Po­lice far from sat­is­fied with Ar­ranMan ar­range­ments

The Arran Banner - - News -

The or­gan­iser of the Ar­ranMan event has again been crit­i­cised for the lack of prepa­ra­tion for the event be­ing held in just two weeks’ time.

It is not the first time the an­nual Ar­ranMan Triathlon Fes­ti­val, be­ing held for the fifth time this year, has at­tracted crit­i­cism from the au­thor­i­ties. It was last held in June 2017 but this year has been moved to Sun­day Septem­ber 23, the Glas­gow Septem­ber week­end.

Island po­lice sergeant Dougie Robert­son told Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Coun­cil this week that he was ‘some way off be­ing sat­is­fied with the ar­range­ments’ for the event.

He said a meet­ing had been held on the main­land be­tween the or­gan­iser, Alan Anderson, and lo­cal­ity in­spec­tor Colin Con­very, how­ever, he was yet to re­ceive an event ap­pli­ca­tion, which, while not com­pul­sory, is sub­mit­ted by most large scale events.

Sergeant Robert­son also ex­pressed con­cern at the pro­pos­als for park­ing re­stric­tions in Lam­lash on the day which he con­sid­ered ‘ex­ces­sive’ and said it was his view that park­ing should con­tinue to be al­lowed in the Co-op and Lam­lash Church area.

The sergeant said that, while he had not been here, he was aware that there had been ‘a bit of an­i­mos­ity in the past’ but added: ‘It is a work in progress but I am aware time is press­ing.’

He said he had a meet­ing ar­ranged for next Wed­nes­day with North Ayr­shire Coun­cil and the or­gan­iser where he hoped fur­ther progress would be made.

Com­mu­nity coun­cil­lors ex­pressed their con­cern that the ar­range­ments ap­peared to be ‘last minute’ as had been the case in pre­vi­ous years. They also said that Ar­ranMan, de­spite re­ly­ing on vol­un­teers and the goodwill of the peo­ple, was one of the few events which did not make a con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity.

Chair­man Bill Calder­wood re­marked: ‘This is dis­ap­point­ing to say the least.’

Or­gan­iser Alan Anderson told the Ban­ner: ‘The Ar­ranMan team is proud to be re­turn­ing to the island for a fifth year. In the past five years more than 2,500 ath­letes and their fam­i­lies have spent their week­ends rac­ing or spec­tat­ing in Lam­lash. Prior to the first race very few triath­letes came to the island, now they reg­u­larly re­turn to train, to race, and bring their fam­i­lies on va­ca­tion.

‘Dis­cus­sions were had with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Visit Ar­ran and sev­eral lo­cal hote­liers to chose a suit­able date and Septem­ber week­end was agreed upon.

‘Fi­nal­is­ing the usual plans is tak­ing a bit longer than usual this year. The usual plan­ning meet­ings with North Ayr­shire Coun­cil and Po­lice Scot­land have taken place. Un­for­tu­nately in the past cou­ple of weeks a cou­ple of pro­posed site vis­its to fi­nalise plans for re­duc­ing the du­ra­tion and size of re­quested park­ing re­stric­tions have not hap­pened as de­sired due to key per­son­nel from our team, North Ayr­shire Coun­cil or Po­lice Scot­land be­ing un­avail­able due to ill­ness, be­ing off the island on train­ing cour­ses, or fam­ily be­reave­ment.

‘We have a meet­ing planned on the island next week with Po­lice Scot­land and North Ayr­shire Coun­cil to fi­nalise our plans, which this year are smaller than pre­vi­ously.’

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