Triple talent for Girvan development

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Acting Inspector Derek McMurdo is one of Girvan's new faces on the community scene.
BUSINESS AS USUAL: Acting Inspector Derek McMurdo is one of Girvan's new faces on the community scene.

THE community development scene in Girvan has seen an influx of new talent with the addition of three soon-to-be familiar faces over the past month.

Having been in Girvan only a year - moving to South Park Avenue from his home county of Yorkshire - 25-year-old Barry Dawson stepped up to the mark when the town’s community council advertised for a secretary.

A keen photographer, Barry is already a committee member at Girvan Camera Club and is interested in setting up his own photography business.

He said he had heard about the community council position through a whisper at the Carrick Buildings, and attended his first meeting this month.

“My original email was just to see how I could help out with anything,” he said. “I’ve seen what they do here and it’s a lot more than where I was down in Yorkshire.

“I thought I would go along and see what it was about, and it was a pleasant group. I’m definitely going back, and am looking forward to finding out what is being planned.”

Rural regeneration company Ailsa Horizons also has a new addition to their five-strong team in Lesley Fisher, who took up her role as community asset development manager last month.

In her newly-created post Lesley provides support to local communities to purchase assets as a means of ensuring long-term local benefits, particularly as a legacy for community benefit funds - based in the Ailsa Horizons office on Girvan’s Dalrymple Street with one day a week in Maybole.

Formerly a self-employed architect with 15 years experience, Ayr resident Lesley arrived at Ailsa Horizons from the charity Community Energy Scotland, where she was the development officer assigned to Ailsa Horizons for support on their own wind turbine proposal.

“It was the opportunity to combine my experience of working with community organisations with an interest in buildings and ownership of assets,” she said of her move.

“It’s a really interesting range of projects that Ailsa Horizons is involved in and it has been quite exciting to see how much they have done in the local area.

“There’s a really active, healthy community in this area, and yet there is still so much potential to advance projects. I am really enjoying it so far,” she said.

Girvan’s community policing team has also welcomed a new - if temporary - face.

Acting Inspector Derek McMurdo (pictured above) has taken on the role vacated by Carrick’s Inspector Wullie Ramsay after a chain reaction of temporary promotions boosted him up the chain of command.

With 18 years’ police experience and spates in Cumnock, Kilmarnock, and Troon - as well as Ayr, where he is normally based as a response sergeant - Acting Inspector McMurdo said he was delighted to be back in the Carrick area having served as Carrick Crime Prevention Panel secretary earlier in his career.

The dad-of-two from Cumnock said he was delighted by the Carrick towns and villages’ community-oriented approach, and said he was dedicated to continuing the efforts of Inspector Ramsay to tackle the four main crime priorities identified by residents of Carrick area: drug use, drinking and disorderly behaviour, assault and violent crime, and speeding motorists.

“It is business as usual,” he said. “My door is always open and I am readily available if people want to get in touch.”