Arran Banner letters – week 52, 2021

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Christmas shout-outs 


After the success of our Christmas messages from friends and businesses around the island last year, we thought we should do it again and we hope you will join in.

We would love to broadcast your shout-out to your clubs and organisations, friends and clients around the world.

Arransound now has more than a thousand listeners a week and with fans from Canada to Hong Kong, Lewis to London and of course all over Europe. Why not  let your contacts  know you are thinking of them?

You can either simply record something on your phone or laptop and send it to or use the button on the website to record your shout out and it will come directly to us.

We look forward to hearing from you and in the meantime everyone at arransound wants to thank you for all your support during our first year of live broadcasting, we really do appreciate  it.

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy Christmas from all of us at your local community radio,


Mhairi-Aileen Smeir,



Return to Westminster

Below is a copy of letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Scotland, of which the Arran Banner also received a copy.

Dear Secretary of State for Scotland,

Taking back control, usefully.

I understand that the Scotland Office and the Scottish government are discussing who is to do what following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The administration here is wholly responsible and, to use its phrase, is in control of the necessary financial ‘leavers’, to provide ferry services to Scottish islands through its bodies Transport Scotland, Caledonian Marine Assets Ltd, and David MacBrayne Ltd and its subsidiaries.

It is also rumoured to be building new ferries through its nationalised yard Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) Ltd.  But since 2007 it has shown neither interest nor competence in these matters.  Its heart isn’t in it.

It is clear that many of those seeking to travel, provide services or transport goods to and from the Isle of Arran are not uncritical of the performance of the UK (I’m sorry if this comes as a shock to you).

But if it took responsibility for Scottish ferries from the Scottish government, we may be able to stop filing our CalMac timetables under fiction.


Nigel Armstrong,

Whiting Bay.


Political theatre


We should not be misled as to the intent of Kenneth Gibson MSP’s question to the first minister recently regarding berthing fees at Ardrossan in the light of fendering problems, as reported in the Arran Banner of Friday December 10.

This was a minor act of political theatre which allowed Mr Gibson to make the now-obligatory criticism of Tory policy, in this case privatisation of ports, and to allow Nicola Sturgeon to espouse the Scottish government’s record on infrastructure issues and to commend the government’s future plans for investment.

In reality the relationship between CalMac/CMAL and Peel Ports is (or should be) governed by a commercial contract, which should have clauses which describe remedial actions to be taken in the event of non-performance (or one would hope so).

If CalMac is not making recourse to these remedial actions in regard to the fendering issues then Transport Scotland should be asking why not. To bring it up in parliament is like a child clyping to mum about a playground squabble.


Doug Graham,

Whiting Bay.