SOUTH Ayrshire Council have explained their reasoning behind a highly controversial tribute in Ayr.

They chose to light up the Wallace Tower in the town red, white and blue to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in a move that was branded “offensive” nationwide.

When the council announced the decision, on the building they are responsible for, it sparked mass outrage within the comments section.

They pointed to the “lack of respect” in lighting a monument for a figure of Scottish national pride in the colours of the Union Jack - with some highlighting that William Wallace had been executed in London by the English crown.

One comment read: “Have you any idea how offensive that is to the memory of William Wallace?

“He was tried and sentenced to the most horrific death in the Great Wall of Westminster where Elizabeth Windsor lies in state. Absolutely unbelievable!”

While another added: “Yip cause Wallace would have been all for this, after being hung, drawn and quartered by a king he didn’t want or kneel to.”

MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Allan Dorans, brought many of these thoughts to South Ayrshire Council’s Chief executive Eileen Howat.

Writing to her, he said: “Given the cultural significance of the building, the constituents complain that the decision was insulting to them personally offensive, insensitive, disrespectful to the memory of William Wallace, politically motivated and unnecessarily provocative.

“I would be grateful if you could provide me with the rationale for illuminating this particular building and the decision-making process which led to this taking place in order that I may respond to my constituents.”

While the Advertiser also wrote to the local authority, asking if they believed the decision to still be appropriate and whether this was a decision from the council executive or administration.

In a reply provided to both the Advertiser and Allan Dorans MP, a spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “The Wallace Tower in Ayr is the only public building in South Ayrshire which can be illuminated to recognise events and charity campaigns.

“A programme of events/dates was agreed in November 2021 and ad hoc requests are also permitted.

“It was considered appropriate that South Ayrshire Council recognise the reign of the late Queen and arrangements were put in place to light up the Tower from September 13 – 19, 2022.”