OUR latest councillor column comes from Saltcoats and Stevenston SNP Councillor Davina McTiernan.

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Cost of living crisis

One of the issues most-frequently raised with me recently has been the very real problems created for local people by disastrous financial decisions taken by Tory politicians in London. We know who caused the ‘cost of living crisis’, but that doesn’t make dealing with it any easier.

Many local people are struggling to make ends meet, some having to choose between heating their homes and eating. In the 21st Century, that local people are having to endure such conditions is an absolute disgrace. I fully support our council’s initiatives to help local people, including with energy costs. If you need help or advice, please go to the North Ayrshire Council website and click on ‘Cost of Living Support’ or, if you live in Saltcoats and Stevenston, you can contact me directly – davinamctiernan@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

TASS Thistle – asset transfer

It will be great to see local youngsters beginning to benefit from the asset transfer of land at Ardeer Quarry Football Ground.

It was a long process before the land could be transferred into the ownership of TASS Community Sports. TASS Thistle has been at the heart of youth football in the local area since 1984, and the transfer will provide stability going forward, in terms of securing their own pitches and training areas, which will allow the club to focus on what they do best, developing the skills and talents of our next generation of young footballers.

I look forward to many years of youth football at Ardeer, and to young boys and girls from the Three Towns, and beyond, using and benefiting from the facilities.

I would also like to thank everyone who worked to make this asset transfer happen.

READ MORE: Boost for Three Towns football club as ownership transfer of playing fields agreed

Bridge to the beach

I have been very concerned by the decision to permanently close the footbridge giving access to Stevenston beach from the nearby car-park.

Council officers have advised me that years of coastal erosion have undermined the structure, specifically the steps on the beach side. The cost of repairs have been deemed prohibitive. That being the case, I have asked officials to look at alternative solutions, including an all-abilities access point, so that locals and visitors can continue to enjoy our beach.

READ MORE: Stevenston beach bridge damaged in storm to be closed for good

Stevenston Community Hub

I am absolutely delighted that last week – February 18 – saw the opening of the fabulous new ‘Doon the Beach’ community hub in Stevenston.

The opening marks the culmination of some very hard work by a lot of local people, including mother and daughter duo Elizabeth and Margaret Sweeney, and the late and much-missed Shirley Morgan.

The hub, located next to the swing-park on Shore Road, contains a cafe that will be open daily between 9am and 5pm, Sunday 10am until 4pm.

I am particularly pleased that the hub will be a genuine community asset, with space available for local groups and clubs to rent for meetings. It is also intended that work-experience opportunities will be provided for pupils from the town’s Lockhart Campus.

I look forward to the ‘Doon the Beach’ hub serving the local community for many years and offer my congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.

READ MORE: Local politicians hail team behind 'fabulous' Stevenston beach hub cafe as it opens