South Ayrshire's Conservatives have launched their manifesto ahead of May’s council elections.

As expected, the group has committed to scrap both the demolition of Ayr’s high flats and the £45m Ayr leisure centre project.

Conservative group leader Councillor Martin Dowey has also promised to invest £10m in the retained Citadel Leisure Centre, create a £1m a year ‘pothole repair fund’, and refurbish every council property in Wallacetown.

The manifesto introduction read: “The current SNP/Labour administration want to spend the bulk of the next budget on an unnecessary new leisure centre that doesn’t even offer the same range of facilities as the existing Citadel.

“We think this is wrong and that’s why we have a different vision for South Ayrshire.”

The party says that they are pursing policies that ‘may not be flashy, but are much needed to improve the lives of local residents’.

Their promises to voters include:

  • Halting the planned demolition of the high flats in Ayr, instead introducing supported care residential properties
  • Develop the Hourstons site into council offices, increasing footfall in the town centre
  • Refurbish all properties in Wallacetown
  • Invest £10m in the Citadel
  • Two hours free parking in town centres
  • Dedicated annual £1m ‘pothole’ repair fund
  • Walk of Fame celebrating both well known locals and those working for their communities
  • Bring back traditional festivals, Ayr’s air show and introduce a Christmas Market
  • Invest in cleansing teams to ensure high streets, town centres and communities are kept clean and tidy
  • Upgrade arterial roads in Prestwick, Ayr and Troon.
  • Explore park and ride at Monkton

The manifesto document states that the problem of ‘large derelict buildings in Ayr’ had to be addressed and that the leisure centre plan is ‘neither wise or practical’.

While the majority of the pledges are of a practical nature, the promise to create a Walk of Fame, along with the return of festivals and an airshow, are more aspirational.

The document says that the Walk of Fame in Burns Statue Square will celebrate South Ayrshire’s ‘wealth of culture’.

It adds: “Each year a panel of local experts will nominate a list of potential additions to the walk of fame, selecting candidates from famous sons and daughters of this county to those who have gone above and beyond to improve the area, located in redesigned Burns Statue Square.”

A total of 19 Conservative candidates will stand across the eight wards in South Ayrshire, with three standing in each of Ayr West, Prestwick and Troon. Two Conservatives will stand in each of the remaining five wards.