The back of this leaflet has several notices but the one I focused on was the “Poor Fund”. It mentions;
“In course of this month we expect to send out to the poor our supply of coals. The interest of the Crawford legacy has been apportioned by the Poor Fund Committee and given to widows in necessitous circumstances. The annual collection for the poor will be taken as usual in January 1909.”
And under the heading of “Charity Concert”;
“As we are all aware, there is a great deal of poverty in the town at the present time. It is arranged that a Miscellaneous Concert will be given in the Assembly Hall on Wednesday evening, 23rd December. It is hoped that a sufficient sum may be realised so that the deserving children in the town may be supplied with boots. Kindly keep the concert in mind.”
When I first read this, I was shocked at the levels of poverty in Ardrossan in 1909 and I included a photo of some barefoot kids on Princes Street around this time.
So imagine my surprise when I read a short article in the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald a few weeks ago under the heading “Foodbank” which read;
“Due to the current shortages of a significant portion of items required to go into a food box, the North Ayrshire Foodbank (based in Ardrossan) are advising their voucher issuing agencies and food box hosts that they are currently unable to fulfil requested orders.”
The foodbank hoped to resolve this via a “promised donation” and they hoped to “harvest donations from church and school services”.
It is utterly shocking that in the 110 years between the first article I found in the Barony St John and the foodbank article in last month’s newspaper, that we have not eradicated poverty in Ardrossan.
According to the foodbank’s Facebook page, they gave out 5,124 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis LAST YEAR ALONE.
You can turn a blind eye to all this poverty and have as many gala days, music events and fun parks as you want but the reality is, Ardrossan needs jobs. Ardrossan needs a cohesive economic development plan to bring tourists, visitors and businesses to Ardrossan.
Why hasn’t this happened?
As I’ve asked you to do over the last few weeks, anytime you hear of huge amounts of money being spent on projects, ask your local councillor what’s in it for Ardrossan? What’s in it for YOU? Will YOUR business benefit from increased sales? Will the town benefit from more visitors spending in our local shops? Will there be jobs for the unemployed so they don’t have to visit a foodbank for emergency supplies of food?
If the answer is “No”, ask for the money to be spent on a project that does generate economic benefit to our area. One that does bring jobs to the town.
Goodbye for now.