A FORMER councillor has called for Gaelic translations on road signs in East Ayrshire to be scrapped.

George Smith was councillor for Catrine, Sorn and Mauchline East until 2007 and he feels incorporating Gaelic into the road signs is a waste of resources.

George told the Chronicle: “We have a situation where they are trying to impose Gaelic on us when we historically spoke Scots.

“Burns didn’t write in Gaelic, he wrote in Scots.

“One person in Catrine has actually said to me ‘Where did they get the silly name?’ about the sign.”

“This goes back to an EU policy about protecting minority languages. In this area the minority language is Scots, not Gaelic.

“I don’t mind them using Gaelic in Gaelic areas but they should be using Scots here.”

Both Scots and Gaelic are afforded similar protections under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, however Scottish Government policy is to use Gaelic across the country.

A new sign on the B705 welcomes travellers to Ceiteirein (pronounced Kaitch-rin) and George thinks there may be a flaw in the translation.

He added: “I believe the Gaelic translation is wrong because they are translating the word rather than how it was derived.

“They are altering history.

“The local people are supposed to have been consulted about this but they haven’t looked into the history.

“The language they should be dealing with is Scots.

“In 2010, a Scottish Parliament working group said that some documents should also be written in Scots.

“They have too much time on their hands in Edinburgh.”

East Ayrshire Council confirmed they had followed Scottish Government guidance and consulted Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA) – Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland to ascertain the translation for the new sign.