I recently had a very productive few days, fighting for my local constituents. I attended the recent Mid Argyll, Kintyre & the Islands Area Committee meeting in Campbeltown, where I was able to raise a point with ACHA in regards to the condition and overall state of repair, that many of my constituents have found when entering their houses and taking over a lease. Also I made it clear that ACHA was taking too long to replace and repair certain heating systems in the houses across my council ward.
I then went on to view the terrific refurbishing work being done on Campbeltown Grammar School, which is creating huge local employment and boosting the local Argyll economy generally. This will lead to a dramatic overall increase in the quality of teaching and learning conditions.
Afterwards I visited a number of my constituents in Tarbert, to see first-hand their concerns about the condition of local roads, pavements and the problems users of mobility scooters in Tarbert face when using some pavements. The lack the drops and ramps that lead in some cases to many mobility scooter users traveling on more dangerous roads to get to their destination.
The next day I attended the EDI committee where I spoke of the importance of keeping our gritting and road maintenance operations on Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Gigha and Kintyre during the winter months. In addition to keeping our villages ,towns, busy and more secluded roads gritted.
Later that day, I attended the Harbour Board meeting and listened to the future plans for the pier and harbour upgrades and regular maintenance. I also raised concerns about the recent disruptions to our local Jura ferry sailings and repeated what many of my constituents from Jura have told me," that our ferry service is not a luxury and is in fact an essential lifeline, therefore, any disruption should be kept to a minimum".
Afterwards I spoke with the Harbour Board officers and expressed the importance of not burdening our local fishermen with too many rules and regulations.
The following day I was very pleased to attend the opening of the new West Highland housing scheme, 'Dail Na Mara' in Port Ellen. These new houses along with many others across Islay and the Kintrye and Islands ward are more than welcome. I did, however, hear some legitimate local concerns, that this recent scheme was built without adequate infrastructure, such as footpaths, pavements and more passing places on nearby roads to help allow our local bus service to travel by the 'Dail Na Mara' houses. I informed local Port Ellen residents that, I will raise these infrastructure concerns with the roads and planning departments as well as West Highland housing.
In the past, for far too long, our local housing needs on Islay and Jura have been ignored and when you consider the vast tax contributions our islands produce for both the Scottish and UK economy, it’s only fair that we receive something in return.
Everyday that I have been your local Councillor, for the Kintyre and Islands ward, I have been fighting for a better deal for you and helping each individual constituent that contacts me with a problem. I will continue to do so and as I have said before, it’s only a poor Councillor that weighs their own worth in how many meetings they attend. While I will attend many meetings as I have done already, I will not become bureaucratic meeting fodder, nor will I for that matter, waste time that could be better spent fighting for locals, to write about meetings other Councillors do not attend.
As I leave my position at my Post Office, I will in the future be able to push even harder for my local ward.
Cllr Alastair Redman - Islay