The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 21 November 2008

Burns anniversary stamp ‘a huge missed opportunity’ says John Scott

AYRSHIRE MSP John Scott has this week called on Royal Mail to reconsider plans to produce a Robert Burns 250th Anniversary Issue souvenir sheet of stamps - to be launched on 22 January 2009 - but not to make the Burns stamp available for purchase through Post Offices at face value.

After being alerted to the issue by Dundonald-based President of the Scottish Postal History Society, Willie King, Mr Scott tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament on the matter and secured a meeting this week with Culture Minister Linda Fabiani.

[Pictured at the meeting, (left to right): John Scott MSP; David Mekie, President of the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies; Willie King, President of the Scottish Postal History Society; Margaret Morris, President Glasgow Thematic Society; Ian MacPherson, President Ayr Philatelic Society; and Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

And, following Mr Scott’s intervention, the issue is now to be taken up with First Minister Alex Salmond.

John Scott MSP said: “The issuing of a stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns is highly appropriate, but the way in which the Royal Mail has gone about it seems to me to be totally wrong.

“Restricting the stamp to a souvenir set means that anyone wanting to use it will have to pay £2.66, so there’s not much chance of them being commonly used.

“This is a huge missed opportunity to promote Robert Burns in the Year of Homecoming both at home and abroad and to raise the profile of Burns and Ayrshire during a year in which we are hopeful of a major tourist spin-off locally.

“I was glad that the Culture Minister was willing to meet at very short notice with myself, Willie King and several of his colleagues, that she made it clear she shared our concerns and that she would raise the matter with the First Minister.

“The Royal Mail must reconsider their position on this matter and commission the issue of individual Burns 250th Anniversary Stamps which can be bought at face value through Post Office branches.”

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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants partners
run New York Marathon for MS Society

By: Murdoch MacDonald

Stephen Wilkie and Andrew Sinclair, partners in Ayr-based Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants, ran the New York Marathon on 2 November 2008 in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

[Pictured at the cheque presentation, left to right: Stephen Wilkie; Carolyn MacIsaac, a volunteer with the MS Society; Donald McNeill, Chairman MS Society Ayrshire & Arran; and Andrew Sinclair. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The aim was to run under 4 hours, and this was achieved with both achieving a time of 3 hrs 57 minutes 56 seconds.

Despite finishing ahead of 26,000 runners, unfortunately this was not a winning time – Stephen and Andrew were beaten by Paula Radcliffe, pictured below, (and a few others).

The event was superb, with over 38,000 runners taking part on an extremely cold November day.

A total of £7250 has been raised, with the funds going to the Ayrshire & Arran and the Wigtownshire Branches of the Multiple Sclerosis Society to ensure that those in the local area benefit from the funds raised.

Andrew Sinclair said afterwards: “It has been eye opening during the fundraising to hear how many people suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. Most of those donating have a relative or friend suffering from the disease and are acutely aware of the need to provide support to the other people who often suffer from this disease for a long number of years.

“We would like to thank all our friends, the staff and clients at Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants and other businesses who donated or assisted us in raising the funds.”

Anybody still wishing to donate can do so at

Donald McNeill is Chairman of the MS Society Ayrshire & Arran Branch. He commented: “Our society warmly welcomes the support it receives from both the business community and private individuals throughout south-west Scotland, and would like to emphasise that all money raised in this area stays in this area to help local people suffering from MS. We have no paid staff, and rely entirely on the efforts and work of volunteers.”

The MS Society is the UK's largest charity for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - about 85,000 people in the UK.

The Society funds MS research, runs respite care centres, provides grants (financial assistance), education and training on MS. It produces numerous publications on MS and runs a freephone specialist Helpline 0808 800 8000.

Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants
3 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Andrew Sinclair
Tel: 01292 288999
Fax: 01292 272150


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Ayr MSP John Scott warns about cancer patient treatment figures

Ayr MSP John Scott has reacted with concern to this week’s publication of the latest cancer waiting time figures. Figures released this week show that the proportion of cancer patients within Ayrshire and Arran treated within 62 days of urgent referral between April and June was 91.3% - below the Scottish Government’s target of 95% - but the MSP has also warned that the long-term trend in Ayrshire and Arran is a cause for worry.

John Scott MSP (pictured above) said: “It is worrying enough that the figures available for the last quarter show a failure to meet the 62 day target, but the real cause for concern is the trend that appears to be developing locally. In the last quarter of 2007, 95% of cancer patients in Ayrshire and Arran who were urgently referred received treatment within 62 days. During the first quarter of this year that fell to 93% and now it has fallen further to just over 91%.

“The fact of the matter appears to be that NHS Ayrshire and Arran are falling behind the national Scottish average when it comes to treating urgent cancer referrals and with cancer survival rates for people in Scotland amongst the worst in Europe, this trend cannot be allowed to continue.

“It’s also another reason why the planned specialist cancer unit at Ayr Hospital must go ahead at the earliest opportunity.

“I have written to the Chairman of NHS Ayrshire and Arran expressing my serious concern at this situation, and asking him to investigate why locally we are falling behind the rest of the country, and to outline what steps it is proposed to take in order to firstly meet and then exceed the Scottish Government’s targets for urgent referrals.”

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