Minutes of Meeting held at Lismore Public Hall at 19.00

Wednesday 19 January 2005  


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 meant that the ferryman could not guarantee a late ferry for her return to the mainland.  


Minutes of Meeting held 16 December 2004  

Proposed by Donnie MacCormick, seconded by Duncan Livingstone and agreed that minutes of the meeting held 16 December 2004 be adopted as a correct record.  


Matters Arising from Minutes of Meeting Held 16 December 2004  

Secretary had written to Moira Newiss, asking that LCC be given the opportunity for attending future meetings of the North Argyll Health Forum. The next meeting of the Forum is scheduled for Monday 21.02.05 at 18.30 in the Lecture Theatre of Lorn and the Isles DG Hospital.  In the absence of any other volunteer, the secretary agreed to attend if possible.  

Secretary had written to AS&BC concerning tree growth endangering the cemetery walls. No reply received to date but Councillor Robertson had advised that Sandra Duncan of A&BC was attending to the matter. (Subsequent to the meeting secretary received a telephone call from A&BC confirming that the trees had been inspected and would be dealt with before the grass-cutting season commenced).  


Reliability of Point – Port Appin Ferry Service

 Chair had telephoned Stewart Turner (A&BC Head of Roads & Amenity Services) to express widespread concern on the island about the apparent deterioration, over recent weeks, of the reliability of the ferry service. Mr Turner had responded by letter in which he acknowledged that the number of complaints received by the A&BC had markedly increased since October 2004 but that he felt that he considered the level of service provided by A&BC “to be an acceptable provision”.

Mr Turner also challenged the Chair’s assertion that this ferry was a lifeline service, as “a subjective opinion”. Mr. Turner indicated that specific records on reliability couldn’t easily be accessed.  

Agreed that LCC write to Mr. Turner asking him to meet with the Community Council so that the justification for breaks in ferry service could be properly examined and understood, and to explore any means by which reliability might be improved. Before such a meeting users of the ferry would be asked to record for discussion, details of occasions upon which interruption of the service, other than for reasons of severe weather, had disrupted their journeys.  


Lismore Ferry Services


Point – Port Appin Ferry – Safety and Manning Levels  

|Secretary had written to A&BC on 06.01.05 expressing LCC’s concern about the safety of the one-man operation of the ferry, particularly during the hours of darkness. LCC was aware that the permit issued by the Marine and Coastguard Agency for the “Lismore” stated that the number of crew was 2.  

No formal response had been received fro A&BC but secretary had received a telephone call from Neil Brown who gave an assurance that the operation was in accordance with the permit issued by MCA when fewer than 12 passengers were being conveyed. Secretary had separately obtained similar assurance direct from MCA. The requirement for a crew of two, the MCA advised, only applied to the carriage of passengers above that number.


Review of A&BC Owned Ferry Services  

Secretary understood from A&BC that the draft review would be circulated for consultation within the following month or so. He had been advised that the draft proposals contained no indication of an intention to withdraw the Point – Port Appin service.  

Information Requested from the Minister for Transport in Relation to Ferry Options  

A response to LCC’s letter of 20.11.04 to the Minister for Transport had been received from a Scottish Executive official in the Maritime State Aids Unit of the Department of Transport which stated that none of the detailed information requested was available because no cost-benefit appraisals had been undertaken for any of the various options.  

Secretary had forwarded a copy of the SE letter to George Lyon with a request that he assist in pressing the Minister or his department for the additional information LCC requires. An email received from G. Lyon indicated that he would reply in the current week.


Correspondence – Stuart Ross / George Lyon  

Mr. Ross had requested that LCC wrote to George Lyon to clarify Mr. Lyon’s understanding of the results of earlier surveys of island residents’ opinion on the most desirable future pattern of ferry services. He wished Mr. Lyon’s contention, that the CADISPA study and the initial Scottish Executive consultation process concerning tendering of Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services had indicated the community opting for the status quo, to be challenged.  

Secretary instructed to write to G. Lyon to state that whilst of dubious value, because of its over-simple single question on the subject, the CADISPA study had indicated 54.9% respondents favouring the move of the car ferry to the Port Appin route. Furthermore the original Cal Mac tendering consultation exercise had not been publicised as relevant to a possible north end ferry and so the response to that consultation could not be regarded as a measure of island opinion on this matter.  

Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services – Draft Service Specification – SE Consultation  

Copies of the consultation document had been received and circulated to all members and a copy placed for public inspection at Lismore Stores. Formal responses were to be made before 16 March 2005 but A&BC had requested a copy of LCC’s response, for consideration in preparing its own, by 11 February 2005. Agreed a special LCC meeting be held at 19.00 on Thursday 27 January solely for the purpose of considering its response.


