Arran Banner Letters – week 42, 2021

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Well done, Bill

Sir,

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the Arran Ferry Committee secretary Bill Calderwood who put in a great, full shift on Sunday on behalf of the AFC and the disadvantaged Arran travellers and it should be publicly recognised.

Whilst far from ideal, the extension to sailings from Claonaig until 9.20pm hopefully saw most cars home. However provision for all travellers from Ardrossan is perceived to have been poor, but particularly for pedestrian passengers.


CalMac’s contingency plans for such an easily foreseeable, Covid related event, were atrocious and have to be addressed to avoid repetition – the simple, usual Gourock HQ- issued blanket apologies will not do. Enough is enough!

As a ‘read across scenario’ are we really expected to believe that a similar Covid occurrence in local bus or local rail station office would have shut the system down for the day? I think we know the answer to that is a no.

The fact that CalMac is a state-owned, heavily subsidised and heavily unionised service has to be a contributory factor. Is ‘lifeline service’ just a convenient phrase when it suits or only at contract renewal?

There’s a lot of angry people out there who are 130 miles out of fuel and time and considerably inconvenienced. Why is the Arran ‘port of refuge, Gourock’,  dependent on Ardrossan staff and therefore not Covid proofed? Contingency planning and risk assessment – totally missing in a company that has those phrases as their mantras – CalMac need to explain the absence of attention to detail?


Hopefully there will be some answers from them urgently to the AFC.

Yours,

Neil Arthur,
Kilpatrick.

Stop the boats

Sir,

The CalMac actions at the weekend, stopping all traffic from Ardrossan to Arran because of a Covid case in the office, caused a shambles. Ironic that people arriving for the English October break, travelling by car, had already pre-paid tickets. They had no need to go into the building. It would also have been more economic and praiseworthy to allow any walk on passengers free travel till the mess was sorted out.

Why could no one in authority just THINK before the usual knee-jerk reaction to stop the boats!

Yours,
Elaine Duncan,
Brodick

Not invited

Sir,

I noted with some concern the report from the outgoing chair of Arran Community Council in which he berates unnamed councillors for not supporting the organisation. (Arran Banner October 1)

Most people are aware that I live in Ardrossan and that casual attendance to island meetings is not an option and so I make the same offer to every community organisation of which I am aware, specifically that they require space to speak and discuss in private and that I will not attend as a matter of course, but that I am happy to attend if requested and available. An offer that I reiterate here to the community council and all other organisations.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have never been asked to attend a community council meeting, nor was I furnished with the Zoom invitation during the period of online meetings during lockdown.

Yours,

 Councillor Tony Gurney,
 Ardrossan and Arran Ward.

Need to talk

Sir,

Yesterday (Thursday) was World Sight Day and a reminder that we should all take care of one of the most precious things we have – our vision.

But for the 10 people every day in Britain who begin to lose their sight, many find it helpful to talk through these feelings with someone outside their usual circle of family and friends. That’s where ‘Need to Talk’, our free counselling and confidence-building service, can help.

Launched with support from the European Union’s INTERREG VA programme, Need to Talk is available in Ayrshire as well as Dumfries and Galloway, Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh, Arran and Cumbrae, Argyll and Bute and the Western Isles.

Need to Talk’s counsellors and confidence-building professionals have extensive experience in supporting people impacted by sight loss and can help people come to terms with their sight condition and maximize their independence.

You can contact our Need to Talk team on 0303 123 9999 or email needtotalk@rnib.org.uk. For further information, visit rnib.org.uk/needtotalk

Yours,

James Adams,
Director,
RNIB Scotland.

National Day of Reflection

End of life charity, Marie Curie, is encouraging people on Arran to start preparing for the National Day of Reflection 2022 by planting spring bulbs and seeds this autumn.

Individuals, schools and organisations up and down the country are taking part in the spring planting to show their support for Marie Curie and the National Day of Reflection. The flowers will bloom in time for the day on 23 March 2022 in a sign of hope for a brighter future.

The National Day of Reflection is a day to support the millions of people who’ve been bereaved during the pandemic, and to reflect on the lives of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues who have died from Covid or other causes. The day is a time to pause, reflect and support each other whether of any belief or none.

Yours, 

Angela McCormack

Community fundraiser, Scotland