"I'm proud of the fact I've not done a surgery for five years" - was the response of one local councillor after it was revealed a number of elected representatives haven't done any local surgeries since January.

Cllr Bill Grant is one of ten councillors who have not done surgeries within their local area for months.

Councillors John Hampton, Mary Kilpatrick, Allan Dorans, Bill Grant, Robin Reid, John Allan, Hywel Davies, Brian Connolly, Ann Galbraith and William Grant are the ten councillors who do not hold surgeries to meet with their constituents.

Many cite the change in times as the reason for stopping them.

Cllr Galbraith said: "As we are now in a digital age and most people have mobile phones, access to email and the council website.

"I find this is a much more efficient way of dealing with constituents' concerns, queries and questions than sitting in a draughty hall.

"They can contact me any time day or night - and they do.

"If anyone wishes a face to face meeting I am happy to visit them at home, more convenient for all concerned."

It breaks down that it is six Conservative, three SNP and one Independent councillors involved with Labour councillors totting up the most amount of time with constituents.

Cllr Andy Campbell, by the end May will have completed 19 meetings - the most of any councillor.

He said: "I just feel it is another good opportunity to meet with the people who elect us to represent them, often it is to deal with a problem or if they are merely seeking advice.

"I like them to think that I am accessible, but not just at surgeries - I often deal with people outwith my ward - if it suits them to discuss their issues with me - then so be it.

"I also attend almost every Community Council meetings and try to solve every issue that is raised there, that is just as important."

Depute Provost Mary Kilpatrick, who is embroiled in a racism row, and Councillor Robin Reid did not respond to the Advertiser's request for comment.

Cllr Dorans said: "Being a Councillor is my full time and only job and I am available to see constituents on most days from 8.30am until about 5pm at County Buildings.

"I also make myself available to see constituents in evenings and weekends and offer to visit them in their homes.

"I therefore choose not to hold surgeries which leaves me time to devote to other community activities and events."

SNP's Cllr William Grant said: "I deal with any constituent concerns as soon as I am contacted and I am more than happy to arrange visits to individuals.

"I also attend Community Councils and School Parent Council meetings taking up their concerns.

"In a ward that contains 8 villages and a town it would be impossible to carry out surgeries on a monthly basis considering the other engagements I have."

Cllr John Allan said: "I used to do six surgeries per month, I done that for around two years.

"In all that time I had a total of six people who came along.

"There is a cost involved in each surgery for heating, lighting, staff wages etc so it wasn't good value for the council.

"I have two phone numbers, a fax number, an email address and a postal address which are all in the public domain so I am very easy to get in touch with and I will visit constituents at a time and place of their choosing."

Cllr Bill Grant said: "I have not done any surgeries for around the last 5/6 years and no one has complained or even raised the matter with me.

"I am happy to undertake house calls, site or location visits and or arrange a meeting in the County Buildings here in Ayr."

Cllr John Hampton said: "When I started as a councillor I had rooms rented for me by the council but not one person turned up in the first year.

"I saw this as a waste of the council's and ultimately of my constituents money and subsequently I made myself available through the telephone system on any day."

Deputy Provost Mary Kilpatrick said: "I find the best use of my time is dealing with queries immediately, which I do, and I'm also saving public money by not having schools opened for a surgery .

The public can access their Councillor day or night as this is the 21st century."