Air show’s cash row ground­ing

Ayrshire Post - - BOB SHIELDS -

Last week’s col­umn item head­lined “Air Show Cash Is Great News” and phrases like “Well done South Ayr­shire Coun­cil!” may have given some read­ers the im­pres­sion that some­thing pos­i­tive was hap­pen­ing.

The head­line should have been “Dither­ing Coun­cil in Air show Shame” and in­cluded the phrase “what the heck is go­ing on here?”

I apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience caused.

Yes, no sooner were the presses run­ning my peon of praise when I dis­cov­ered South Ayr­shire had can­celled take- off on a £ 300,000 a year, three year deal for the Air Show.

My sources tell me that the coun­cil now want a big­ger say on where their cash is go­ing . . . and who it is go­ing to.

And there is now a “con­fi­dence is­sue” about whether the Air Show has the right man­age­ment team to take it for­ward.

To be fair, keep­ing closer tabs on coun­cil cash hand- outs dur­ing these aus­tere times is un­der­stand­able. It’s called good house- keep­ing.

But South Ayr­shire also has to accept that or­gan­is­ers Doug Ma­cLean and Danny An­der­son have a flaw­less track record – and built an event that ex­ceeds ex­pec­ta­tions year on year. To stop them pack­ing their bags – and tak­ing the Show else­where – South Ayr­shire will have to turn good house­keep­ing into good man­age­ment re­la­tions.

If the 2018 event is to go ahead – that will need to hap­pen this month . . . not next year.

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