The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 17 September 2010

South Ayrshire Council Provost hosts Battle of Britain commemorative dinner

South Ayrshire Council Provost Winifred Sloan hosted an evening dinner for the Royal Air Force, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Highlights of the evening included a special fly past over County Hall.


Guests at the specially themed celebratory dinner included John Duncan QPM, Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, Air Commodore Malcolm Crayford and Wing Commander JC Dickson.

Representatives from 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, HMS Gannet, 6 Scots the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the local Air Training Corps Squadron, the Royal Air Force Association and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund were also at the evening commemoration, along with uniformed and civilian colleagues from Royal Air Force Prestwick.

Immediately before the dinner, a ceremonial flag on the mast by the corner of Pavilion Road and the Esplanade was lowered by Corporal Paul Mowat and Senior Aircraftman Ian McNaulty, which was then followed by the fly past.

Returning to County Hall, guests were played in by a string quartet from Marr College in Troon.

Provost Sloan said: “The Battle of Britain takes its name from a speech given in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1940, after Germany occupied France.

“He said: ‘The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin.’

“It was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign of the war. The German aim was simple – to gain air superiority over Britain and many cities up and down the UK bore the brunt of months of bombing and terror.

“Ultimately, the German campaign failed, but the losses sustained by the RAF were horrendous, prompting Churchill to remark: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’”

Provost Sloan then introduced the top table and the President of the Mess Committee was asked to explain military etiquette and customs for the evening.

He then introduced the evening’s first speaker, Flying Officer Suzanne Mitchell, who gave a brief introduction to the Battle of Britain.

Officer Mitchell was followed by Mr Joe Parker, who gave a personal account of the battle from his memoirs and Senior Aircraftman Abbie Morter then read a poem honouring those who fell.

After the loyal toast, the President of the Mess Committee introduced Provost Winifred Sloan who spoke of her own role as the Council’s Veterans’ Champion.

Provost Sloan said: “The welfare of local men and women who have served our country is a subject very close to my heart. Part of my role involves assessing the impact that Council decisions and policies might have on veterans, or their families.

“Today our armed forces personnel play an active and important role in defending us and our rights, as well as protecting others, around the globe. Brave men and women of all ages are still sacrificing their health and often their lives for their country.

Provost Sloan received a hearty round of applause when she said: “The need to look after veterans will continue and I will continue to champion their cause.”

Provost Sloan then continued: “I said earlier this evening that the RAF personnel based at the Scottish Air Traffic control Centre in Prestwick are very much members of our community and I sincerely meant it.

“South Ayrshire has proud and strong ties with the RAF and I was particularly pleased in 2009 when we granted you the Freedom of South Ayrshire.

“It was a way of us paying tribute to and honouring all Royal Air Force personnel past and present and marks the fact that the Royal Air Force have been based at Prestwick for over 70 years.

“Despite demanding jobs you all still find time to throw yourselves in your spare time to help the local community through voluntary, youth and charitable work and I am humbled and full of admiration for the work that you do.

“On behalf of the people of South Ayrshire I thank you.”

Air Commodore Crayford then spoke of the Battle of Britain and related it to the modern day RAF, before the evening was brought to a close by Wing Commander Dickson with the vote of thanks and the presentation of a magnificent framed print of a Spitfire aircraft to Provost Sloan.

[A set of downloadable full-size images is available on Flickr. Click on any thumbnail to access larger versions. CLICK HERE.}

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

John Scott steps up campaign for support for Prestwick Airport

Ayr constituency MSP John Scott (pictured below) has this week stepped up his campaign for greater support to be given to Prestwick Airport by calling for the Scottish Government to back moves to remove legal barriers to direct aid for airlines to develop new routes.

The Route Development Fund which previously supported many routes operating from Prestwick Airport was abolished in 2007 after it was judged to breech European rules on state aid, but now there is to be a re-examination of the regulations. Mr Scott wants the Scottish Government to back the case for renewed direct support for airlines, and he has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament urging support for the move.

John Scott said: “Route development funding was crucial in securing the creation of many of the services that have operated from Prestwick Airport over the last decade and its ending in 2007 has equally clearly been a factor in the reduction in more recent times of the range of routes operating to and from Prestwick.

