A NORTH Ayrshire councillor has refused to apologise for calling out a Conservative colleague dubbed “the laziest councillor in Scotland”.

Labour’s Irvine South representative, Robert Foster, referred to an exclusive story from our sister paper, the Irvine Times, from October - which revealed Margaret George has not carried out a single surgery in four and a half years or logged any casework since 2017 - during a recent North Ayrshire Council (NAC) meeting.

Afterwards, Dalry and West Kilbride councillor, Todd Ferguson, said tough action would need to be taken against Cllr Foster if he continues his “campaign of harassment”.

Slamming the “overly aggressive rant” towards his party and its members, Cllr Ferguson said: “Councillor Foster’s behaviour has been completely unacceptable for far too long, especially towards a female councillor. He should apologise immediately.

“I’ve no issue with political council meetings getting heated but we have decided enough is enough.

“As the cabinet member responsible for mental health Councillor Foster should be ashamed of himself.

READ MORE: Council tax rise confirmed as North Ayrshire 2022/23 budget approved

“The local Labour Party need to make it clear to Councillor Foster that his behaviour will no longer be tolerated by them and that it has no place in our political discourse.”

Cllr Foster claimed that “repeating widely reported facts in a political debate isn’t an attack”.

He added: “It is hardly surprising that Todd Ferguson gets upset when confronted with facts, this after all is the same Tory councillor who gets upset whenever anyone uses the term ‘Tory’.

“I understand why the Tories want to avoid scrutiny of their behaviour over this term but politicians being held accountable for their actions is a basic cornerstone of democracy.

“If the Tories don’t want to be scrutinised in this way, then I suggest they may want to improve their behaviour which in my opinion has fallen way below the standards we should expect from elected councillors.

“Even better, I would suggest that they may want to do what they are elected to do - represent their constituents and their community.

“That would involve not treating residents with contempt, taking public money whilst not undertaking the basic duties of all elected members such as casework and surgeries.”

Cllr George announced last month that she would not be seeking re-election in May.
She was found to have sent just 427 emails between May 1, 2017, and September 6, 2021 – averaging one email a week for four and a half years.

READ MORE: Council defends controversial school 'sex survey' decision