Ministers must be ready to listen

Want to read more?

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.

Already a subscriber?
Subscribe Now

We are pleased to see that, at last, after many requests from island groups that two government ministers are heading to Arran next week.

For both the cabinet secretary for the islands, Mairi Gougeon, and transport minister, Graeme Dey, it will their first visit to Arran since taking up their posts in May.

So it is important that the issues facing the island are presented to them in no uncertain terms and that they can see at first hand the daily problems the islanders face on the issues of transport, housing, health and the economy.

The critical situation with transport, including, of course, the ferries, must be presented to Mr Dey so he is left in no doubt that only direct government action will go any way to addressing the current crisis – which shows no sign of abating any time soon.

We know those he is meeting on the island will be forceful in their argument for the need for improvement. We only hope Mr Dey is ready to listen – and act.

Ms Gougan for her part has to look at the bigger picture and the issues around sustaining an island community at the time of island depopulation and the aging of those who remain.

Affordable housing also must be high on the agenda as well much needed improvement in health care on the island.

We hope when the ministers leave they will find their inbox filled with pressing Arran needs and some solutions to help solve them.