COUNCILLORS voted to condemn the merger of Scotland’s national force with British Transport Police, saying Police Scotland is currently in a ‘state of chaos’.

This was after Conservative group put in a motion that the council instruct its Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Justice Secretary expressing concern at ‘the lack of effective leadership’ in the force and that the Council believes the merger should be put on hold.

However SNP members said the wording of the motion insults police ‘from the bottom to the top’ and attacked the Labour administration for siding with the Conservatives.

At last months Full Council Meeting, Irvine South Conservative Councillor Margaret George said: “Police Scotland is currently in a state of chaos, with its top leaders either suspended from duty or brand new in to post.

“It is clear Police Scotland is in no fit state to be able to manage such a complex and sensitive change, and there is significant risk that the safety of the people North Ayrshire will be compromised." 

SNP Cllr Scott Davidson said: “The Conservatives should know more about leadership chaos in recent times than most of us.

“I find this seriously insulting to our senior officers in Police Scotland. It insults officers of all ranks who might want to move up the ladder one day.”

Former policeman and Independent Cllr Donald L Reid said: “There will be problems but they’re not insurmountable, they’ll be sorted out. I think we need to commend the local police and offer support for them.”

Labour Cllr Alex Gallagher said: “The troubles at the top of Police Scotland are very evident and can’t be denied. They lose chief constables, people go on gardening leave, it’s just not an organisation you would like to consider being part of. But that infection hasn’t reached our level here.”

SNP Cllr Tony Gurney said: “It seems odd that the leader of North Ayrshire Council supports a motion that says ‘Police Scotland is in a state of chaos’, and it seems even more odd that they would attempt to work in partnership with Police Scotland after making that kind of statement.”

With the motion passed, the SNP went on to attack Labour and the Conservatives.

Cllr Davidson, who is an officer in the Fire Service added: “It appals me that the Tories have put forward this motion which states Scottish police are in a state of chaos and unfit for the job. They have also made it local by suggesting peoples’ safety in North Ayrshire will be compromised, effectively insulting local and national police officers of all ranks.

“Councillor George’s appalling lack of knowledge on the subject of this motion shows that she and her party are incapable of representing the people of North Ayrshire.

“And once again we have seen Joe Cullinane’s Labour group voting with the Tories for the sole reason of making a cheap political attack on the Scottish Government, as opposed to voting for what is best for the police.

“I urged him twice not to put his and Labour’s name to this Tory vote. But fighting the SNP is more important to Joe than  supporting our first responders.

“They are wasting our council’s time and money in such motions and in asking our Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Government.

“Our Labour and Conservative councillors need to start working, alongside us, for the good of the people in North Ayrshire.

“The time for political grandstanding is surely over.”