Council leader Joe Cullinane is calling for the elections in May to be postponed to allow polling stations to be used as vaccination centres.

Working alongside the NHS, Cllr. Cullinane is compiling a list of potential centres that could be used and for him, it seems the obvious solution is to use the venues that would be used for the election.

That would include schools and community centres that are usually used for the voting and the count throughout North Ayrshire.

Speaking on Monday, the council leader said: “My foremost concern is for the health of the people in North Ayrshire and I feel going ahead with the elections in May, given where we are with COVID-19, is a bad idea.

“At times when most of us are working from home and socially distancing from people when we go outside, it would be a challenging task to hold an election in times like these.

“Holding elections in May would require hundreds of people working together, from polling clerks to staff interacting with voters and during a time when the guidelines tell us to work from home when we can.

“I had a meeting this morning (January 11) with representatives from the health board and now have to work on a list of venues to be used as vaccine centres.

“This week Kilwinning Medical Practice opened as a centre and was vaccinating the over 80’s but we have thousands of people to vaccinate and we need bigger venues which can operate a one-way system.

“The safety and health of North Ayrshire residents has to come first and an election in May is too soon, we have to be sensible.

“I feel it makes sense to postpone the elections until later in the year when we have rolled out the vaccination scheme.”