Maybole Community Council
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Local government was re-organised in 1975 and that meant that Maybole Town Council was disappearing to be replaced by Strathclyde Regional Council and Kyle & Carrick District Council. Instead of 12 councillors dedicated to Maybole, our town now had part of 1 out 103 on the regional council and 1 out of 25 on the district council.

Although community councils had been mentioned in the legislation, the 1973 Local Government (Scotland) Act, there seemed to be nothing at the time which could be of help. Ayr County Council, which was also disappearing, had a network of community associations and the Town Council decided to investigate that avenue of continuing some activities despite having no community centre to run as most associations had.

 Last Maybole Town Council - 1975

When set up, Maybole Community Association continued the Town Council's Attractions Committee's function of organising galas, concerts, etc. and gradually took on a slightly different role of taking up issues in the town. When community councils were being proposed, the Association played a key role and also met with neighbouring villages to discuss the way forward and liaise on boundaries.

When the first Community Council meeting was called on 13th June 1977, the Queen's Silver Jubilee year, more than half the members were on both organisations - which caused a few problems!

Mainly, Community Councils were set up to:-

  • offset the remoteness of the new local government system;

  • to preserve and develop the voice of the community;

  • and to encourage meaningful participation in local affairs.

According to the Act it was to "ascertain, co-ordinate and express" the views of local people to local and public authorities, and to do whatever it felt needed to be done to help the community. One drawback, however, was they had no money!

Kyle & Carrick District Council (KCDC) provided an administration grant and Strathclyde Regional Council (SRC) had a treasure chest specially for Community Council projects and this was a boon for many of them e.g. to purchase photocopiers etc.

Activities Maybole Community Council became involved in included :-

  • published a pictorial book in hardback and republished it in paperback;

  • republished books such as James Gray's Capital of Carrick, previously published by the Town Council;

  • ran a summer playscheme for primary children, including cycle proficiency;

  • formed a junior CC;

  • created tourist information;

  • started a fund for Christmas lights and involved the local secondary school, Carrick Academy in building Christmas scenes;

  • played a leading role in an association of all CCs in K&C;

  • and formed a youth development team to liaise with Carrick Academy, Social Work, Police, Community Education etc. on youth issues.

The community council made its views known on many topics e.g.

  • derelict buildings;

  • use of resources;

  • play equipment;

  • vandalism etc.;

  • and the need for a bypass

The community council also conducted a community survey to find out people’s views on a range of subject, and also became involved with West Sound in its early days when it was more community oriented instead of mainly a music channel.

Other involvement included

  • forming a Musical Society;

  • helping the local Pipe Band to raise money and it became officially Maybole Community Council Pipe Band;

  • a Sports Association, which leases a pavilion from South Ayrshire;

  • the Jean Falconer Literary Competition in memory of one of our members;

  • and being represented on the local Accident Prevention and Crime Prevention Committees, as well as Carrick Housing Association in its early days (although not so much nowadays).

The community council wanted to preserve the identity of the town so it applied to the Lord Lyon for its own coat of arms. This has been used on a flag, ties, headscarves, T-shirts, stickers, bookmarks, key rings, Christmas cards, etc. But the main item was a medallion, embossed with the coat of arms, which is presented to individuals or organisations which deserve recognition.

There have been a few big areas which have had a lasting effect, however.

Carrick Community Transport Group – this was started in conjunction with Girvan Community Council, Dunure Community Council and Carrick Youth Panel with the aid of a grant from SRC. The group has gone on to become an integral part of Carrick's infrastructure thanks to its increased membership.

Carrick 800 this was an idea to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Carrick becoming an independent part of Scotland and brought together many individuals from all over the south of Ayrshire. A special ecumenical service was held at Crossraguel Abbey, probably the first service of any kind in over 300 years and almost certainly the first with all denominations present. A magnificent pageant was held at Culzean Castle and a group set up to re-enact a famous battle is still in existence today - strangely enough called the Carrick 800 Battle Re-enactment Society! Members bring alive Scottish history in their spare time and tour schools with their re-enactments.

May-Tag Ltd - what has become known as the training wing of Maybole Community Council and has expanded from Horticulture, Administration, Skills Preparation, and Temporary Work Projects to take in Retail, Customer services and are now qualified to train trainers and are moving into private training.

The community council had first become involved with Youth Training Schemes in the late 70s and over the years developed into Community Programme sponsors with several projects including

  • Community Aid (employing people for DIY for the elderly/'handicapped);

  • Home Safety (carrying out safety checks in homes);

  • Pride in Our Community Scheme (PIOCS) - identifying local sites for improvement and carrying out the work.

Over £500,00 in government funding was obtained and then the rules were changed bringing in Employment Training and May-Tag was formed as a limited company with an annual budget over £250,000. It is in fact a registered charity with its headquarters in Maybole's 400 year old Castle leased from the Marquess of Ailsa and has two other local bases.

May-Tag has 6 directors; 16 staff; can have up to 100 trainees at any one time; 6 voluntary tutors and 3 minibuses. It has carried out work on a number of local projects in Maybole and elsewhere (e.g. Girvan at Seabank Quarriers Home, McCreath Park and Hamilton Park; Dunure Harbour and Kennedy Park; tourist walkways at Barr and Straiton; Content House in Ayr; Maidens Harbour; and Malin Court).

The company attracted £150,000 from the National Lottery Charities Board for a three year project (Painting & decorating and gardening). A 12 month extension was approved to allow the scheme to expand into Girvan and local villages

Other funding applications include £48,000 to the Scottish Office's Rural Challenge Fund for three year match funding for an extension to a project which helps local unemployed to get back to work (last year 33 into work, 34 into further education/training, and others to set up as self-employed). It also works with young people very closely and has set up links to Carrick Academy with Girvan Academy now interested. South Ayrshire funded £12,000 for two years for this; and has provided support for a Community Profile project to establish the issues in the town which will feed in to the Local Plan. The project, called Signposts, has now been taken over and mainstreamed by South Ayrshire Council.

Town Twinning Maybole twinned with Crosne, near Paris, France in 1982 after exploratory visits in 1981. Crosne was twinned with Beloeil in Belgium and Schotten in Germany. Beloeil was twinned with a couple of years ago and the plan is to twin with Schotten this year (July 2000).

Picture below shows the Community Council circa 2000.

Standing (left to right) are Peter Mason, William Grant, Marianne McCreadie, Helen Whitefield, Sgt John McCafferty, Frances Campbell, Fiona Shields, Sam Davidson and William Paterson. Seated are Stan Bone, Anne Walker, South Ayrshire Councillor Andy Hill, David Kiltie, Eddie Glass, Alex Kelly and Pearl Barton. Missing members are Billy Torbett and Jim McDermott.

Copyright 1999-2020