Coun­cil Is Sell­ing All Cen­tres ( SAC)

Lo­cal au­thor­ity want fa­cil­ity off their books

Ayrshire Post - - Bob Shields -

A torch­light meet­ing in a dark­ened car park. Ac­cu­sa­tions of spies lurk­ing furtively in the shad­ows.

And claims of sab­o­tage as posters ad­ver­tis­ing a “sum­mit” meet­ing are mys­te­ri­ously ripped off walls and hoard­ings.

No – it’s not a meet­ing of the Klu Klux Klan in Hick­ory Hol­low, Arakansas in the 50s.

And no . . . it’s not a clan­des­tine, cover- up be­ing leaked in the base­ment of Wash­ing­ton’s Water­gate Ho­tel in the 70s.

This is Troon, South Ayrshire 2018 . . . and the cloak- and- dag­ger in­volves the pro­posed take- over of a com­mu­nity ac­tiv­ity cen­tre.

It’s Dun­don­ald Gym­nas­tics Club ( DGC) ver­sus Muir­head Ten­nants and Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion ( MTRA).

And in the mid­dle we have SAC. Nor­mally this would mean South Ayrshire Coun­cil . . . but in this case, it re­ally stands for Sell All Cen­tres.

And if there’s room for an­other acro­nym – let’s throw in the real rea­son be­hind this rammy – it’s called C. A. T . . . Com­mu­nity As­set Trans­fer.

SAC wants to get Muir­head Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre – and its run­ning costs – off its books.

DCG – a well or­gan­ised and well funded gym­nas­tic club – would love it as their new per­ma­nent home.

They’re cur­rently based in Dun­don­ald Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre – but hav­ing to move vault­ing horses and other equip­ment af­ter ev­ery ses­sion is ap­par­ently get­ting in the way of healthy ex­er­cise.

With DAC ( not an­other acro­nym! – Ed) at­tached to Dun­don­ald Pri­mary School and pro­tected from CAT, the Muir­head build­ing is a sit­ting tar­get for them.

But DGC op­er­ate classes seven days a week – and a take- over would leave lit­tle or no room for other sports and clubs that cur­rently use Muir­head.

And it’s this pos­si­ble ex­clu­sion of other sports and in­ter­ests - by a sin­gle self- serv­ing club - that has rightly up­set MTRA.

But the real vil­lain in this lo­calised skir­mish is the Com­mu­nity As­set Trans­fer pol­icy it­self.

Our lo­cal coun­cil is us­ing it as a con­ve­nient back door to off load the ex­pense of run­ning vil­lage halls and com­mu­nity prop­er­ties across the whole of South Ayrshire.

In­ter­est­ingly, last week’s Bud­get - in a nod to the cen­te­nary of 1918 – an­nounced ex­tra fund­ing to pro­tect and pre­serve the many vil­lage halls built to help small com­mu­ni­ties re­cover from the rav­ages of the Great War.

In stark con­trast, South Ayrshire Coun­cil wants to wash their hands of them!

The Muir­head de­ci­sion will fi­nally fall to a full SAC meet­ing. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if the four elected Troon coun­cil­lors look their con­stituents in the eye – or choose to look away in line with coun­cil pol­icy.

From where I sit, Dun­don­ald Gym­nas­tics Club has 400 plus mem­bers, a wait­ing list, over 1000 in­ter­net fol­low­ers and em­ploys more coaches than Dodds of Troon.

It ap­pears ev­ery­one and their aun­tie wants to see the wean wear­ing a wee blue leo­tard and a medal. That’s fine.

But surely not at the ex­pense of other children with other in­ter­ests and needs.

If DGC want a place to them­selves – let them find it and fund it them­selves.

SAC nor­mally means South Ayrshire Coun­cil in this case it stands for Sell All Cen­tres

In the dark All four Troon coun­cil­lors were put un­der the spot­light

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.