Councillors oppose identity card scheme

Eric McGowan

NORTH Ayrshire Council are to officially oppose government plans for identity cards.

Councillors voted by a majority of three to reject the controversial documents on Wednesday.

Only Labour councillors voted against an SNP-led motion calling on the council not to co-operate with the National Identity Scheme.

Ardrossan SNP councillor Tony Gurney – who proposed the motion, seconded by Kilwinning Lib Dem councillor Andrew Chamberlain – said ID cards were an attack on civil liberties.

“It is vitally important that every citizen in Scotland lets Labour know this is an attack too far.

“This decision is the first part of that message that we are sending to the London government.”

The motion went to a vote after Labour’s Peter McNamara pleaded for an amendment which would have seen the issue referred to the Council’s Executive and Scrutiny Committees.

He said it was an opportunity for the council to prove that the cabinet committee system worked and rival councillors could trust each other.

He also said the process would also allow councillors time to thoroughly research the arguments for and against ID cards before any decision was taken.

But Councillor Gurney refused to back down, adding that recent events had shown the government could not be trusted with personal data and that the estimated £18bn it would cost to set up the scheme would be better spent on local services.