Shipping Services Advisory Committee (South)


Secretary had sent email (13.01.05) to A&BC Transportation Manager reminding him that no satisfactory answers had been received to the points of criticism of Lismore – Oban service, which LCC had asked to be raised at the meeting held on 22 September 2004.  


Transport Needs Survey  

Councillor Robertson had advised that Lorna MacKinnon (A&BC Community Transport Officer) was the appropriate contact to further explore the scope for a transport needs survey. Arrangements to be made for Miss MacKinnon to be invited to attend a future LCC meeting to discuss.  


Out-of-Hours GP Cover  

Agreed that draft letter circulated to members by secretary on 14.01.05 should be sent to Argyll and Clyde NHS, and copied to Drs. McNicol and Howlett.  



Letter received from A&BC regarding Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004, requesting an assessment of the extent and types of antisocial behaviour experienced in our area. Agreed that reply be sent indicating that any rare and minor problems were dealt with satisfactorily locally, generally in collaboration with the island school.  

Letter received from A&BC requesting the completion of a questionnaire to inform the development of the Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy. Agreed that copies of the questionnaire be sent to the school, Badminton Club, Bowls Club, Country Dancing Club, and Shinty Club for completion and submission direct to A&BC.  

Letter received from Argyll CVS concerning the Protection of Children Act 2003 and a series of training events for any bodies who run a club or group for children and young people under 18, and who appoint workers to childcare positions. Agreed copies be sent to Shinty Club, Youth Club and Badminton Club.  

Letters dated 15.12.04 had been received by each member from DM MacKinnon, with reference to a planning appeal by the Fell Trustees against refusal of planning permission for three housing sites at Clachan. A letter from the Scottish Executive’s Inquiry Reporters Unit had been received, advising of the date for a Reporter’s site inspection in connection with the appeal and inviting LCC’s attendance. No response to be made to MacKinnon letters. Secretary agreed to attend site inspection in an observer capacity only.  

Letter received from Scottish Ambulance Service indicating main issues raised by consultees on new Air Ambulance Contract proposals and the consequent actions to be taken by the Service. Also acknowledgement of LCC response to the consultation received.  

Letter from Alan Reid asking to be informed if no improvement in road maintenance is noted.  

Notice received of next meeting of A&BC on 20.01.05  

Secretary had sent the following letters:

To Mrs Gemma Cummins, Registrar in Oban, asking that a successor to Barbara MacDougall be recruited as Registrar for Lismore. No reply received to date.  

To Barbara MacDougall thanking her for the service she had provided to the island in her capacity as Registrar.  

To Dr. Iain McNicol congratulating him on the award of an MBE.  


Any Other Competent Business  

Councillor Robertson had indicated that she would hold a surgery on the island on12 February, at the Hall. Time to be confirmed.  

Secretary to write to Sandra Duncan (A&BC) to confirm that Lismore was still wanting glass-recycling facilities on the island.  

Chair announced that two part time (18 hours/week) outreach workers were to be recruited under the aegis of the Stay Put Project. The Project also to supply a car suitably equipped to carry disabled passengers, for use on the island. The scheme is expected to be operational by 01.04.05. Chair paid tribute to the efforts made by Councillor Robertson in ensuring that Lismore was included in the project.  

At the suggestion of Duncan Livingstone, secretary to enquire of A&BC what the current arrangements are for removal of scrap vehicles from the island.  


Questions from the Public  

Duncan Black gave details of Appin Ferry cancellations on 17.01.05, preventing the doctor from holding his surgery, and on Christmas Eve, preventing the Minister from taking the Watch night Service.  

John Carmichael asked when the Fiart road was to be brought up to a reasonable standard. Archie MacGillivray responded that he had instructions to carry out maintenance on the road with type 1 material but that he would have to wait for dryer weather conditions.  

Jim MacCormick asked whether the Jura ferry was still on offer by A&BC for use to provide a vehicle-carrying service between Point and Port Appin. (Post Meeting Note: - the proposal by A&BC for transfer of this ferry to Lismore was part of a submission to the Scottish Executive for capital investment funding which the SE had declined.)  

Davie Meddes questioned whether some of the reliability issues concerning the Port Appin ferry were attributable to the inadequacy of the ferry tender.  

John Raymond asked why the Port Appin ferry had become unreliable over the previous six weeks.


Date of Next Meetings  

A special meeting to be held at 19.00 on Wednesday 02 February 2005 to formulate LCC response to C&H Ferry Services consultation.  

The next full meeting to be held at 16.00 on Thursday 17 February 2005 . This earlier time is designed to facilitate attendance by Councillor Robertson, without need for reliance upon late ferries.

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