It was great to catch up with my constituents in Bowmore, Port Ellen, Port Charlotte and Portnahaven today as I criss-crossed Islay listening to local issues.
In Bowmore while attending my latest surgery I heard numerous concerns about ACHA housing conditions, broken street-lighting and crumbling pavements alongside badly damaged walls. Our roads and street-lighting department is limited by the funding our council receives from the Scottish Government that has in the past hammered local authority budgets in rural Scotland. That said while the recent patchwork is a step in the right direction many of my constituents have correctly commented to myself that our roads are resembling patchwork quilts given the sheer number of temporary pothole repairs with little long-term road resurfacing to be seen.
In Port Ellen the shocking condition of Mansefield Rd continues to be raised time and time again. Aside from the terrible road surface which is dangerous due to the large number of potholes there are also blocked drains that have been left un-repaired for some time. Inaction in dealing with this road (much like so many others) should be considered as unacceptable as it is dangerous.
In Port Charlotte the centre of the village is sadly still in darkness due to whole streets being without working street lighting. Many locals have pointed out that nearly four years without street-lighting is something you would expect in a third world country not the industrial and tax revenue bread basket that is Islay.
While in Portnahaven and Port Wemyss, as well as pothole and broken street lighting problems continuing to be brought up, more and more local residents are complaining about dog fouling issues. As we all know the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and considerate. Sadly it only takes one or two people to break the rules to make things unpleasant for everyone else. To ensure this problem is limited I have been speaking at length with our hard working local and mainland wardens.
I have raised all these concerns and much more with the appropriate departments and will continue to press for local improvements across my council ward.
Cllr Alastair Redman