Minutes of Meeting held at Lismore Public Hall at 19.00

Wednesday 02 March 2005  


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

Also in attendance were Councillors Elaine Robertson and Ian Gillies, Neil Brown (A&BC Area Manager, Roads and Amenity Services), Dr Iain McNicol and Euan Patterson of the Oban Times.  


Alastair and Valerie Livingstone  

Minutes of Meetings held 17 February 2005  

Proposed by Mark Willis, seconded by Donnie MacCormick and agreed that minutes of the meeting held 17 February 2005 be adopted as a correct record.


Lismore Ferry Services  

Petrol Supplies  

Roger Dixon-Spain and his team of volunteers were thanked for successfully securing the first delivery of petrol via Foster Yeoman.  

Foster Yeoman’s offer of assistance with shipping petrol supplies from Port Appin to Lismore is strictly short term, to allow a longer-term solution to be found. The company has agreed to provide the service until the end of the month. Councillor Robertson understood that Foster Yeoman were now willing to carry more petrol than that needed solely by the medical and other emergency services, and that A&BC was currently meeting the cost of this service. A&BC had a meeting arranged with Foster Yeoman on the 14 March at which they will establish the scope for extending the arrangement for carrying petrol to Lismore, in the absence of a longer-term arrangement being put in place before the end of March.

Secretary to write to Foster Yeoman thanking them for their assistance in meeting the island’s immediate needs.  

Since the public meeting called by the Community Council on 22 February, the Community Council had written to the Chief Executive, A&BC, to ask the council to take the initiative in finding a sustainable solution to the supply of petrol to the island.  

Neil Brown confirmed that the MCA and its predecessor did know about the established practice of bringing petrol supplies to the island via the Port Appin ferry. Mr Brown apologised for not having formally communicated to the Community Council that a Prohibition Notice had been served.  

Mr. Brown had discussed with the MCA the scope for permitting the resumption of petrol supplies via the Port Appin ferry in the short term, but was advised that the vessel was fundamentally unsuitable and that the nature of adaptations which would make it suitable would be extensive to say the least and would not allow a solution within a short time span.  

Councillor Robertson had requested Councillor Gillies’ assistance in seeking a solution to the petrol supply crisis. Cllr. Gillies had written to and telephoned the MCA’s Senior Marine Superintendent at Glasgow, Captain S. Grewal.  He had received a written response from Ian MacRae, of the MCA’s Southampton office, which explained the background to the service of the Prohibition Order, declined to agree to a two month period of latitude on the use of MV Lismore whilst other arrangements were put in hand, and indicated that it was unlikely that the MV Lismore would be able to comply with the requirements for the issue of a Document of Compliance for the carriage of dangerous goods.  

Cllr Gillies referred to a similar crisis experienced on the Isle of Coll, when the Army had taken petrol to the island. It was suggested that it might be worth approaching the Army to ask whether it could assist Lismore. Secretary was also asked to renew his attempts to discuss with Scottish Sea Farms (South Shian) whether they might be able to assist with an interim solution.  

Cllr. Robertson confirmed that Mull Building Supplies (CalMac’s appointed freight carrier) were unwilling to undertake the carriage of petrol in cans from a filling station to the ferry terminal and across to Lismore, and she agreed to speak to A&BC’s Petroleum Officer in the search for an medium-term solution.  

In answer to a question about the possibility of Lismore developing a project to install a community-owned bulk petrol tank and pump, Cllrs. Robertson and Gillies confirmed that A&BC and officials would provide support for fast-tracking the necessary formal applications for local authority approval. Dr. McNicol added that he thought that Appin Community Enterprise would probably offer to assist such a scheme, financially and with other support.  

Dr. McNicol made it known that there was no threat to the continuity of medical services on the island as a result of the petrol supply problems. Mrs.Yeoman had assured him that she would not allow any interruption of primary care facilities for want of petrol.  

Point – Port Appin Ferry – Operation by Foster Yeoman  

Mr. Brown confirmed that A&BC had been in negotiation with Foster Yeoman in connection with the extension of their contract for the operation of the ferry service but that F-Y had now indicated formally that it would cease undertaking the operation from 01 April 2005. A&BC would operate the ferry with its own resources until tenders for a new contract were invited and a new operator appointed (sometime in the summer).  

