1. Meeting with CMAL
Ramsay Muirhead, Director of Port Infrastructure & Planning at Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. had been in touch with Gavin to arrange a visit, probably in December. Gavin invited committee members to draft suitable questions to be addressed at that meeting.
2. Participation in Ardrossan Task Force
A response to our appeal is due by the end of October. In the event of it being refused, we would ask Sharon to follow up with appropriate legal action.
3. Ardrossan Terminal Building Design
It was agreed that Gavin would now contact Karen Yeomans, requesting an update from her perspective of the proposed works. This would form the basis of a public presentation we hope she will attend at the start of next year (see point 11 below).
4. FOI Request
Robert had drafted a follow-up letter to the Scottish Information Commissioner, pointing out that we had not received full disclosure of public interest information, with one document heavily redacted. This letter would be submitted in accordance with the stipulated procedure.
5. CalMac Survey
CalMac Community Board volunteer Sheila Gilmore had this day posted about a CalMac customer survey on the Arran Community Forum. Reservations had been expressed by several respondents and the Committee thought it important to respond to Sheila. With this in mind it was agreed members would forward comments to Chris for submission to Sheila tomorrow.
6. Concession Ticketing
John had received acknowledgement of his latest letter and anticipated a reply within the next fortnight. Public frustration was mounting, raising the prospect of civil disobedience if this process is not soon improved.
7. Follow-up with CalMac
Although Robbie Drummond had written acknowledging the various action points we had discussed, the Action Group was disappointed by the lack of action to date. It was agreed that we would write again, pointing out the mounting public frustration at the lack of progress and asking for delivery dates for the matters agreed.
8. Audit Scotland
Robert had drafted a letter demanding to know who is responsible for the unfinished new ferries, and what due diligence led to the awarding of the contract to FMEL. We also wished for an investigation into the vast cost overrun of the construction of the new Brodick ferry terminal building.
9. Communication with Supporters
In our next newsletter, it was agreed that we would publicise the various actions we are currently taking. The newly-drafted journey questionnaire required a clearer introduction to encourage travellers to report both the steps they felt it necessary to take to avoid ferry disruption and the consequences of this, as part of their specific journey reports. Chris agreed to adjust the form accordingly.
It was thought desirable to add a counter to the website home page.
10. Collaboration with Other Islands
Robert and Bob would be following up on previous contact.
11. Public Meeting
It was decided to schedule a public meeting on Wednesday 22nd January, to which we would invite the Ardrossan Task Force, Karen Yeomans and CalMac to explain their plans to our community. This would give everyone three months' notice to plan ahead.
12. Treasurer's Report
Our account currently holds £1,496 with monthly outgoings of £46.
In the light of ongoing obfuscation from some government departments, it was thought appropriate to seek the support of our local MSP, Kenneth Gibson, in asking one or more questions in the Scottish Parliament. The Committee agreed to consider which question or questions might elicit the most helpful answers.
The current state of our lifeline ferry service shows it is not fit for purpose in terms of reliability, resilience and infrastructure. The Arran Ferry Action Group is a new and fully representative lobbying group, set up to represent Arran interests in demanding service improvements and accountability in future investment decisions.