Your letters

I REFER to last week’s letter from the SNP’s Councillor Oattes in which he says it is time to stop petty political squabbling and then, of course, he goes on to engage in precisely that, criticising Labour’s position on the Freight Facilities Grant and the regeneration of Girvan.

Unfortunately, Councillor Oattes is continuing his now usual practice of voting one way in the council chamber and then expressing the opposite view in public.

He needs to explain why it is that he and his SNP and Tory partners on South Ayrshire Council voted against the motion brought by Labour Group Leader John McDowall to retain the Freight Facilities Grant, which is an essential part of the regeneration of Girvan, and why it is that his SNP and Tory partners on South Ayrshire Council voted to cut funding to local regeneration company Ailsa Horizons by £47,000, another essential element in Girvan’s regeneration.

He also needs to explain why it is that the Tory/SNP budget for 2011/12 means the council is going to borrow an additional £2 million at a time when the council has cash reserves of more than £12million and why it is that the people of Girvan and South Carrick are to be burdened with this unnecessary debt. Some explanation of why he voted for a £100,000 “rationalisation and review of community facilities”, which will impact on libraries, community centres, museums and golf courses across Girvan and South Carrick would also be helpful.

If, as he claims, his energies lie in Girvan’s renaissance going ahead, then why does he spend so much energy voting against proposals which would do exactly that ?

Councillor John McDowall

Labour Group Leader

South Ayrshire Council

I KNOW that the police are stretched to find resources as it is, but there appears to be a total amnesty on cars illegally in Girvan after 5pm. It is now common to see cars sitting on pavements where double yellow lines are supposed to deter them from parking. The area below the traffic lights in Bridge Street is particularly bad with both pavements often blocked altogether, forcing pedestrians to walk on to the road. My mother uses a mobility scooter and she has to try and play chicken with the traffic as she passes that area. If it is illegal to park on double yellow lines, is not more so to be parked on the pavement?

Name and address supplied

FOR the past 3½, SAYLSA (Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association) has operated a coffee and tourist information shop at Girvan Railway Station, providing hot and cold drinks and snacks to the travelling public.

In order to assist tourists, the shop has given out information on local hotels, shops, restaurants, taxi services etc, which has been appreciated.

Because of the limited number of volunteers, the shop was only able to open on Saturdays, public holidays and special occasions, which included a seven-day opening during the Open Golf at Turnberry in July 2010.

Last year, we were able to obtain funds to employ two people on 26-week contracts. The shop was able to open six days per week and sell newspapers and a regular clientele was built up.

That contract has now ended and, despite putting up posters asking for volunteers, we have had no response and the shop will now revert to its original opening hours.

If there is anyone – retired but fit, unemployed and bored, looking for something to do – please consider whether you could help out, even for one morning a week.

We are looking for people to open the shop at 7.30am and close at 12.30 (these times are to suit the current railway timetable and station opening hours, so could change slightly in future).

All profits raised are ploughed back into SAYLSA’s efforts to save the railline and improve the experience of the travelling public. In the past, this has included producing the first line guides to be published on this forgotten corner of Scotland.

If you can help, please contact the secretary, Irene Climie, on 01465 714642 or email

Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association

IN RESPONSE to a letter written by Ingrid Powell published in The Galloway Gazette on Friday, February 4, 2011, Ingrid mentioned that she had spent a short amount of time researching “the true cost of windfarms” and I am afraid this showed in her article.

There is a wealth of information to be found with arguments for and against, however I was not surprised that Ingrid found “interesting articles” to substantiate her obvious bias towards the introduction of windfarms.

With the impact that fossil fuels are having on our environment we need to find alternative sources of energy production and I am afraid that the “not in my backyard” attitude displayed in this article infuriated me.

I actually find wind turbines beautiful to look at and think they enhance our already lovely countryside.

Debbie Hoyle


THE Marie Curie Cancer Care Machars Support Group would like to give a huge thanks to the Machars Lions Club, Noreen, all the volunteers and to Everyone who supported our Prize Bingo in Sorbie Hall on Thursday, February 17.

The support was fantastic. The amount raised on the night was £800 which will support local Marie Curie nurses provide 40 hours of free high quality nursing care to a local terminally ill patient. Once again thank you all very much.

The Machars Support Group are looking for volunteer street collectors who could spare one hour of their time to support Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Great Daffodil Appeal on March 4 and 5 in Newton Stewart and the Machars.

If you are interested please contact Maureen or Sheila on 01573 224440.

Derek McIlwraith

Local Marie Curie nurse