Argyll and Bute councillors have today (September 30) rejected a motion to delay funding cuts to Ardencraig Gardens by 18 months.
A motion tabled by Councillor Jean Moffat (Ind, Bute) was carried forward to today’s full council meeting from last months Bute and Cowal Area Committee. Her motion called for the £5,000 proposed cuts to the growing service at Ardencraig to be paused for 18 months to allow a very strong community group to get the required business plan and income in place to continue the running and advancement of the gardens.
However, at today’s meeting a Cowal councillor tabled an amendment to this motion – an amendment which was rejected by the area committee last month.
Backed by Cowal councillors Bobby Good and Alan Reid, the amendment states that conversations with community groups should continue, however, the savings proposals should remain and will have no impact on the continued operations of the garden.
The amendment was successfully passed – by 19 votes to 14 – which means the cuts will come into force as planned.
The debate started after Councillors passed savings proposals in February which included a £10,000 saving which could be made by buying the plants for flowerbeds around Argyll and Bute in from elsewhere – instead of growing them at Ardencraig and a nursery in Kilmory, Lochgilphead.
The £5,000 proposal in the motion relates only to Ardencraig and did not ask cuts to the Lochgilphead nursery to be delayed.
Concerns were raised regarding where the £5,000 saving could be found as an alternative, with some Helensburgh and Lomond councillors sharing concerns that could lead to ‘deprivation’ for other areas.
Full reaction to this story will come in next week’s edition of the Isle of Bute News.