STEVENSTON’S Labour councillors have hit out a the SNP over Harvies swimming pool – insisting the people will decide its future.

In a joint statement Councillors John Sweeney and Jimmy Miller accused Councillors McTiernan and Davidson as “playing a pathetic political game” rather than letting local people throughout the Three Towns and wider area take part in the consultation announced by the Council Leader.

As part of the ambitious plans to replace the outdated Ardrossan Academy with a new modern school and community campus.

Council Officers brought forward a range of options for what could be included in the Campus. One of the options brought forward was the relocation of Harvies swimming pool and gym to a new campus. The Labour Cabinet agreed to put all options out for pre-engagement with a vow to listen to local people. However, the swimming pool proved a key driving point.

Whilst the engagement with the schools involved in the campus model favoured the relocation of the swimming pool and gym, a petition against the move by Stevenston resident David Rodger gathered thousands of signatures and a majority of those who took part in the online survey also opposed the relocation. Given the mixed views presented, Council Leader Joe Cullinane announced that a separate consultation on the future provision of a public swimming pool would be undertaken prior to the statutory consultation on the school campus.

A steering group, which included the original petitioner Mr Rodger and other community representatives, has been meeting to agree the terms of the pool consultation including the question.

In a joint statement Councillors Sweeney and Miller said: “We are thoroughly disgusted with the shameful actions of the SNP Councillors.

“A formal consultation on the pool is about to be launched in the coming weeks and we have a clear commitment from the Council Leader and his cabinet that local people will decide - a majority view, either way, will decide whether the pool moves or stays. This administration has a record of listening to the views of local people - a fine example being the consultation on the future of the high rise flats in Irvine and Saltcoats.

“Since the proposal was made public we have both been unequivocal in our support for the swimming pool and gym at Harvies and we will be supporting that in the consultation. We want local people to express their views during the consultation and they need the platform, free from the pathetic political games of these SNP’s councillors.

“This politicised petition from the SNP threatens to confuse things again. Local people’s views will only be accounted for through the formal council consultation and the SNP’s game runs the risk of people signing a dodgy petition and thinking they don’t need to take part in the consultation. This is not the case and we urge local residents to see through this game, ignore it and take part in the consultation which will be launched during August.

“Sadly the actions of Cllrs McTiernan and Davidson are endemic of the SNP’s groups ineffective representation. They offer nothing constructive, never lift a finger to do the hard work needed to make a difference to our communities.”