NORTH Ayrshire Council will be writing to Police Scotland to carry out a “new, full and thorough investigation” into the controversial PPP schools.

At the Full Council meeting last week, a motion was passed which will mean that the procurement process into the building of the four schools, Greenwood Academy, Stanley Primary, St Matthew’s Academy and Arran High, will be investigated.

The motion comes after former SNP Councillor and MSP, Campbell Martin, produced a documentary into the issue called ‘The Only Game in Town’.

Introducing the motion, Cllr Gurney said: “This is an attempt to reach the truth.”

He added: “The people of North Ayrshire deserve a comprehensive investigation into allegations made in the documentary, The Only Game In Town.

They are serious allegations and deserve a serious response.”

According to the film, North Ayrshire Council claimed a second bid had provided genuine competition for its £380m contract, despite paperwork from the Council’s own advisors showing the bid had failed the very first Key Stage Review of the bidding process.

Elsewhere in the documentary, two former senior detectives cast doubt on claims by the then Strathclyde Police that it had carried out an investigation into the Council’s PPP procurement process back in 2006.

Reacting to the assertion that the police inquiry had lasted just two-weeks and didn’t even interview the people who lodged the complaint, a former Detective Sergeant with the Serious Crime Squad states: “The whole thing stinks,” adding, “there is criminality from start to finish.”

Cllr Ronnie McNicol, who seconded the motion, went into great detail about the film, in which he features, at the meeting last week.

He strongly urged his colleagues to agree to the motion.

Labour tabled an amendment which they said would have shortcircuited matters and would have seen Police Scotland come in to speak to members about the issues surrounding the allegations.

Cllr Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, asked Cllrs Gurney and McNicol why, as is their right as councillors, why they hadn’t written to the police themselves but also admitted that he had not watched the documentary in which the allegations were raised.

Cllr Gurney said that the full power of the council behind it would be more effective than individually writing.

He added: “I’m pleased a majority of councillors backed the motion. The Only Game In Town makes very serious allegations and they require a serious investigation.

“An alternative put forward by the Chief Executive and the Labour Leader of the council, which offered only a vague promise of police officers coming to the council for a chat with any councillors who wanted to talk to them, fell far short of what is required.

“An informal way forward would just have invited more allegations. “We can’t just be clean, we must be seen to be clean.

“Only by allowing Police Scotland to make their own determination, after they have carried out a full and thorough investigation, can we expect the people of North Ayrshire to have confidence in the process.”

The motion passed with 18 votes, against 11 for the amendment.