LOANS Gala Day has been cancelled, despite the news that Annbank and Coylton galas will be going ahead.

The Loans Gala Committee sent out the following notice: "Loans Gala Committee have unfortunately had to cancel this years annual Gala due to be held on Saturday June 11.

"This is due to the exorbitant sum of nearly £1,000 which South Ayrshire Council want to charge us for the hire of stalls, tables, chairs and bins on the day, whereas on previous years they had been free of any charges.

"We are truly sorry for the groups and individuals that use our Gala to raise much needed funds, but this is outwith our control.

"At present, no future Galas are planned. Our thanks to all who have loyally and generously supported us in past years."

Loans is one of the first galas to fold thanks to budget cuts from South Ayrshire Council saving them £15,000.

Troon Councillor Nan McFarlane said: "It's absolutely disastrous.

"All these galas have been a year in the making and there was no consultation with the people on these cuts - it's God awful.

"It is the death of the communities to not be able to have their gala days.

"It's closing the doors on them - it's criminal."

The Advertiser spoke to Dan McGregor and Isabella McFarlane from Coylton and Annbank respectively about their gala fight.

Dan, who is treasurer of the Coylton Gala Committee said the team would be putting on their gala day.

He said: "We are determined to put it on.

"I've contacted 70 local businesses to support us and some have been so generous to us.

"We are doing our sums to try and make it happen for the people."

"We are being charged nearly £1200 for stalls and things.

"Our fundraising efforts were in order to get free rides for the kids on the gala day. That's around £2000 and now we are being hit with this too."

Dan told us a bit more about the feeling within the town.

"There is a lot of anger and there was a lot of defeatism in our committee and area.

"People were saying 'we can't do this'.

"It's the bigger events in Ayr that could afford to self sustain but instead they are hitting us.

"We've been hit hard - a double whammy with the library closure in Coylton and now the gala day funding too.

"We are going to rise above this though - our communities will come together and work something out.

Coylton is also one of the local areas that are being hit with paying for their local hall.

In total the community association are having to pay £4199.92 for heating and electricity costs for their hall - which is another blow to the town of Coylton.

Isabella McFarlane, a committee member for the Annbank Gala said that thanks to money in the bank the day could go ahead - but worries about next years day is certain.

She said: "We are having to pay around £1000 for the stalls and things.

"We're lucky, we have money in the bank.

"We are only hiring big gazebos from the council - we asked if we could get the stalls and set them up ourselves - reducing the cost and the manpower required from the council but they refused to let us do that.

"It's just a scandal that this is happening to the villages - you don't see it happening in Troon or Ayr.

"I've started a petition on and we are nearly at 1000 signatures.

"Paying for this is going to take a lot of our money away.

"Everything for the kids is free - and they love it that way.

"You can only ask people to give so much, we'd need to fundraise around another £1000 for next year - that's a lot of money.

"We fundraise to give the kids a good gala day, we work hard all year.

"Why do some get it for free? Why is the council penalising villages?"

Lesley Bloomer, Executive Director Economy, Neighbourhood and Environment at South Ayrshire Council said: “The Council’s revenue budget for next year was cut by nearly £7m.

"To meet this gap, councillors agreed a package of savings which included the closure of libraries, removal of additional support needs assistants and a reduction in a wide range of services.

"Another part of this savings package is the removal of free support for gala days and events, which will generate an annual saving of £15,000 per year.

“We will continue to do all we can to support local groups to source alternative funding and, hopefully, find a suitable solution that will allow for the continued provision of gala days and events that can be enjoyed by communities across South Ayrshire."