’s the exact same and has not been cut.

why has there been changes, simple “The SNP administration were massively overspending the budget. In 2015/16 when the allocated budget for classroom assistants was actually £1,782,248 – Yes, the SNP did cut the allocated budget in 16/17. it was overspent by £523,348. That overspend increased in 2016/17 to £664,877.”

“That’s why the officers took forward the re-modelling of classroom assistants and allocated the resources to schools, without Councillors cutting the budget.

“Here we have an SNP Councillor Scott Davidson trying to attack the Labour Group, and me, about cuts that we didn’t make over a problem that they created. You couldn’t make this stuff up.”

Councillor Davidson later said on social media his questions weren’t answered, after the council leader previously shared his response.

He said: “I’ve told classroom assistants, teachers and also concerned parents I will ask these questions.

“I only intend to stop once I get the answers they require actually answered. He didn’t answer a single part of the supplementary [question], but went on a 15-minute rant.”