Minutes of Meeting held at Lismore Public Hall at 19.00

Wednesday 17 November 2004  


Mairi Perkins (chair), Duncan Livingstone, Donnie MacCormick, John MacFadyen, Archie MacGillivray, Mark Willis, Julian Wormleighton



Councillor Elaine Robertson was unable to attend because weather conditions may have prevented the operation of the ferry for her return to the mainland.


Minutes of Meeting held 27 October 2004  

Proposed by Mairi Perkins, seconded by Donnie MacCormick and agreed that, subject to the addition of the following paragraph (to be inserted before the last paragraph under the heading “Survey – Lismore Ferry Services”), minutes of the meeting held 27 October 2004 be adopted as a correct record.  

Councillor Robertson gave a summary of her personal involvement in this issue over the past 18 months and answered a number of questions. She reminded the meeting of the efforts she and Argyll and Bute Council officials had made since summer 2003 to ensure that the options for ferry services were precisely defined and supported by both Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Executive. She emphasised that the option (Option A in the recent survey) introduced by Lismore Community Council, was not supported by A&BC.   


Matters Arising from Minutes of Meeting Held 06 October 2004  

Secretary had sent letters on the following subjects, as instructed at the 27.10.04 meeting:

            to Duncan Gunn and Sons re: petrol supplies  

to A&BC re: roads maintenance with particular reference to Salen road, Fiart road and Baligrundle and Kilcheran potholes.  

Secretary reported that Councillor Robertson had received from Neil Brown an acknowledgement that his earlier claim that repair works had been carried out on the Salen road in late August was incorrect. Mr. Brown had also advised that one reason for the delay in attending to repairs was that the plate compactor to be used was undergoing repair. The compactor was now serviceable and arrangements had been made for A&BC’s local contractor to undertake repairs.


Survey – Lismore Ferry Services  

The specific purpose of this meeting was to decide what action the Community Council should take on this issue following the wide-ranging discussion at the 27 October 2004 meeting.  

Chair reported that she had received a request from Davie Meddes that he be permitted to expand on his suggestion, made at the 27 October meeting, that a survey be undertaken to establish all aspects of the transport needs of all residents of Lismore. Mr. Meddes was invited to address the meeting.  

Mr. Meddes explained that the background to his proposal was his past participation (on behalf of Lismore Community Transport) in the North Lorn Transport Forum, which had addressed all aspects of transport need in the area. Membership of the Forum had included three members of A&BC.  As an example of the Forum’s activity he referred to the launch of a coordinated car-sharing project (Rural transport Development Project), for which funding had been obtained to engage a full-time coordinator.  

In Mr. Meddes’ view it was inappropriate to attempt to resolve the issue of how future ferry services should be provided without an detailed understanding of the overall transport needs of all those on the island, and he felt that it was unreasonable of A&BC to expect Lismore residents to make a choice of ferry provision without consideration first being given to establishing wider transport needs.  

Mr. Meddes tabled sample responses, such as might be obtained from participants in a transport needs survey, and suggested that the Community Council asked A&BC to arrange for resources (whether funded directly by A&BC or from another source) to be secured to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the transport needs of Lismore residents. He also suggested that a member of N. Lorn Transport Forum be invited to a future Community Council meeting to offer the benefit of their knowledge and experience.  

Secretary reported on a lengthy telephone conversation with Councillor Duncan MacIntyre (A&BC Transport spokesperson) in which Mr. MacIntyre:  

emphasised that A&BC does not regard “Option A” (in the recent survey) as deliverable.  

claimed that the Transport Minister and Scottish Executive officials do not regard “Option A” as available. Secretary questioned this claim, citing correspondence sent to the Community Council by S.E. officials on behalf of the Minister, in which there had been no reference to the unacceptability of this option.  

drew attention to A&BC’s current Review of Council Owned Ferry Services, due to be discussed at the December meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee.  

wondered whether, before any further consideration of the options by Lismore residents, he and A&BC officials (and, possibly, S.E. officials) should attend a meeting on the island to spell out what options they regard as deliverable.

Agreed that Secretary should draft, and circulate to all members for approval prior to sending, a letter to the Transport Minister asking for his view on the possibility that an “Option A” ferry service was achievable. He was also to be asked his view of the obligation on A&BC to continue to provide a Point – Port Appin passenger service in the event that the Lismore – Oban vehicle ferry service is retained. Reference to be made in the letter to the absence of a clear indication, from the recent survey, of the ferry service solution preferred by the majority on Lismore, and the need for clarity as to what range of options were genuinely available. Reference also to be made to the preference for an “Option A” solution expressed by the majority of those at the well-attended LCC meeting on 27 October 2004.    

Agreed that a letter be sent to Councillor Robertson asking her to advise on the availability of resources to undertake a survey of islanders’ transport needs, on the lines suggested by Mr. Meddes.  

Other Business

Chairman agreed, on the basis of urgency, to consideration of the following two additional items of business, not included on the agenda.  

Revised Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils within Argyll and Bute – Agreed that A&BC be informed that Lismore Community Council wishes to take advantage of the “additional member” option provided for in the revised scheme. This will result in the number of elected members remaining at seven.  

Retirement of John Livingstone from chairmanship of Community Council – Agreed that a letter be sent to John Livingstone thanking him for his many years of service on the Community Council.


Dates for Next Meetings  

The next two meetings will be held at Lismore Public Hall at 19.00 on

16 December 2004 and 20 January 2005. It is possible that the 16 December meeting may be cancelled nearer the time if no response has by then been received from the Transport Minister.

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