Arran Banner letters 11.08.17

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Challenging times


I have seen and read the article entitled ‘Care home trying to fill six vacancies’ (Banner July 29, 2017). In particular I was interested that the spokesman for NAC should say: ‘Recruitment on Arran, not just in Montrose House, can be challenging at times’.

This comment will come as no surprise to anyone with any connection with Montrose House, following the peremptory dismissal or suspension of five care workers.

My mother-in-law was a resident of Montrose House for seven years and had nothing but wonderful care from truly dedicated and kind staff. Nothing was a bother at any time of the day or night and she, and her family, could not have spoken more highly of them. I find it hard to believe that any of those who cared for my mother-in-law, and whom I know are amongst those who were dismissed or suspended, could have their care standards ever called into question.

It is a sad reflection on NAC’s human resources, that due to lack of staff, respite care has had to be suspended and a number of beds which should be available for needy residents of Arran, are being utilised for accommodation for mainland staff.

Such is the sad outcome of these ‘challenging times’.


Kenneth Pritchard




Arran Skinnymalinks has been running for three years now and has extended across several villages on the island thanks to a fantastic group of volunteer leaders and of course the people who come along to weigh in.

Attendance depends very much on what is happening in participants lives at the time(weddings, babies, health issues), on their mindset and on the goal they wish to reach. Our best attendance tends to be in January to help with new year resolutions.

In running any Skinnymalinks campaign my goal remains the same and that is to feed starving children in this world of plenty. Mary’s Meals offers these children a bowl of porridge and an education providing hope for their future. Just 7p is the average cost of a meal so every penny really does count.

In this year alone, Arran Skinnymalinks has donated enough money to provide 26,256 meals – thank you so much Skinnymalinks!

Thanks also to all our weigh in venues over the course of the year – Brodick, Lamlash and Shiskine Churches, Isle of Arran Distillery, Brègha Holistic Beauty and Pipers Cottage and Arran Active.


Alison Page

Mary’s Meals Ambassador

Fèis thanks


This year’s fèis was a wonderful success thanks to all the fantastic young people who attended and were a pleasure to have with us.

For the professionalism and vitality of the tutors and the hard working committee we give thanks. So to for continuing encouragement and financial support of |North Ayrshire Council and the six representatives including Provost Ian Clarkson who attended the participants concert. To Fèisean nan Gàidheal and Creative Scotland for support and funding.

The janitors and Mitie staff for looking after us and Mr Smith for the use of the classrooms. Tony Morrow of Arran Deliveries for transporting our instruments.

To all businesses and individuals who have generously donated to our raffles and in different ways given us their time and help. To the Arran Banner for their coverage and support and last but not least to all the parents who came along to the ceilidh and concert and supported us during the week. Tapadh leibh.


Gillian Frame

Fèis Arainn

Considerate behaviour


The bus service in Arran is excellent. It was what attracted myself and my family, none of us, at that time, car owners, to visit Arran over 20 years ago and we have been returning regularly and frequently ever since.

With the increase of visitors to the island the buses have become extremely busy at certain times of the day. This situation calls for considerate behaviour on the part of all travellers, towards their fellow passengers. Twice in the same week I have observed a particular gentleman in a packed bus occupying one seat for himself while the seat next to him was occupied by his dog. On the second occasion, only a day or two later, the same person was occupying one seat while the seat adjacent was filled by his large yellow shopping bag. The bus was, again, packed.

Could bus drivers be encouraged to point out to passengers that they have paid for one seat?


S Collier


Fast connection


I refer to your correspondent’s comments about broadband availability on Arran and have to state that it is not a situation I recognize.

After the green cabinets had been installed across the island just over a year ago my ISP contacted me, advising me that fibre broadband was now available at my post code and asking if I would like to upgrade my broadband package. After a bit of haggling a package was agreed promising a download speed of  ‘up to’ 80Mbs.  A shiny new modem arrived a couple of days later and the only bugbear was waiting for Openreach to come out and ‘connect’ me at the cabinet.

Since connection I have only lost service during power cuts and have constantly had a fast connection.  This afternoon I checked my download speed three times at hourly intervals (; each test has given me a download speed in excess of 100Mbs.

A check of the many broadband availability web sites shows various fibre packages available in the Whiting Bay area, at various download speeds. You get what you pay for.


P W Yates


Toilet tax


I would like to thank Sharon Shenhav for her support for the proposed toilet tax. This tax could be part of the ferry ticket price. CalMac’s parent company is owned by the Scottish Government. We are not short of politicians for the island. Is anyone listening?


Diana Burns