LISMORE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of the meeting held at 7pm on Thursday 11th August, Lismore Public Hall

 Present

Johnny McFadyen

Archie McGillivray

John Carmichael

Jim MacCormack

Jon Derham

Mark Willis

Duncan Livingstone  

In attendance: Cllr Elaine Robertson , and Stewart Turner (Head of Roads and Amenity, Argyll & Bute Council).

 The minutes were proposed by Jim MacCormack and seconded by Mark Willis, and were adopted as a true record.

 Matters arising

 Final Draft  Local Plan – no response was submitted from LCC.  

Letter received from Charles Reppke, Head of Democratic Services & Governance A&B, in response to LCC letter regarding registration services on Lismore. The Registrar service for Lismore is now based in Oban because there are too few births, deaths and marriages (1 death and 1 marriage on the island in the year, up to the end of July 2005) to enable the Registrar to maintain the level of skills required to carry out the task. The difficulty of finding suitable premises for the Registrar was also cited as a reason. A&B are willing to arrange for  a registration to take place on Lismore, in the event of  anyone being unable to make a visit to Oban to carry out a registration.

 Letters received from both Sandra Duncan, A&B and Mrs Weir, in response to letters sent by LCC regarding damage/fouling caused by peacocks in the graveyard. A&B workmen checked the graveyard when they were over and could find no evidence of fouling or damage, but the Council confirmed that they would act if any incident was reported to them in the future. Mrs Weir also responded saying that there was no damage, and that the birds were almost impossible to restrict.

 Correspondence

 There was no new correspondence

 Out of Hours Ferries

 Secretary introduced Stewart Turner to the meeting and briefly outlined the various correspondence that has passed between LCC and A&B on the current limitations to the out of hours ferry provision as a result of the MCA’s enforcement of the Working Times Directive. Mr Turner explained that he had come to the meeting in listening mode and would take away comments in order to try find a solution to the ferry situation. A notice has been placed on the ferry that interprets the regulations; these regulations have been in place for some time but the Council has not been fully aware of their extent and implications. Now that the requirements have been highlighted by the MCA, the Council is obliged to comply with them. The regulations state that the ferrymen must have 77 hours rest per week, with a 10 hours break in any 24 hour period, and this cannot be split into any more than two periods. Mr Turner described how the required 10 hours might be achieved within the current (core) timetable and stated that in summer, in addition to the 8pm runs all week, and the 9.30pm ferries on a Friday and Saturday, there was allowance for a further 3 hours that could be worked to cover late ferries and still comply with the Working Times Directive. This would depend on whether or not a 7 am ferry was needed each day – without it, there was another hour per day that could be used for late ferries.  There was general agreement that this situation was totally unacceptable and did not meet the needs of the community.

 Mr Turner confirmed that in 2004, late ferries were requested on 108 occasions, three of which were after midnight . The ferry ran eight times for GP out of hours call-outs.  The issue of provision of emergency cover for vets was raised again. ER confirmed that she is pressing A&B to confirm that this constituted an emergency need and Mr Turner confirmed that it did, and that emergency out of hours ferries should be available to bring a vet on to the island after hours.

 The service was compared with that on Luing; this ferry does late runs but has more staff. It was suggested that the Lismore ferry should also have more staff available to cover late ferries. Jon Denham suggested using the ferrymen who were on their week off, or securing a floating crew might solve the problem. Potential costs were highlighted but it was agreed that costs would be limited; to date, the average number of requests has been no more than two per week. The ferrymen should have some comfort that there would not be an unreasonable level of requests. It was pointed out that there is a cultural/social need for late ferries, as well as to fit with workers’ needs, and that the fabric of the community would be impaired if the ferry timetable was restricted by limitations on late ferry provision.  Failure to maintain the service is in conflict with policy agreed by A&B.

 It was agreed that A&B should go back to the MCA to negotiate on an exemption to the WTD (this is allowable under regulation 6, with the agreement of the ferrymen).  There were also suggestions that the shifts patterns could be altered, e.g. working shorter, staggered shifts might enable compliance with the regulations. There would be less need for this in winter, when the last scheduled ferry is 18.20, and any period between that and any late run would be counted as the second rest period.

 Incidents of early ( 7am ) ferries being booked but not turning up, in good weather conditions, were reported; Stewart Turner confirmed that all complaints should be sent to Neil Brown. The problem of different operating principles under different crews was raised and a need for consistency was highlighted. The inability to get extra services between scheduled sailings was raised – requests have been refused recently. ER understood that this arrangement should still be in place, as the timetable/schedule should run as per the contract with Foster Yeoman (the limitation on late runs due to WTD notwithstanding). Stewart Turner agreed to check and confirm the position wrt daytime special sailings.

 Someone said that they understood that the gate is now closed on the ferry when it is tied at the slip between runs, and that people cannot access the ferry until the ferrymen arrive. ST and ER were not aware of this and ST agreed to check and confirm the situation with LCC.

 There was a question regarding continuation of the passenger service and ST/ER confirmed that A&B would continue to run the service until  a decision on a north end car ferry was made, and into the future if it is decided that the status quo is maintained.

