Our community received three bits of bad news last month regarding Ayr Town Centre.

The first was the closure of the historic cinema at Burns Statue Square; the second the vandals who trashed the Arran Mall; and the third the decision of Unity Grill to close its doors.

I was shocked to hear of the Odeon’s sudden decision, which was taken with no public consultation. The cinema at Burns Statue Square is a historic staple of our town and to see it close would be devastating for so many.

I have written to the chief executive of Odeon to call on him to consult with the local community and South Ayrshire Council to find alternative options to save the cinema.

Likewise, the news that Arran Mall has been vandalised was deeply saddening and angering. My thoughts go out to all the local businesses and storage unit owners who have been impacted by this.

I have called on South Ayrshire Council to put proper security measures in place to prevent this from happening in the future.

Had the council gone ahead with the plans for a new leisure centre to rejuvenate the top end of our town, this vandalism would not have occurred.

I was really sorry to hear the news of the closure of Unity Grill. Angela opened Unity Grill as a social enterprise to help battle food poverty locally back in 2018.

Social enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental purpose, and whose profits are re-invested into fulfilling their mission. Their aim is to empower communities, tackle social problems and create jobs.

After a lot of challenges and a lot of hard work, Unity Grill quickly became a highly respected social enterprise model across Scotland and a very popular local restaurant in Ayr Town Centre. Good luck to Angela and the team on their next adventure, but boy, will you be missed!

I have spoken many times in Parliament debates and my local newspaper columns about the need for politicians to put progress ahead of politics and take meaningful action to see the town centre flourish again. Unfortunately, the Conservative administration at South Ayrshire Council appears to be content with overseeing a managed decline of the once bustling hub.

With some imagination and ambition, we could see Ayr busy and prospering. The time for endless consultations is long gone. It is time to get on with the job at hand and transform the town centre to make it a hub for our community and attract people from all over the country. With some work, we will unleash Ayr’s true potential.

We desperately need a long-term plan for the town. But the Conservatives have failed at coming up with one. So, I call once again for all politicians at South Ayrshire Council to step up and save our town!