Christmas concerns at Girvan Community Council

CHRISTMAS plans were already afoot at the September meeting of Girvan Community Council last week amidst confusion over Girvan’s itinerant Christmas lights.

Attendees heard from South Ayrshire Council’s supervisory engineer for lighting, Bobby Borland, and his colleague Douglas Hemmings about the town’s Christmas illuminations.

The community council had hoped it could take responsibility for the lights from South Ayrshire Council to avoid them having to be stored in Ayr – from where they had ended up being displayed in towns up to 30 miles north of Girvan - but were informed this would not be possible due to legal restrictions on community councils owning property and commodities.

Mr Borland said: “I would welcome anyone from the community council willing to come and help me sort out the situation that I have inherited.” Three members of the community council, Chair Ken Johnstone with Betty McQuiston and Cathie Collins, travelled to Ayr on Wednesday for this purpose, and were accompanied by Jackie Anderson and Margaret O’Donnell from the Christmas street party group.

Mr Borland agreed: “The difficulty we have been facing with reducing budgets is that the displays have been deteriorating year upon year.”

He said the reason for this was budget cuts, but reassured community councillors that the budget for Christmas 2012 was unchanged from last year and the usual displays would go up in Girvan on November 30.

Councillor John McDowall said: “The option of doing nothing is just not there because in the coming years budgets are likely to decrease even further and it will possibly be 2020 before they even start to turn around. The danger is that you will end up with no Christmas lights.”

Transport in Girvan was also on the meeting’s agenda, the community council having been communicating with Stagecoach West of Scotland over the past few months to address residents’ concerns over the town’s bus service.

Pending agreement of the plans with Strathclyde Passenger Transport, who also operate services in Girvan, the current service in Loaning will be removed next month and the other changes will follow in January 2013.

Councillor Alec Clark announced: “We will have a much larger area of the town covered in both the north and the south. For the first time in Girvan the likes of Troweir Road will be covered by a bus. All in all it will be very much improved. It is a very good result.”

The community council also heard from Andrew Sinclair of South Carrick Community Leisure, who was pleased to be able to confirm that there are no bombs in the harbour area on which the new multi-faceted leisure facility is to be built.