AS reported in the Tele, the council has decided to postpone the public consultation on our budget savings until our financial settlement from the Scottish Government is announced on 14 December.

This has not stopped those potentially affected by possible savings starting to lobby against them and, dare I say it, one or two councillors distancing themselves from some of these savings before they have even been put out for consultation.

Savings proposals, I might add, they agreed to consult on.

Last Wednesday the golfers of Whinhill were on the front page of Tele, pictured, protesting against the proposal to transfer the management of the course to a third party to save a fairly modest £20,000 a year. 

The article gave the impression that the course was to be closed with ‘campaigners fighting to save their club’.

Now there may be people who think that the club should be closed — which would save around £138,000 a year — but that is not being considered at this stage.

I can understand the importance some attach to the retention of a municipal golf course. I can also appreciate that the members of Whinhill want to protect the benefits of the public subsidy they enjoy, most notably significantly lower membership fees than paid by members at all other local clubs, but the council is facing far more difficult decisions in my opinion.

Of course the golfers are not alone. We have also seen concerns raised by youth football teams about the likely impacts of the withdrawal of their subsidies.

The Tele has recently carried stories on the benefits of the local care and repair service and CCTV provision. Both of these services are on the list of savings proposed for consultation.

No doubt we will see many other stories in the coming months asking councillors not to cut services such as our libraries and museum, community wardens, community and youth work, free swimming, school music instruction and breakfast clubs. I could go on as the list is long.

The simple truth is that no councillor wants to cut any of these services but we will inevitably have to unless both the UK and Scottish Governments bring an end to austerity.

There will be plenty of opportunity for people to express their views on individual savings proposals when the council goes out to formal consultation in January.

In the meantime if you are concerned about these cuts your time would be better spent lobbying your MP and MSPs, both constituency and regional, for a better funding settlement for the council.

As I said in my previous column, if the Scottish Government was to give the council the same amount of money we received last year and agree to fund a reasonable pay award for staff there would be no need for any cuts.

We could balance the books with a modest increase in council tax.

Time is of the essence. Please contact your MP and MSPs now.