COUNCILLORS say they are worried about the falling number of students and courses at West College Scotland's Greenock campus.

Members of an influential committee are calling on further education bosses to do more to encourage people to study in Inverclyde.

Independents Tommy McVey and Ronnie Ahlfeld highlighted problems at a Municipal Buildings meeting of the policy and resources committee this week.

It comes after the Tele highlighted the 'Save Our College' group run by local union representatives, lecturers and students.

During a debate about employment and education Councillor McVey said: "I just wonder where we are with discussions with West College Scotland to encourage students to study in Inverclyde rather than having to go elsewhere."

There was a consensus of concern among elected members around the table, including former provost Ciano Rebecchi.

Independent Ronnie Ahlfeld added: "We have been inundated with young people who are having difficulties getting in to contact with the Greenock campus and the response is less than satisfactory.

"I have to say that when the college met with elected members in November, their representations were far from reassuring."

Education director Ruth Binks told the committee that they had been in discussions with WCS and would continue to speak with the management there.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said he wanted to be kept fully briefed by officials.

He added: "I think this is important and it is something that we should be kept updated on."

West College Scotland unveiled plans this year to move to a smaller campus in Inverclyde.

Last week the Tele reported that there were concerns over beauty and music courses, as lecturers spend less time covering courses in Greenock.

The Tele understands that both the music and beauty departments continue to suffer from falling student numbers and as a result staff are coming under pressure to move to the Paisley and Clydebank campuses.

There has also been a petition set up to bring back the original name - James Watt College - and to invest in the Finnart Street campus.

Education officers are now set to prepare a report with an update on the situation affecting the local institution.