RISE candidate for South Scotland Laura Waters has condemned potential cuts to community gala days proposed by South Ayrshire Council.

The group believes many of these cuts are “unjust and lack democracy” and added that public consultation should be taken into account when these budgets are set.

RISE Candidate Laura Waters explains: "The organisation and commitment from the volunteers year in and year out is amazing and now they are expected just to accept these cuts?

"Local people are being unfairly treated.

“Gala days are an important event in many local communities.

“They help raise funds for local groups who rely on this support and these events bring friends, neighbours and families together RISE believes it could stop cuts like this by replacing the council tax with a progressive income based tax which would also raise additional funds.

They state that the Scottish Service Tax would provide an additional £2bn to local government and will help to address local funding issues.

Laura continued: "The recent council budget cuts have hit rural communities the hardest with the closure or limited opening hours of libraries.

“Now they are cutting back on events that many local people look forward to.

RISE Candidate Stuart Cooper also gave his experience of growing up in a rural community.

"Growing up in a village I remember the importance of gala days to the local community.

“It is a focal point for individuals to come together and to celebrate and showcase their community to the rest of Ayrshire.

"I fear for the communities who won't be able to have these events as it will hit the impoverished and excluded the most.

"This is why it is so important we all back the Save The Galas campaign."