“Given the sustained drop in routes and passenger numbers at Prestwick and the threat that this is posing to what could be a substantial number of local jobs and to our tourist economy more generally, it’s all the more urgent that any steps possible are taken to reinstate the support that was previously available.

“I remain convinced that scrapping Air Passenger Duty, the so-called tourism tax, would be helpful, and reinstating Route Development funding would be equally welcome and provide airports like Prestwick with a real boost.

“My motion is aimed at getting as much support as possible in the Scottish Parliament behind the principle of reforming the rules against state aid for airlines so that it can once again become possible for grants to be given to assist the creation of new routes to Scottish airports and so offer a better range of services to travellers and support the hundreds of jobs that rely on them.”

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South Ayrshire Councillors mark Graham Peterkin’s last Council meeting

ALL thirty elected members of South Ayrshire Council bid a formal farewell to Graham Peterkin, Executive Director of Development and Environment at his last Council meeting before he retires.

Mr Peterkin retires at the end of the month after 39 years in local government – most of which has been in South Ayrshire. His first job was in the Town Clerk’s Office in Kilmarnock in 1969 – a job he remembers fondly as he met his wife there!

Since then he has worked through two local government reorganisations and seen numerous changes and restructures within the different authorities and he has filled a number of roles, including Acting Chief Executive at South Ayrshire Council.

Provost Winifred Sloan presented Graham with a gift on behalf of the elected members, saying: “We’re all going to miss Graham both on a professional and a personal basis. He has played a vital role in this Council and been a huge support for all of us. I wish him all the very best for the future.”

Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Bill McIntosh, said: “I wish Graham all the very best in his retirement and thank him for the huge amount of service he has given to this area. South Ayrshire Council would not be in as strong a position today were it not for Graham who showed tremendous leadership and commitment as he helped set this Council on its improvement journey some three years ago.

“The transformation of the Council is quite incredible and we are indebted to Graham for his efforts – the continuation of our improvement journey will be his legacy.”

Councillor Douglas Campbell added: “Graham is a devoted public servant and I have welcomed his advice on many occasions over the years. While he is retiring from the Council, I know he still has lots to give to the people of South Ayrshire and I have every confidence that is what he will do. I wish him well.”

Councillor Nan McFarlane, Leader of the SNP Group, said: “On behalf of the SNP Councillors, I wish Graham a very happy retirement and hope it is all he wants it to be.”

Councillor John McDowall, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “Graham has always been a great source of advice and guidance for elected members. He epitomises all that a Council officer should be and would, I’m sure, make a better politician than many of us! He will be sorely missed. On behalf of the Labour Group, I wish him a long and happy retirement for years to come.”

Graham said: “I was overwhelmed by the good wishes from elected members and I would like to thank them all for their kind words. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in local government and am delighted I have had an opportunity to work for this area.

“I am passionate about public service – it defines who we are as a society and a country – and I am passionate about this area. I’ve lived most of my life in South Ayrshire and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute to public service in this part of the world.

“I am pleased to be leaving with the Council in a much stronger position and moving in the right direction and I thank the employees who have helped make this a reality. I’ve been lucky to work with many talented people over the years and the Council has fantastic staff who will deal with the challenges ahead for local government in a positive and productive way.

“I’m proud to have played my part and I will continue to watch the Council’s progress with interest.”

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Paligap help Costley and Costley position for success

Ayr-based digital branding and marketing agency Paligap has just completed the rebranding and repositioning of the prestigious hospitality group Costley and Costley Hoteliers.

[Pictured: Paligap managing director Stephen Cosh and Costley & Costley Hoteliers Ltd managing director Bill Costley.]

The brief was to create a set of brand identities that are linked to the umbrella Costley and Costley brand, while communicating the individual experience offered by each of the establishments. It was important to create something refreshing and new, while maintaining the heritage that each location and the group as a whole enjoys.

As part of the brief Paligap also designed and built a family of websites to support the hoteliers ongoing growth. Integrating the new brand identities the web sites provide customers with the ability to check availability and book rooms online, compare pricing, find out about up and coming events and, soon, even buy Costley and Costley branded merchandise on the e-commerce ‘Emporium’ site.

