Argyll and Bute Council will not renew its finding for the Jura Passenger Ferry. This is probably the most constructive outcome. The council would not have had the wisdom to put any subsidy where it might actually have grown a sustainable service. There would have been another term of a loss-making service run without action to grow it to earn its keep.
Now it’s over to Jura in a different sense – make up your mind time.
We have no doubt that it is possible to run a commercially sustainable service on this route – if it is energetically and methodically sold to the markets that are there to be built for it.
Had the Jura Development Trust done what it should have done over the three year period the council paid for and paid again in bail outs, this service would have been safe by now.
The SNP candidate for Argyll and Bute in the 2011 Scottish Election, Michael Russell, is saying what everyone will say, expressing astonishment and disappointment at Argyll and Bute Councils withdrawal of funding from this ferry.
He says: ‘This is extremely disappointing news for the residents and businesses on the island. This is clearly a very short sighted decision by the Council under the acting Lib Dem leader Ellen Morton which puts this excellent and much needed service at threat. For a relatively small saving the Council has jeopardised the significant economic benefit that this service brings to the Island. I will do everything I possibly can to assist in ensuring that this service can survive into the future’.
Of course it is disappointing for Jura residents and businesses but actually we back the council on this one.
Why should the Council throw public money at a service those entrusted with it did not bother to build over the three years they had the chance to do so?