 Stewart Turner advised that a public meeting will be held on the ferry services review, at 10am on the 24th August, in the Council Chambers, Oban.

 Action:

 Stewart Turner to check and confirm the situation with regard to special daytime sailings (between scheduled runs) and that residents can wait on the ferry before the ferrymen arrive for a sailing.

 Stewart Turner to continue to investigate options for re-establishing provision for out of hours ferries, specifically including:

·        Changes to shift patterns, possibly working one day on, one day off;

·        Securing a floating crew, to cover out of hours ferries;

·        Negotiating an exemption to the WTD under regulation 6.

 Petrol

  Elaine Robertson confirmed that A&B is investigating the various options that have been recommended in the Petrol Sub Committee’s report. A&B is unable to continue funding the contract with Foster Yeoman, as it cannot treat Lismore any differently to other islands.  However, it might be able to fund a further interim period if a long term solution was clearly identified. The following options were revisited (all have already been investigated by the Petrol Sub Committee and discussed with LCC, with no solution identified):

 ·        Replacement vessel- A&B had looked at a replacement vessel but this would cost £170K- £250K and would have to go forward as part of the capital programme – this will be determined in February/March. Roger DS suggested that a new vessel could be purchased for £40-60K, similar to the Glensanda quarry boats. This could be looked into.

·        Continue with existing contract with Foster Yeoman, paid for by the community - FY might continue to transport fuel at cost to the island but costs to individuals would be twice the current costs.

·        Petrol Station – this will cost up to £250K, will require the establishment of a community development company; provision of suitable land with planning permission; commitment to staffing and administration; securing 25% of capital costs (75% available from Scottish Executive) and funding to cover the first batch of fuel. It would take at least a year (minimum) to get the petrol station in place

·        Transportation of individual cans by Achnacroish/Oban route - As it stands, the cage fitted to the Calmac ferry is the only available option; this can take 6 x 20 litre cans, which must be clearly labelled and a form completed and given to the skipper. Julian has agreed to prepare guidance on procedures to be followed for transporting fuel by this route; this will be posted in appropriate locations.

·        Securing a vehicle/trailer and organising a fuel run to Oban via Achnacroish. The maximum volume allowed to be carried in  suitably flagged vehicle, with appropriate, labelled cans is 333 Litres. This would not cover the current fuel requirement, insurance cover for the vehicle is highly unlikely, and someone would need to take a whole day per week to do the fuel run.

·        Securing a carrier to bring fuel supplies to the island - Elaine was still waiting for Mull BS to confirm whether they could do a  petrol run but insurance is a problem.

 The only option that is really on offer right now is of individuals securing their own supplies via Achnacroish ferry. LCC will continue to press A&B to investigate upgrading the vessel at Point, or the option of a petrol station, but neither of these options are short term solutions and the issue may be redundant if the car ferry ultimately goes up to the north end.  It was agreed that LCC should advise everyone on the island of what will happen with regard to fuel supplies after September.

 Action: Elaine Robertson to press A&B to investigate options and identify solutions

             Secretary to write to all residents advising of petrol situation and seeking feedback 

             on the petrol station and replacement ferry options.                        

 GP Out of Hours Services

 Julian confirmed that he had received a letter from Moira Newiss, who has agreed to attend a further meeting in September with the Sub Committee, where she will outline proposals for heath care provisions in the eventuality that the GPs opt out of providing an out of hours service.

 Action: group to continue to press NHS for a clear proposal and to advise LCC of outcome of discussions at next CC meeting.

 AOB

 Water supply: Elaine Robertson provided an update wrt the proposals to provide a public supply to the school, and possibly the West Highland Housing Association and Council houses. There may be provision for private houses to also be connected, although this will depend on the amount and quality of water that can be pumped from the mainland. There would be a connection charge of approximately £400 per property, and properties would then be subject to water rates. Scottish Water need to know how many owners might be interested in connection – across the whole island.  Interested parties should write to Scottish Water direct.

 Action: Secretary to prepare notice advising residents of the potential public supply and invite response.

 Recycling:  Paper collection bins will be located at the pier, the shop and Point. Julian pointed out that A&B had received a grant from the Scottish Executive (Strategic Waste Fund) to provide this facility, and had agreed with the community that a kerbside collection would be implemented. ER responded that A&B did not receive the full amount that it had bid for, and some amendments had to be made – not all areas in Argyll and Bute are getting a kerbside collection.

 Action: Secretary to check content of previous letter from A&B and write to request kerbside collection.

 Overhanging trees on the road to Point: several trees are very low and overhanging and the hedge at Achuaran House needs cutting to maintain sightlines. A&B will write to the estate requesting that the work be carried out.

 Action: Stewart Turner to organise letter sent to estate. Secretary to forward contact details.

 Rural Transport Grant: ER explained that some funds were to be made available to Lismore for the further development of community transport, and that the Lismore community transport group  were investigating how this was to be used within the grant criteria. However, this grant was instead used to improve the ferry service to Tiree – to timetable an additional sailing until Christmas. The grant runs until April and A&B will revisit how best to use the remaining funds on the other islands (including Lismore) in the new year.

 Date of next meeting

  7pm on Thursday 15th September 2005 .

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