AN INSPECTION report on Cardross Crematorium has been branded as "picky" by councillors - who praised staff at the facility.

An audit report by an inspector from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities gave the facility - Argyll and Bute's only crematorium - a high score of 411 out of 455.

But the inspector criticised some aspects of the crematorium's service - including a 'conveyor belt' feeling to the flow of mourners.

The inspector also remarked that the standard of cleanliness was poor, but members of a key Argyll and Bute Council committee echoed the view of authority officials in disagreeing with that conclusion.

And a senior council official - who admitted the authority had had a "quiet word" with the organisation about the inspection's findings - said that the report would not be doing its job if it did not come up with points for action.

A report on the audit went before the authority’s environment, development and infrastructure committee on Thursday, March 2 - with officials having said before the meeting 

In a covering report in advance of the meeting, council officials said that they would challenge some of the criticisms made by the inspector, despite the high score.

Councillor Jan Brown (SNP, Mid Argyll) said: “The report is being quite picky on Cardross. I have been there a few times and think it is one of the nicer ones.

"To pick up on a bit of paint flaking, I think, is harsh.”

Jim Smith, the council’s head of roads and amenity services, responded: “The points picked up are relatively minor, but that is a positive to me. We had a quiet word with the auditors.

“The team we have are absolutely superb and we are proud of what the guys and girls at Cardross do there. It is a really well-kept facility.

“In some ways, if we had an audit with no actions, the report is not doing its job.

"Overall it is a really positive report, with, as Councillor Brown says, perhaps minor issues, but we will act on them.”

Councillor Mark Irvine (Independent, Lomond North) said: “I want to endorse what Councillor Brown has said. Cardross is a facility we need to support and invest in heavily.”

Councillor John Armour (SNP, South Kintyre) added: “Like Councillor Brown, I found this report a bit picky.

"I have attended Cardross once, just over a year ago, and I came away thinking how very impressed I was at the standard of service in the crematorium.

“There was no feeling you were being rushed in or out. It was exceptionally clean, and the staff were excellent.

“I did have one complaint, which is not picked up in the report, but maybe it has been fixed.

"As you entered, the sign indicating the car park was very small, and I missed it and went the wrong way. I am told that is not an unusual occurrence.

“But I commend the staff and everybody involved, because it is an excellent facility.”

Councillor Ian MacQuire (SNP, Helensburgh Central) added: “I have probably been to Cardross a few more times than most of the councillors on this call, and it is very well run.

“Even if it is running a bit late, which is very rare, the staff are very good at keeping the next cremation in place.

“Quite a few people go to the entrance the wrong way because of the sign, so maybe it needs replaced, or even painted on the road.”