Labour MSP Katy Clark says the Scottish Government must allow North Ayrshire Council to take ownership of Peel Ports.
Clark has lodged a Holyrood motion calling on ministers to intervene to grant the local authority powers to run the service.
The West of Scotland MSP said: “Ministers should allow North Ayrshire Council to take over the running of this vital public service.
“It is over 4 years since the Scottish Government Government agreed that Ardrossan would remain the main port to serve Arran but the necessary agreement with Peel Ports who own the land so the harbour can be developed is still not in place.”
“The harbour work at Ardrossan is essential to the Arran ferry service and very much in the public interest. The Scottish Government say that they have not signed off the deal with Peel as the balance of risk lies too much with Peel. The delays however cannot be allowed to continue and are not acceptable. North Ayrshire Council is willing to take ownership of the port and should be allowed to do so.”
“Giving North Ayrshire Council the power to take charge of the Port, in a form of municipal ownership, would ensure the improvements are made, and that this public service is protected and that decisions are made in the public interest.
“Ministers must open talks with the council and other stakeholders and take the necessary action to allow this to happen as quickly as possible.”
Motion to Scottish Parliament from West of Scotland MSP Katy Clark
Ardrossan Harbour Delays & Public Ownership
That the Parliament notes that completing the Ardrossan Harbour Project is critical to resuming the ferry route to Arran and the economic development of both Ardrossan and Arran; further notes it is over four years since the Scottish Government made the decision to retain Ardrossan as the mainland port to serve Arran; understands the Scottish Government has rejected the commercial and grant terms offered by Peel Ports for the redevelopment of the harbour; is of the view that continued delays are unacceptable given the improvements needed to provide a vital public service, and urges the Scottish Government to explore the option of municipal ownership with North Ayrshire Council if an acceptable deal with Peel Ports is not possible.
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