Last week’s meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s Three Towns and Arran Area Committee heard a representative of the Irvine Bay Regeneration Company explain that the return of Saltcoats Victoria to Campbell Park would not have been possible without the intervention of local Independent councillor Ronnie McNicol.
The regeneration company’s James Ledgerwood told the meeting how Cllr McNicol had brought together Irvine Bay and Saltcoats Vics secretary Gordon Hunter, a meeting that ultimately led to the securing of £55,000 to purchase new dressing rooms for the junior football club.
The length of time the Seasiders had to play home games at the Ardeer Stadium in Stevenston remains a major sore point, with some fans taking to online forums to vent their anger at those the believe are to blame, principally club president Raymond Montgomerie and his brother, Labour councillor Jim Montgomerie.
As previously reported by the3towns, one poster to a junior football site wrote, “From what I hear, it was not the Council who were the problem about Saltcoats getting back to Campbell Park. There was a slight hiccup over the power supply, but the main problem is Saltcoats signing the lease from the Council over the demands of a certain office bearer, whose brother is vice president and has just been elected a councillor for the ruling Labour Party. One would have thought he would have been able to smooth things over. Who would have believed a politician not delivering on promises a few weeks after being elected?”
Another Saltcoats fan added, “My finger points at the chairman, that bloke Raymond Montgomerie, who only appears at games when the success starts to show...even though I've noticed the same bloke in every picture in the paper and websites representing the development of Campbell Park. I'm aware it was the committee and volunteers down at the park with paintbrushes - I never once saw Montgomerie. He has torn apart a strong management/playing team and solid club.”