Arran Banner letters – week 07

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Austerity questions


In these times of Tory-inspired austerity, it’s okay people have opposing views on local authority budgets (Arran Banner, February 10).

Jamie Greene, Tory list MSP, might have been better advised to stay out of the debate, though. He says: ‘After 11 years of failing to grow the economy, it’s hard working families in North Ayrshire who are footing the bill for Nicola Sturgeon’s mistakes.’

‘Hard working families’ may be struggling to work out exactly what he means. The Scottish economy has grown by nearly eight per cent since 2011. And its not at all clear what ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s mistakes’ are or were. So much for sound bites!

But I rather suspect the questions ‘hard working families’ will actually be asking are these.

Might the Scottish economy be suffering from Tory austerity and from Brexit? Wasn’t it Jamie Greene’s party which opposed the Scottish parliament gaining additional economic powers ‘to grow the economy’? And, if he earns £62,149 as an MSP, why are we also ‘footing the bill’ for £29,765 (the second biggest expenses among Tory MSPs)? His leader, Ruth Davidson, managed on a mere £10,518.


Malcolm Kerr,


Autism awareness


The National Autistic Society Scotland is urging Arran to get involved in their biggest fundraiser, World Autism Awareness Week (March 26 to April 2).

In the seven days leading up to World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, the charity is encouraging schools, workplaces and individuals on the island to take part in activities to raise money and autism awareness.

Whether it’s taking part in a bake sale, sponsored walk or wearing a onesie, there are plenty of ways in which Arran residents can get involved at home, school or work. Free fundraising guides, packed full of great ideas on how to raise money so the charity can continue their life-changing work can be downloaded from

The charity needs the public’s support to raise vital funds to continue running campaigns like Too Much Information, training and sharing knowledge with professionals working with autistic people, and so much more.

This World Autism Awareness Week, I hope people living on Arran will get involved and help us raise vital funds so we can continue to make a difference to autistic people in Scotland.


Stephanie Stewart,

National Autistic Society Scotland.

Second class


I was appalled to learn from the press that the Westminster Tory Government regards the people of Scotland as second class citizens by not allowing the Holyrood MSPs to have proper sight of their Brexit assessments.

I can’t help suspecting the Tories have something to hide. They appear to be extremely muddled about just what they do want. I am under the impression Labour are not very clear either.

When we have an established market with our near European neighbours, Brexit is like a bad dream. We do urgently need independence to save Scottish jobs.


Sue Swain,


New pier open to commerical traffic

The new pier at Brodick is officially open and has handled its first commercial ship. Reader John Baraclough was on hand when regular visitor, the  MV Burhou 1, arrived to unload gravel from from Glensanda quarry on the Morven Peninsula at the new pier last week.

The cargo ship was the first to berth at the pier since CMAL issued its Notice To Mariners on Thursday January 18, which declared the pier open to commercial traffic, but still no sign of when it may be open to ferry passengers.  No_B07pier01 and No_B07pier02