Costley and Costley is an extremely successful business focused on high quality dining and hospitality. With hotels, restaurants and inns spread across Ayrshire, the company caters for a range of markets and has become recognised throughout Scotland as one of the market leaders.

Paligap creative director and managing director Stephen Cosh confirmed: “It has been an exciting and challenging project working with Bill and his team. It has really allowed us to flex our strategic and creative muscles, utilising many of our services, from market strategy and photography to web design and technical services.”


Costley and Costley Hoteliers

Ayr-based digital branding and marketing agency Paligap is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

For further information:

Apex House
1 Carrick Road
Ayr KA7 2RA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Stephen Cosh, Managing Director
Tel: 01292 263777
Fax: 01292 285334

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House prices in Scotland remain stable - unlike rest of UK

SCOTTISH chartered surveyors report that the housing market in Scotland remains more or less stable on the pricing front, with a modest increase in the net price balance to +2% in August compared with +1% in July.

[Pictured: RICS Scotland deputy director Sarah Speirs.]

Surveyors still expect prices to rise, albeit at a modest rate (+4%) over the next three months, and Scotland is the only part of the UK where this is expected to happen, says the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey.

Although demand is now showing signs of softening (the net balance for new buyer enquiries posted its second consecutive negative reading), prices remain supported by continued falls in supply (the net balance for new instructions posted its fourth consecutive negative reading).

Sales activity continued to increase in August, but admittedly, at a slower pace than in July; the newly agreed sales net balance fell from +64 to +11. Rising sales activity in Scotland contrasts with the rest of the UK, where it is now falling (the net balance was -20).

Commenting, RICS Scotland deputy director Sarah Speirs said: “What we are reporting is a levelling out of the Scottish market, which puts us at odds with the rest of the UK. Demand is starting to weaken, but prices are being supported by continued falls in supply.

“Surveyors in Scotland are confident that prices will rise moderately over the next three months. However, the situation as ever is fluid and highly dependant on the scale of public sector spending cuts and the performance of the wider economy.”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978.  The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

About RICS Scotland

RICS Scotland is a national association of RICS. RICS Scotland has over 10,000 members. Managed from its offices in Edinburgh, the focus of RICS Scotland is to develop, maintain, uphold and promote the standards, knowledge and skills of its members always acting in the public interest.

RICS Scotland enjoys a degree of autonomy due to differences in Scottish law and practice. It holds a significant role within the professional and business community in Scotland, working with central and local government and educational institutions in Scotland.

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Sunday, 12 September 2010

CKD Galbraith market fine detached
house in prime Ayrshire location

WITHIN easy reach of the thriving county town of Ayr, Doonfoot is a popular area for families, having a well regarded primary school and wonderful coastal location.

Ideally placed, just a short stroll from the beachfront, is No. 25 Greenan Road, currently being marketed by the Ayr office of leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith.

This substantial detached family house is quietly situated on this well established residential street. The owners have created a beautifully appointed and well laid out home which has flexible accommodation, including 3 reception rooms, shower room and dining kitchen on the ground floor and 3 bedrooms (one en-suite) and family bathroom on the first floor. One of the ground floor reception rooms could easily be used as a fourth bedroom, if required.

The sheltered and sunny enclosed rear gardens are particularly attractive. There is a lovely sunny decked patio area, leading to an expanse of lawn with well tended borders of shrubs and mature trees.

The nearby dunes and promenades of Ayr Beach provide a wonderful outdoor recreational space for all ages. Doonfoot lies to the edge of Alloway Village, famous as the birthplace of Scotland’s Poet, Robert Burns. The rolling countryside of coastal South Ayrshire is just a short drive away.

This is a delightful home with well presented, flexible accommodation and a great location.

25 Greenan Road is being marketed at offers over £350,000.

For further information: Contact Bob Cherry 01292 268181.

PDF available on

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 160 people in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso and Peebles.

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, valuations and building surveying work.

The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson, as well as providing a range of services to the farming community through an association with United Auctions, Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists.

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office:

CKD Galbraith
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300

Independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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