SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADER TO OFFICIALLY OPEN ARDROSSAN MSP OFFICE
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is set to officially open the constituency office in Ardrossan for West Scotland MSP Katy Clark next month. The opening will be held on Saturday 17th June from 2pm.
The office, on Harbour Street in the town centre, first opened its doors to the public in November after delays caused by the pandemic. Now, Katy, who was formerly MP for North Ayrshire and Arran between 2005 and 2015, is pleased to host a formal opening event, with members of the public welcome.
She commented: “I am very happy to welcome Anas Sarwar to launch our constituency office here in North Ayrshire.
“Since being elected in 2021, I have along with my Scottish Labour colleagues sought to represent constituents’ interests on a range of different issues, and as a local resident and representative for the area over many years, I believe Ardrossan is a great base to reach people.
“Nevertheless, my office is open to constituents across the entire West Scotland region.”
The office is open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm; the address is 19B Harbour Street, Ardrossan, KA22 8BU. The West Scotland region encompasses East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and parts of Argyll and Bute.
ARRAN STRANDING SHOWS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT HAS “LOST CONTROL” ON FERRIES
Scottish Labour MSP Katy Clark has demanded an urgent investigation by the Scottish Government after 60 people were left stranded on the Isle of Arran due to ferry cancellations.
In a letter to transport minister Kevin Stewart, she highlighted the “succession of reckless decisions and mishaps” in procuring the MV Alfred on Clyde ferry routes, with some passengers reportedly turned away from boarding the relief vessel due to staffing and capacity issues on Saturday evening.
The £1-million-a-month leasing of MV Alfred has been mired in controversy: the vessel was investigated for crashing into an island last year, and its charter was delayed due to delays in the MV Pentalina, its replacement on the Orkney route, obtaining a safety certificate. Earlier this month, the MV Pentalina itself also ran aground in Orkney.
Ms Clark, who represents West Scotland, also revealed via parliamentary questions last month that the Scottish Government had signed off the charter without meeting operator Pentland Ferries. She commented: “It’s appalling but unsurprising that this relief vessel, the lease of which was blindly signed off by ministers without due diligence, has failed to meet passenger demand at the first hurdle.
“I pay tribute to the islanders who stepped up and provided food and shelter to those who were stranded on the island over the weekend, but it is unacceptable that they were even placed in such a situation to do so.
“The Scottish Government appears to have completely lost control in regards to its ferry procurement strategy. Islanders are crying out for a sensible and sustainable ferry replacement plan to add resilience to the fleet, not panic-leasing from operators with poor health and safety records.
“An emergency plan is needed as a point of urgency, with island communities and transport unions fully consulted, and we need a proper investigation so what occurred on Saturday isn’t repeated.”