The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 15 May 2015

First Minister meets Prime Minister

More powers and ending austerity on 
agenda during ‘constructive’ talks

More powers for the Scottish Parliament and ending austerity were on the agenda today as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met Prime Minister David Cameron at Bute House in Edinburgh.


During their first face-to-face talks since the general election, the First Minister welcomed a commitment by the Prime Minister to look at proposals from the Scottish Government to extend Holyrood’s power beyond the plans outlined in the Smith Commission. 

Ms Sturgeon also welcomed the Prime Minister’s agreement that legislation currently being drafted to take forward further devolution would implement in full the Smith Commission proposals and also take account of the report published by the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution Committee earlier this week. 

The discussions, which were described by the First Minister as “constructive and helpful”, also covered her desire to tackle austerity, with further proposals on how this could be achieved within the UK Government’s own fiscal mandate now to be submitted by the Scottish Government and considered by the Prime Minister in due course. 


To take forward these points, the First Minister and Prime Minister also agreed to much closer contact between their respective governments, with a commitment to increasing the number of bilateral meetings between the pair. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I was pleased to welcome the Prime Minister to Bute House for what were constructive and helpful talks on a range of issues following the outcome of the UK general election.

“During the meeting, we had a productive discussion about the Smith Commission proposals and where we might go beyond them. From that, two things of importance were agreed. Firstly, there was a commitment from the Prime Minister that the legislation being drafted will fully implement the Smith Commission proposals and take account of the conclusions of the Holyrood committee report that was published yesterday. 

“Secondly, the Prime Minister agreed that he would look at proposals the Scottish Government will bring forward on how we go beyond the Smith Commission in various important areas. There was no agreement on the substance of that, but the Prime Minister has said he will consider our proposals and there will be a meeting, in the first instance, between the Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland to look at how we take that further forward.”

The First Minister continued: “The Prime Minister and I have agreed to meet more regularly, which is a good step forward. We have also agreed to much closer contact between Ministers in the Scottish and UK governments to discuss issues of common interest and policies that impact on Scotland at a much earlier stage – that’s all very positive. 

“David Cameron and I are a world apart politically but, where we can, I’m determined that we do business in the interest of people in Scotland and across the UK and I’m determined to have a constructive and business-like relationship.

“I hope that the Prime Minister can now show he can respond and deliver a better deal for Scotland, with an empowered Scottish Parliament with the powers over business taxes and employment law, the minimum wage and welfare that enables us to grow our economy, get more people into jobs, and lift people out of poverty. Because, ultimately, that is what this process is all about.” 

The First Minister confirmed that discussions had also covered austerity and public spending across the UK. She said: “The Prime Minister has a fiscal mandate, but even within that that I believe there is enough flexibility to ease the pain of austerity, invest in the things that matter while still getting the debt and deficit down. We have agreed to send our analysis and proposals to the UK Government and he has agreed to look at them. I have a duty as First Minister of Scotland to stand up for the things I believe the people of Scotland want and I will not shy away from doing that.”


Frazer Coogans Solicitors opens in Prestwick

Leading Ayr based law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors are delighted to announce that they have expanded into Prestwick and have taken over the former practice of Lawson Russell Solicitors of 163 Main Street, Prestwick. 

Donald Russell and Iain Lawson have run Lawson Russell for over 30 years in the heart of Prestwick, and are well established and respected in the local community.


[Pictured: Donald Russell (right) hands over Lawson Russell & Company to Norman Geddes (centre) and Peter McNamara (left), Directors of Frazer Coogans Solicitors]

 Norman Geddes, Senior Director for Frazer Coogans commented “I wish Donald and Iain all the best in their retirement, and assure them that Frazer Coogans will continue to provide the excellent service which Donald and Iain have provided to their clients and the Prestwick community over the last 30 years. We welcome the new staff members and look forward to this new chapter.

“This is an exciting time for Frazer Coogans Solicitors, and we are all looking forward to even more progress and development in the years to come.” 


[Pictured: Directors & Staff of Frazer Coogans Solicitors outside Prestwick Office.] 

Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Ayr Office: 01292 280 499  
Prestwick Office: 01292 478 487 


Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Two day May meeting at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR Racecourse stages it annual two-day May meeting next Wednesday and Thursday 20 and 21 May. 


Spring Raceday is the first fixture with the opening race a six furlong maiden stakes won last year by The Wow Signal (pictured above) who followed up by winning The Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and then going to Deauville and landing the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny. 

Elsewhere on the card the feature race is the five furlong Class 3 handicap with a prize fund of £12,000 that should see a competitive field of horses with speed to burn. 

The afternoon action ends at 5.20pm with the one mile one furlong apprentice handicap featuring some up and coming jockeys who could be stars of the future. 

Wallaces TCB Raceday on Thursday 21 May begins with the Guinness Golden Ale/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes over the minimum distance of five furlongs at 2.20pm. 

The Tennent’s Lager Handicap over a mile is the feature race of the afternoon with £12,000 in prize money and this always attracts a biggish field with some good horses from the top northern stables. 

Sprint safety limits reduced 

SAFETY limits on the sprint course at Ayr Racecourse have been reduced from 27 runners to 25 runners for this year’s William Hill Gold Cup Festival to allow remedial work to be done on part of the home straight. 


This will mean two fewer runners in each of the three big sprints at Ayr’s flagship flat meeting in September the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup. 

Emma Marley, Racing Manager/Clerk of the Course, commented: “By reducing the safety limits we will be able to carry out remedial works over an area of approximately four metres from the old stands’ side rail line during this season resulting in an overall narrowing of the sprint course.  

“We have worked closely with PSD Agronomy to find a solution to a slight compaction issue and are trying our utmost to provide a fair and consistent surface for all races.  The BHA Course Inspector and PJA Safety Officer have been extremely helpful and supportive of this action, with a view to us reviewing the situation at the end of the year.” 

For further information please contact Clerk of the Course Emma Marley on 07881 908702 or Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to hold annual Summer Luncheon at Trump Turnberry Resort

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is to hold its Summer Luncheon 2015 on Friday 3 July at the Trump Turnberry Resort.


The event is free to Circle members and their invited guests.

To book places, please RSVP as soon as possible to:


Photographs from a previous Elite Ayrshire Business Circle Summer Luncheon: