COUNCIL Leader Joe Cullinane has said the fight must go on to try and postpone the elections in May.

He warns that a strike may take place if the workers’ union feel they are unsafe.

The North Ayrshire Council leader, along with local government trade unions, are raising their concerns for council workers being asked to work at polling stations and counts if it goes ahead.

The Electoral Management Board for Scotland are responsible for the functioning of Scottish Parliament elections say they have consulted with returning officers and electoral registration offices on the holding of the election.

But Joe believes they are asking a “loaded question” by asking them whether they can hold an election in the current circumstances and no returning officer is going to say they are incapable of doing so.

The council leader said: “In my opinion it’s the wrong question to ask.

“The question should be whether, on public health grounds, an election should be held now not if it can, we should be asking whether it would be preferable to have a short delay until the autumn by which time we will have made more progress on the vaccination programme.

“This is a global pandemic and I firmly believe every decision should be made on public health grounds.

“On the election it is clear that public health is not being prioritised and for me, all our resources should be going into the vaccination programme so that we can get out of this pandemic as early as possible. We can then head to the polls safely in the autumn with the worst of the pandemic behind us.”

Joe now thinks that a strike could be on the cards,adding “Given that the unions have raised concerns I think there is a real possibility that we could end of with a industrial dispute on our hands and who could not support the trade unions fighting to protect the health and safety of members.”