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Daily Record
Daily Record
Stewart McConnell

Fresh Arran ferry concerns after prolonged period without taskforce meeting

Frustrated councillor Amanda Kerr is urging a visit of elected members to the Ferguson's shipyard to discuss the delay in construction of the ferry MV Glen Sannox.

The vessel is set to be used on the Ardrossan to Arran route.

Councillor Kerr was disappointed the next meeting of the Ardrossan Ministerial Task Force, who are helping oversee the project, would not be until next month, with the group not having met since June.

Councillor Kerr said: "It’s concerning at this juncture of the project that there has been another prolonged period without a task force meeting.

"The last time such a period went without a meeting was at the start of the pandemic when it took the leader of the council to write to the transport minister to demand a meeting be convened.

"Maybe the leader of the Taskforce could use his influence to ensure regular meetings particularly since we are no further forwards since June and have not gone out to tender.

“Now the workers at Ferguson have voiced concerns that the Glen Sannox may not be considered fit for purpose once its construction is finally completed.

“If the Scottish Government had listened to the workers at Ferguson's years ago, the Glen Sannox would not have been massively over budget and years late; because the workers were always clear with their concerns about the schedule of work and the challenges of building two vessels side-by-side at a yard like Fergusons.

“With that in mind, given a group of MSPs have been invited to Ferguson and met management and workers there would the council leader consider requesting a visit to Fergusons of elected members in Ardrossan and Arran wards, leaders of the groups and relevant cabinet members and council officers and discuss the project with Ferguson's."

Council leader Marie Burns said: “I can understand councillor Kerr’s frustration. I feel equally frustrated with progress on this project, it is a very complex project with a range of partners, public and private.

“I can assure her that myself and officers have been pushing for progress to move more quickly on this project, But like every other major capital project there are issues around inflationary costs.

"I personally don’t feel it would be of any benefit for me to visit Ferguson's Shipyard as I know nothing about shipbuilding and I'm not sure what would be gained.

“If the Ardrossan and Arran members wanted to arrange a visit to Ferguson's you don’t need my permission.”

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