Ar­ran bid to be first ‘no cold caller’ is­land

The Arran Banner - - Front Page - Hugh Boag editor@ar­ran­ban­

A ma­jor cam­paign has been launched to make Ar­ran the first ‘no cold caller’ is­land in Scot­land.

There are con­cerns that the is­land is seen as a soft touch for un­scrupu­lous work­men and bo­gus call­ers who tar­get Ar­ran’s age­ing pop­u­la­tion with RET fares mak­ing it cheaper to bring their vans across.

A pe­ti­tion has been launched to gauge sup­port for the ini­tia­tive which would see the whole is­land come to­gether to say ‘no’ to un­in­vited sales­peo­ple.

The plan would be to erect signs on the Ar­ran fer­ries an­nounc­ing that the whole of Ar­ran is a ‘no cold call­ing zone’. There would also be no­tices around the is­land and warn­ing stick­ers made avail­able for house­hold­ers to post to their front doors.

The cam­paign is be­ing spear­headed by Lam­lash res­i­dent Liz Rose, who is work­ing with Andy Moyni­han of North Ayr­shire Coun­cil Trad­ing Stan­dards.

It was a per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence by Liz of a cold caller at her home, that she shares with hus­band Mike, that prompted her to take ac­tion. ‘I had a sales­man at the door of­fer­ing green en­ergy grants and de­spite telling him I have a biomass boiler and so­lar pan­els he was in­sis­tent I could still qual­ify for more. I con­tacted Trad­ing Stan­dards and they told me they be­lieved he had not been gen­uine.

‘I want to make the res­i­dents of Ar­ran safer from bo­gus and fraud­u­lent call­ers and help them to have the con­fi­dence to say no to sales peo­ple and to warn rogue traders and cold call­ers they are not wel­come,’ she said.

Over the past month Liz has distributed pe­ti­tion forms around the is­land and has al­ready col­lected more than 200 sig­na­tures with more forms still go­ing out.

Liz said she has been given pos­i­tive sup­port by the var­i­ous is­land im­prove­ment as­so­ci­a­tions, ACVS, the SWI Fed­er­a­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives and var­i­ous shops and tea­rooms, all of whom she thanked

and gave a spe­cial thanks to Ash­ley in the Woo­leys shop in Lam­lash.

She gave an up­date on the cam­paign to Tues­day’s meet­ing of Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Coun­cil which pledged its sup­port.

A ‘no cold call­ing zone’ is es­tab­lished to pro­tect res­i­dents from un­wanted doorstep call­ers. They are de­signed to act as a de­ter­rent to stop busi­nesses cold call­ing in ar­eas that are clearly marked as no cold call­ing zones. The zones em­power res­i­dents to feel con­fi­dent about send­ing un­wanted call­ers away.

It in­volves a mas­sive ed­u­ca­tion and en­gage­ment ex­er­cise sup­ported by Trad­ing Stan­dards, Po­lice Scot­land and a range of part­ners.

It will start with door stick­ers and posters go­ing up across the is­land and in­for­ma­tion packs be­ing sent out to res­i­dents. The part­ners will look at ways the com­mu­nity can sup­port vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents and find vol­un­teers who will play ac­tive and im­por­tant roles in pro­vid­ing that help.

It is sim­i­lar to the Neigh­bour­hood Watch schemes which were set up across the UK in the 1980s – but fo­cus­ing on cold call­ers.

For the move to get the go-ahead, there must first be sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

While cold call­ing zones ex­ist across the UK, they are usu­ally within res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Coun­cil­lor Alex Gal­lagher, cabi­net mem­ber for econ­omy, said: ‘Crim­i­nals find it easy to come on to is­lands and then sim­ply get on a boat and leave with­out trace. There is fre­quently a pop­u­la­tion of el­derly res­i­dents on is­lands, which makes them an at­trac­tive place for crim­i­nals to tar­get.

‘We are try­ing to make Ar­ran a place that cold call­ers and scam­mers won’t want to visit.

‘If we have sup­port from the com­mu­nity, backed up with mes­sages dis­played ev­ery­where – on lamp­posts and peo­ple’s doors – it will send a mes­sage that cold call­ers are not wel­come in Ar­ran.

‘The out­come is then a re­duc­tion in over­all crime, in­clud­ing less doorstep crime and dis­trac­tion sneak thefts.’

Zones are se­lected on the ba­sis of risk and res­i­dent de­mand or en­thu­si­asm.

The move will be dis­cussed at the next Lo­cal­ity Plan­ning Part­ner­ship meet­ing and the coun­cil hopes it can move things for­ward early next year.


Liz Rose with the pe­ti­tion sig­na­tures she has col­lected so far.


The door sticker warn­ing sign.

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