ARRAN could be set for exemption from new parking charges that will be introduced across North Ayrshire.

Last week all three Ardrossan and Arran Councillors lodged a call-in to the council’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee asking for Brodick to be taken out of the plans for charges for car parking and the decriminalisation of parking enforcement.

As things stand, there are no paid for spaces on the island and councillors believe the island is different to the mainland and that the police should remain in charge of parking, instead of the return of traffic wardens like the rest of North Ayrshire.

The call-in, which was agreed by the committee, was proposed by Councillors Billings, Gurney and McMaster.

Cllr McMaster said: “Introducing charges to Brodick would have a detrimental effect on the people of Arran and those who rely on our lifeline ferry services as well as getting to the only supermarket on the island.”

Cllr Billings explained to the committee and council officers why the island is different and the introductions and displacement of spaces would have a detrimental effect on the islands residents and tourists alike.

North Ayrshire Council’s Leader, Joe Cullinane, stood in for Cabinet Member for Place Jim Montgomerie and said that the money raised from the charges would have to come from somewhere else if the call-in was agreed.

And Council Officer Russell McCutcheon said: “This issues is based on lots of research across the county.

“There are two reasons for the introduction, 1. To generate income and 2. For traffic and parking controls across the whole of North Ayrshire.”

But SNP Councillor Alan Hill noted that the financial differences between having Arran in or out of the scheme would be minimal and moved that the call-in was accepted.

His motion was seconded by Irvine Councillor Margaret George and it passed after a vote, with Audit and Scrutiny Chair Marie Burns casting the deciding vote after a tie.

The decision will now be fed back to North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet in late August 2019.