It was noted that the current contract conditions made no provision for out-of-hours call-out to meet medical or veterinary emergencies. Mr. Brown agreed to consider the incorporation of such provisions in any new contract.  

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

Secretary had sent a second letter, dated 21.02.05, to the Executive providing information about the number of passages with hay lorries, omitted from the initial formal response.  

Copies of both formal response letters had been placed in Lismore Stores for reference by the public, together with details of the Scottish Executive address to which anyone was entitled to respond to the consultation. Cllr. Robertson urged everyone to make their views, on the most appropriate future provision of ferry services to serve the island, known individually to the Scottish Executive before the consultation closing date of 16 March 2005.  

Questioned about the long-term security of the passenger ferry service between Point and Port Appin, Cllr. Robertson stated that she could give no guarantee that it would be operated by A&BC for all time. Cllr. Gillies stated that he had never heard any suggestion that the service would be withdrawn.  

Dr. McNicol advised that if there was, at any future date, a withdrawal of a ferry service between Point and Port Appin then the provision of medical services to the island by the Port Appin practice would not be sustainable and primary care services would have to be provided from Oban.  

Mr. Brown indicated that if it were decided that the vehicle-carrying service was to be moved to the Point to Port Appin route it would probably take 2 to 3 years to implement.  

A motion was proposed by Donnie MacCormick and seconded by Johnny MacFadyen, to the effect that the Community Council should write to the Scottish Executive, in a further response to the consultation process, to say that in the Community Council’s view a vehicle ferry service should be provided between Point and Port Appin at the earliest opportunity. In the ensuing debate the secretary questioned whether there was any evidence that such a view reflected the wishes of the island’s residents. An amendment to the motion, proposed by the secretary, suggesting a further referendum to establish the preference of residents between two options (with assumptions on timetable and fare structure, as advised by A&BC) was rejected. The motion was passed and the secretary was instructed to circulate a draft of the letter to members within the following 3 days, for approval.  

Out-of-Hours GP Cover  

A reply dated 15.02.05 had been received from Karen Murray, Divisional Director, Argyll and Clyde NHS, to the Community Council’s letter of 26.01.05, agreeing to hold discussions on future out-of-hours arrangements in the event that Drs. McNicol and Howlett choose to opt out. Community Council to agree selection of community representatives to participate in discussions.   

Dr. McNicol confirmed that Oban Lifeboat service was not keen to provide the means of getting medical assistance in an emergency to a patient on Lismore.

He added that the average time taken by Scottish Air Ambulance to arrive in this area from receipt of an emergency request was 3.5 hours.     


Letter, dated 23.02.05, from Scottish Water outlines revised charges for their services.  

Letter, dated 28 .02.05, from “Electric Horse” noted the current petrol crisis on the island and invited interest in a “sustainable transport demonstration project” using electric motive power. Secretary instructed to reply indicating LCC’s interest and asking for more information.  

Letter, dated 24.02.05, from the Army advising of a military exercise involving out of hours flying and noise disturbance between 09 and 23 March. Copy of information to be posted on notice board at Lismore Stores.  

Any Other Competent Business  

Archie MacGillivray asked whether the Community Council had received any advice about a mains water supply said shortly to be provided by a submarine pipe from Benderloch. No such advice had been received.  

Secretary raised three matters, on behalf of members of the public, concerning roads maintenance:

Vulnerability of the road north of the Fell’s house to further storm damage which could cut off access to the Port Appin ferry – Archie MacGillivray advised that he would be undertaking the placing of stone-filled gabion baskets along the shore within the following two weeks.  

Need for renewal of marker posts at passing places – Secretary to write to A&BC.  

Totally inadequate clearing, within the last few weeks, by A&BC maintenance personnel of side drains – Secretary to write to A&BC.  

Date of Next Meetings  

The next meeting was fixed for 19.00 on Thursday 17 March 2005. It was noted that this gave less than the normal 12 clear days notice but in light of the possible need to respond to circumstances affecting ferry services and petrol supplies it was considered prudent to fix a meeting for this date.

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