Leader of NAC visits Eco Club

Tonight, AYF's recently launched Eco club hosted Councillor Joe Cullinane, leader of North Ayrshire Council, and Alex Gallagher, the council's islands portfolio chief. They were fresh from a meeting at Arran Eco Savvy, so it was good to see that the environment issue is high on the agenda.

The young folk took the opportunity to ask what NAC are doing about the climate crisis, both across North Ayrshire but also on Arran specifically.

They asked some difficult questions: about Arran needing a better bus service to increase public transport usage (taking this in to NAC ownership is something they are looking at); about the need for cycle paths; about dump opening times needing extended and about the lack of brown bins / composting on the island.

Through asking so many great questions, the young people learned a good deal, including: single use plastics throughout the council will be gone in the next year (this was in response to a question about plastic in the school canteen); the council are to trial recycling bins within some schools before Christmas; pitstops for motorhomes to fill up on fresh water and dispose of waste properly are to be put in place in the near future; NAC are the first council to ban landfill (black bin waste now generates energy, and landfill sites are to be used for solar farms that will generate energy and income for the council)

The young folk are full of good ideas for the island, such as the need for bags to be handed out to wild campers at the pier, with leaflets and resources to help them camp in an environmentally friendly way, and for zero waste shops where people can refill with their own containers. I'm sure Joe and Alex were sent away with plenty to think about! But it was great to see how much the council is already focused on this.

We would like to thank the guys for their time tonight. Next up for Eco club is a film making project, where we will be producing a 90 second clip before COP26 comes round.

Posted 16/09/2021