The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 5 February 2010


Elite Ayrshire Business Circle welcomes
West Sound audience research results


THE Elite Ayrshire Business Circle has congratulated West Sound Radio station director Brenda Ritchie and her team on the latest RAJAR audience research results, which show that the station has retained the title as market leader in Ayrshire, with over a quarter of all radio listening.


[Pictured: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes (left) with West Sound Radio station director Brenda Ritchie. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The audience figures show that West Sound is the number one choice for radio listening across Ayrshire.

Around 43% of the Ayrshire population tune in to West FM and West Sound every week, listening on average for just under 11 hours.

Year on year, the figures show a weekly increase of 7,000 listeners, with a market share of 27.3%.

Programme controller, James Pllu said: “I’m delighted with the latest figures, and would like to thank the team at West Sound for working so hard to achieve these results.

“We have recently made some changes to our playlist to meet listeners’ demands. On top of this, we have had some exciting competitions including our monthly ‘£500 Fridays’. This proved to be very popular with our listeners.

“We also covered every Christmas light switch on in Ayrshire, which showed our dedication to local communities. It is very important to us that we play a part in local areas, and I believe our community spirit has helped us retain the title of the number one station in Ayrshire.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and senior partner at Ayr-based Frazer Coogans Solicitors Norman Geddes commented: “West Sound Radio is a valued member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and is in a very real sense the voice of Ayrshire.

“Our members warmly congratulate Brenda Ritchie and her team on their well deserved success, as evidenced by this latest set of audience research figures.”

West Sound Radio is part of the Bauer Publishing Group.

Under the management of four generations of the Bauer family, the Bauer Publishing Group has grown from its humble beginnings as a printing house into a worldwide publishing empire comprising 282 magazines in 15 countries, as well as its TV and radio stations. The group has 6,600 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of 1.79 billion Euro.

www.westsound.co.uk

www.westfm.co.uk

www.bauer.co.uk

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Thursday, 4 February 2010


South Ayrshire Council announces
council house improvement scheme


THOUSANDS of council house tenants in South Ayrshire are all set to benefit from ambitious and far reaching quality improvement works on their properties as the Council continues its extensive upgrade and refurbishment programme over the next four years.

The 2010/11 Housing Capital Investment Programme will see £11 million invested to improve council houses and ensure that they meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standards (SQHS) in all its properties by 2015.


[Pictured: Wills Street in North Ayr is one road to have benefited from the Council’s refurbishment programme, with new kitchens, bathrooms, roofing, external cladding and garden landscaping.]

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “The capital housing programme brings further welcome news for council tenants.

“South Ayrshire Council has already frozen council rents until 2011 and we have recently secured funding to allow us to build the first new council houses in over thirty years under the Social Housing Investment Programme.

“In addition, we are continuing a significant and wide ranging programme of upgrade and refurbishment work to our existing houses. This will make a real difference for our tenants and ensure they can enjoy a quality home environment”.

The scope of the work is far reaching, with partial and full upgrade work to take place at properties in Ayr, Dundonald, Symington, Crosshill, Kirkoswald, Maybole, Minishant, Troon, Girvan, Ballantrae, Loans, Prestwick, Colmonell, Tarbolton and Coylton.

The most immediate priority in these areas will be given to upgrading and improving over 800 homes, with half of the funding (£6.1 million) being spent on new kitchens, replacing or upgrading central heating systems, bathroom suites, additional loft insulation, smoke detectors and rewiring houses.

In North Ayr, significant improvements to twelve maisonette blocks in Wallacetoun will be complete by early 2011 and £350,000 has been set aside to eradicate dampness in homes, targeted on a need basis.

The Council is also committed to improved energy efficiency in its housing stock and all homes will be modernised to meet the National Home Energy Rating guidelines.

New smoke detectors will be fitted from next year and all houses will continue to be electrically tested and certified every five years.

New door entry systems will be fitted to common close areas and the Council’s ongoing programme to fit uPVC external doors to homes will be brought to conclusion with up to £500,000 being spent on houses in Ayr and Girvan.

Homes in Ayr and Girvan will be the first to benefit from external improvements with over £1.2 million being spent on re-roofing, rendering of walls, cladding and other significant exterior improvements.

Properties in and around Girvan’s Doune Burn will also benefit from £100,000 being spent to improve walls and drainage to the stream, minimising the risk of flooding.


Councillor Campbell (pictured above) concluded: “We take our responsibility as a social landlord very seriously and every one of our homes will meet, or exceed, national standards within the next four years.

“The Capital Housing Investment Programme represents a clear and ambitious intent to make sure our housing is of the highest quality for our tenants and is a key part of our drive to make South Ayrshire the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community in Scotland.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Bill McIntosh is elected new Leader of South Ayrshire Council

A NEW era of leadership got underway in South Ayrshire today (Wednesday 3 February) as Troon Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured below) was elected Leader of South Ayrshire Council.


Formerly Portfolio Holder for Resource and Performance, Councillor McIntosh’s appointment follows the retirement of Councillor Hugh Hunter, who had served as Leader since May 2007.

Councillor McIntosh will be succeeded as Portfolio Holder by Councillor Robin Reid (local elected member for Ayr West), while Councillor Hunter – who continues as a local Councillor – will be nominated to become a director on the board of NHS Ayrshire & Arran (a post vacated by Councillor Reid).

Councillor McIntosh said: “First of all, I must thank Hugh for his tremendous contribution as Leader of South Ayrshire Council. Under his stewardship, the Council has been completely transformed in terms of decision-making and officer structures, cross-party working and stability. This has all had a knock-on effect and made a real difference for the people we serve.

“And that’s vitally important. While there has been a change in leadership, there is no change in our commitment to establishing South Ayrshire as the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community and the most improved Council in Scotland.

“To help achieve this, my priority in these first few days as Leader is the budget for 2010/11, which will be considered at a special Council meeting on Wednesday 10 February. With limited resources available, we have to ensure we are doing the right things with the monies we have and I will be focusing very much on that over the next few days. Moving beyond that, we have to ensure the Council continues to improve its services and the way we work.

“This is a very challenging but exciting time for the Council and I am very proud to be leading this organisation as we move forward.”

Bill McIntosh biography

Councillor Bill McIntosh (62) was first elected as a Councillor for the Troon ward in May 1999 following a successful career in the banking industry.

In 1988, he took early retirement in order to set up his own business – McIntosh Management – which provided business advice for small and medium sized enterprises.

He has been active in his local community for a number of years as a member of the Troon Business Association and, prior to his election to South Ayrshire Council in 1999, as a Troon community councillor.

In May 2007, following the local government elections, Councillor McIntosh was appointed South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resource and Performance – a role he relished. Serving in this role, Councillor McIntosh exercises strategic and political leadership in relation to all the Council’s resources – finance, HR, asset management, ICT, procurement and performance management – and has played a major part in shaping the Council’s improvement agenda and strategic planning processes.

He was elected leader of South Ayrshire Council’s Conservative and Unionist Group on Monday 25 January 2010 and Leader of South Ayrshire Council at a special Council meeting on Wednesday 3 February.

Councillor McIntosh, a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (MCIBS), is married to Wilma and has a grown-up son and daughter.

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

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Monday, 1 February 2010


New travel agency just the ticket for Kilwinning Main Street

A NEW travel business in Kilwinning is proving a winner with customers and with Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.

Thorne Travel, which opened earlier this month in the town’s Main Street, employs four people from North Ayrshire already.


[Pictured: James Ledgerwood, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s project manager for the Kilwinning Main Street project with Shona Thorne, owner of Thorne Travel. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

And as an opening promotion, the company ran a free draw competition with a luxurious one week cruise as the top prize – and invited James Ledgerwood, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s project manager for the Kilwinning Main Street project to make the draw.

Owner Shona Thorne said: “I feel that the town of Kilwinning offers a great opportunity as the base for my new business and its future success. The current work by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company in improving the Main Street will only have a positive impact on this.”

Shona has a real passion for travel and wanted to bring back the local high street feel and personal service. She added “Businesses have all felt the financial pressures as the economic climate has changed, but what it has given us back is that urge to look local and have good quality goods and value for money prices. That is what Thorne Travel delivers.”

James was delighted to take up the invitation, and said: “It is great to see a business doing well and employing local people in good, interesting jobs. Thorne Travel is one of a growing number of small businesses that have opened up recently in Main Street despite the wider economic downturn. I’d like to think that in the short, medium and long-term the benefit of this work will become even clearer.”

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company seeks to develop and revitalise the five towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Kilwinning and Irvine in North Ayrshire through a £100 million, ten-year programme to boost the local economy and make the area an attractive and prosperous place to live, work and to visit. The company’s partners are North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

www.irvinebay.co.uk

www.thornetravel.com

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