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Saturday August 2, 1997

To the wire

The likelihood of the threatened strike of seamen on CalMac’s Clyde ferries has changed from day to day over the last week. At present it is scheduled to start at midnight on Sunday with no further talks arranged to take place before then. On most occasions in the past an agreement has been reached at the 11th hour.

Agreement or not, the likelihood of a strike has created much alarm on Arran over the last week. Hoteliers have been having cancellations and early departures from guests anxious that they may not get away off the island. Restaurateurs have been having issues with buying and securing supplies and even workmen are having to buy regularly used equipment to last them in case supplies are no longer available. The protagonists are CalMac and the RMT union representing about 180 sailors in CalMac’s Clyde ships.

Five more years

Stagecoach Western has secured the Arran bus contracts for the next five years at a saving to North Ayrshire of £50,000 on last year’s cost.

This was decided at meeting of the council’s corporate strategy committee on Tuesday and ends much angst within the council over the last year about who should run Arran’s buses and at what cost.

It was a year ago when NAC would only accept a one-year contract with Stagecoach and encouraged bids from other bus companies. They even went through various steps to run a council bus company. Since 1992 when Arran Transport lost the contract to Western Scottish there has been some uncertainty about who would be running Arran’s buses. Now it has been settled for at least five years.

Citizen’s arrest

Shopkeeper Ian Murchie made a citizen’s arrest this week when he found a youth had broken into his Lamlash store in the small hours of Monday morning. The culprit turned out to be a 15-year-old youth from Royston in Glasgow and it is believed he may have broken into Lamlash Bowling Club prior to his foray into Murchies Stores. The youth gave in quietly and Ian handed him over to the police. He will now be reported to the children’s panel. It is believed that this is Ian’s second time that he has arrested someone this year.