Readers may remember that I recently visited Visions Leisure in Cumnock and heard first hand about the challenges they faced in the wake of Covid and rising costs, particularly the huge increase in energy costs to keep such a facility running.

I am pleased to note that East Ayrshire Council have agreed to continue their support of this excellent facility, both financially and practically.

Part of this support will involve looking at alternative energy sources to tackle the challenge of ever-increasing fuel costs as well as reducing carbon emissions and building a sustainable future for Visions. Such facilities are vital to the health and well being of the community and I wish Visions Leisure every success in the future.

Cumnock Chronicle: At Visions leisure centre

The cost-of-living crisis affects us all and as the weather turns colder many people worry about their energy costs. Winter Fuel Payments provide a crucial support for pensioners born before September 25, 1957, and if you are eligible for this payment, you should have already received a letter informing you how much you will get.

If you think you may be entitled to this payment but have not received a letter, the Winter Fuel Payment helpline is on 0800 731 0160. Additionally, there is lots of great advice and tips on keeping warm and well in winter available from

East Ayrshire Council’s ‘Warm welcome in your community’ page also provides a useful, interactive map of warm places in local communities where you can access a range of services which may include things like a café, Wi-Fi and charging points.

More information can be found at

Such initiatives provide a chance to connect with others for a blether: it is well-documented that the arrival of the darker nights and shorter days can have an adverse impact on our mental health and a simple chat can really improve our mood.

Your mental health is extremely important and if you are feeling down or depressed, please speak to someone you trust.

Alternatively contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258 or phone Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87. Do not deal with it on your own. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. It really isn’t.

Cumnock Chronicle: MP Allan Dorans with the Cylton BB debaters

During UK Parliament Week,  I was delighted to be invited to give a talk on my work as an MP in Westminster and in the constituency to the 1st Coylton Boys Brigade.

This was followed by a debate led by two of the boys and a vote on the subject of Homework, which ended in a tied vote. A very good exercise in democracy.

My thanks to the Leaders and volunteers of the Boys Brigade who give up their time to organise these fantastic activities for our young people. 

Aimed at keeping everyone safe over the festive period, please be aware that Police Scotland will soon be commencing their annual crackdown on people who drink and drive.

Drinking and driving is socially and legally unacceptable. Please do not risk everyone’s safety by drinking and driving.