Minutes of Meeting held at Lismore Public Hall at 16.00

Thursday 17 February 2005  


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

Councillor Elaine Robertson was also in attendance    

Minutes of Meetings held 19 January  and 02 February 2005

 Proposed by Donnie MacCormick, seconded by Archie MacGillivray and agreed that minutes of the meeting held 19 January 2005 be adopted as a correct record.  

Proposed from Chair, seconded by Donnie MacCormick and agreed that minutes of the meeting held 02 February 2005 be adopted as a correct record.    

Matters Arising from Minutes of Meeting Held 19 January 2005  

Donnie MacCormick confirmed that A&BC had dealt with trees endangering cemetery walls.  

Secretary had written on 26.01.05 to A&BC Head of Roads and Amenity Services asking for a meeting to discuss the reliability of the Port Appin ferry service. No reply had been received.  

Secretary had spoken to Lorna MacKinnon (A&BC Community Transport Officer about the undertaking of a survey of the transport needs of the presidents of Lismore. Ms MacKinnon was happy to attend a meeting with LCC to discuss the matter. Secretary had suggested that such a meeting would be best held after the election of a new LCC. This proposal was agreed.  

Secretary had attended, as an observer, site inspection at Clachan by Scottish Executive Reporter on 15.02.05 in connection with the planning appeal by the Fell Trustees Estate against refusal of planning permission for the development of three individual house sites.  

Secretary apologised for having failed in adequate time to circulate items of correspondence to appropriate island interest groups on such matters physical activities, Protection of Children Act,   

Petrol Supplies  

Chair ruled that the service of a Prohibition Order by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency the previous day, which had the effect of immediately preventing the Lismore from carrying petrol or any other goods, was of sufficient urgency to be discussed without prior inclusion in the agenda.  

A vote of thanks to Duncan Black for volunteering to collect the current week’s petrol order was warmly approved.  

Secretary reported on telephone conversations he had had with A&BC officials and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, in an attempt to find out how a resolution, which would enable petrol supplies to resume, might be brought about – even in the short term. He had also opened discussions with CalMac and fuel suppliers with a view to exploring other possible supply routes.  

The MCA had indicated that they were willing to examine, as a matter of urgency, a proposal by the ferry operator (A&BC) for a short-term relaxation of the prohibition order. This advice had been passed on to A&BC officials. Advice from A&BC officials, via Councillor Robertson, indicated that they did not believe that a short-term arrangement with the MCA would be possible. Community Council members and members of the public in attendance were adamant that Argyll and Bute Council must not spare any effort to reach at least a short-term accommodation with the MCA and that for the matter to rest in the “too difficult filing tray” was not acceptable.  

The Community Council would continue to collaborate in the exploration of all possible avenues to find a solution to both the short and medium term supply problems. Councillor Robertson assured the LCC that she, personally, and A&BC officials were not sparing any effort to find a solution, not only to the petrol supply problem but the carriage of other “goods” (including bicycles).


Lismore Ferry Services  

Point – Port Appin Ferry – Safety and Manning Levels  

Secretary had received response from A&BC Area Manager, Roads and Amenity Services, dated19 January 2005, confirming that current manning levels on Point – Port Appin ferry conformed to Maritime and Coastguard Agency requirements and that safety standards were satisfactory.  

Review of A&BC Owned Ferry Services  

Latest advice from A&BC on progress with its review of Council-owned ferries was that review would be put out to public consultation in March 2005.  


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

Secretary had sent LCC’s formal response to the consultation paper on 14 February 2005.  Copies had been sent to Councillor Robertson, A&BC, George Lyon and all Scottish MEPs. Agreed to a request from a member of the public that a copy of the response be placed in Lismore Stores for public perusal.  

In response to a question from the public as to what remit LCC had for “rejecting” the offer of a Loch class replacement ferry to serve Lismore, it was explained that no such rejection had been made. The Community Council had merely asked the SE not to commit to making capital investment in harbour works at Achnacroish and Oban until the island residents had a further opportunity for establishing a consensus on which of the future ferry service options it wished to have provided for the future.  

Further questions from the public related to why the Community Council was seeking a further demonstration of residents’ support for one future ferry service option when it had the results of the September/ October survey. Secretary explained that it was the Community Council’s position that the last survey was, despite the considerable efforts made to bring about clarity of the weight of opinion on the island, less than wholly reliable for two reasons. The first reason was the introduction of Option A (vehicle ferry at north end with passenger ferry direct to Oban) which A&BC were on record as stating was not on offer – there was anecdotal reason to believe that this had confused some respondents. Secondly the use of first, second and least preference format had, again anecdotally, introduced confusion amongst respondents. In order that a further test of opinion on the subject could be arranged the Community Council had thought it necessary first to establish more information about the option for change (in particular fare levels and service pattern) for any relocation of the vehicle-carrying service.  

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

In response to LCC’s appeal for assistance in obtaining more detailed information from the Scottish Executive concerning the options for future patterns of ferry service, George Lyon had replied that it was for A&BC to provide the information and offered to press the Council to carry out the necessary work to make the information available,  

Secretary had replied, expressing some surprise about the suggestion that A&BC should be responsible for providing information on a possible relocation of a service underwritten by the Executive, but asking him to do anything he could to hasten the provision of information to assist island residents come to a consensus as to the most appropriate future service provision.  

In the absence of the sought after guidance from the Scottish Executive, Councillor Robertson tabled details of the fares and service pattern relating to the Colintrive – Rhubodach CalMac service, which A&BC officials deemed to be the most appropriate comparator in connection with a possible future vehicle-carrying service between Point and Port Appin. Details as follows: -


10 car journey tickets                        £42.00 + driver

10 journey passenger tickets            £7.55

single passenger ticket                      £0.95

single car ticket                                  £5.30


first ferry                                             05.45





then “frequently” (waiting time no more than 25 minutes)

until                                                     18.40



last ferry                                              20.00  


Out-of-Hours GP Cover  

Secretary had sent letter, dated 26.01.05, to Argyll and Clyde NHS about out-of-hours GP services. No reply received to date.  

Chair, indicating that she was expressing the concern of the Primary Care team, was anxious about whether the perceived deterioration of the current Port Appin ferry service could presage the withdrawal of the service and that closure of that route would have a major impact on how medical services would be provided to Lismore, quite apart from other obvious implications. If the Port Appin ferry service were to be withdrawn she believed that primary care services to the island could no longer be supplied from the Port Appin practice.  


Reply, dated 21.01.05, received from Mrs. Gemma Cummins, Oban Registrar saying that she would discuss with the A&B Senior Registrar LCC’s request that a registrar for Lismore be recruited following Barbara MacDougall’s retirement. Councillor Robinson reported a conversation she had had with Mrs. Cummings in which she learned that a new electronic registration service would become operational in 2005 in all full-time Registrar’s offices. Candidates for any registrar post would need to undertake a fairly lengthy training process and two persons would be required to ensure constant availability.  


Any Other Competent Business  

Pauline Dowling (Chair of Lismore School Board) indicated that the Board might seek the support of the Community Council in making representations to A&BC in respect of the future use of the schoolhouse. Ms. Dowling assure all present that there was no foundation to rumours that A&BC intended to sell the house.  

Date of Next Meetings  

The next full meeting was fixed for 19.00 on Thursday 03 March 2005. This date was subsequently changed to Wednesday 02 March 2005 to enable attendance by Councillor Ian Gillies, A&BC Islands spokesman.

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