How did the Kintyre fast express get to …

Comment posted Argyll and the Isles hits warp speed by James Roy.

How did the Kintyre fast express get to Portavadie from Islay?

Round the Mull?

That’s about 80 miles, quite a trip!

Through the Canal?

Bit slow.

Recent comments by James Roy

  • The black arts of political spin betray SNP fears in Argyll & Bute
    why has MR resigned if everything he has done is above board,
  • The black arts of political spin betray SNP fears in Argyll & Bute
    Rifkind
    What he gets/got recently.
    No Irn Bru mentioned
    RIFKIND, Rt Hon Sir Malcolm (Kensington) 1. Remunerated directorships Continental Farmers Group plc (non-executive), 33 Athol St, Douglas Isle of Man; farming in Eastern Europe. Approximately 6 board meetings per year, each lasting around 4 hours. Occasional ad hoc meetings. Travel time to Douglas or Dublin to be added. Monthly ongoing payment of £4,580 gross, July 2011 (Registered 12 July 2011) Discontinued July 2013. Last payment received 15 July 2013. (Updated 24 July 2013) Adam Smith International (including Amphion Group Ltd and Adam Smith Services Ltd) (non-executive), 3 Albert Embankment, London; consultancy and project implementation overseas. Monthly board meeting in central London lasting 2 hours approximately. Occasional e-mail exchanges between meetings. (Updated 11 June 2014) Monthly ongoing payment of £2,916.66 gross. (Registered 8 September 2009) 1 June 2014, additional payment of £5,512.50 in non-executive fees, in recognition of success of the company during the past year. (Registered 5 June 2014) Unilever plc (non-executive), 100 Victoria Embankment London. Approximately eight board meetings a year each lasting a morning and afternoon with a dinner the previous evening. Most meetings in London, two or three in The Netherlands and one elsewhere. Also member of Board Committee, three hours the day before each board meeting. Attendance may be by video conference. Monthly ongoing payment of £7,166 gross from May 2013. (Updated 24 July 2013) Alliance Medical Group (non-executive), Princes House, 38 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6DN. Approximately 10 board meetings a year, mainly in London, each lasting around 2-3 hours. Occasional ad hoc meeting. Monthly ongoing payment of £5,000 gross, from January 2014. (Registered 10 April 2014) 2. Remunerated employment, office, profession etc Since 1 July 2012, Chairman of LEK Advisory Board. Consulting LLP, 40 Grosvenor Place, London. Advisory Board meeting 4 times a year. Each meeting 4 hours approximately. Occasional advice by e-mail. Occasional speeches and chairing of meetings. (Updated 24 July 2013) Quarterly payment of £12,500 gross; 4 hours approximately. Senior Counsellor, Dragoman, Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia, specialist advisory firm. No regular meetings, communication by email and occasional meetings in London as might be required. Retainer of Australian $12,500 paid every three months. Received fee of £5,000 from United Jewish Israel Appeal, 37 Kentish Town Road, London NW1 8NX for speech at event on 6 May 2014 at Savoy Hotel, London. Hours 1 hr. (Registered 5 June 2014). 28 November 2014, received fee of £1,000 from University of Buckingham, Hunter Street, MK18 1EG for speech to NA Diplomacy and Global Affairs 302 Students at Duke’s Hotel, London on 22 October 2014. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 19 December 2014) Payments from London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT: £500 received for article published 16 June 2014. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 19 December 2014) £500 received for article published 12 August 2014. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 19 December 2014) Payments from The Telegraph, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT: 6 July 2014, £500 received for article. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 19 December 2014) 1 September 2014, £350 received for article. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 19 December 2014) 30 September 2014, £250 received for article. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 19 December 2014) Payment of £250 received from the Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT for article published on 2 June 2014. Hours: 1.5 hrs. . (Registered 19 December 2014) Payment of £462.20 received from Time Magazine, PO Box 20500, 1001 NM Amsterdam, The Netherlands for article published 3 September 2014. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 19 December 2014) Payment of £285 from The Guardian. Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU for article published on 5 March 2014. Hours: 1.5 hrs. (Registered 24 December 2014) 6. Overseas visits Name of donor: (1) MSC (2) Global Zero Operations Address of donor: (1) Prinzregentenstraße 7, D-80538 Munich (2) 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 615, Washington DC 20036 Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): (1) Return flights to Munich, value flights £676 (2) hotel 3 nights approx £1,000 Destination of visit: Munich Security Conference Date of visit: 30 January – 2 February 2014 Purpose of visit: To attend Munich Security Conference (Registered 10 April 2014) Name of donor: Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) (Board Member), Address of donor: 1747 Pennsylvania Ave NW 7th Floor, Washington DC 20006 Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): Flight £1,986, hotel £1032, total £3,018 Destination of visit: Washington DC, USA Date of visit: 6-8 April 2014 Purpose of visit: Attended Board Meeting in Washington. (Registered 10 April 2014) Name of donor: Government of United Arab Emirates Address of donor: PO Box 31966, Abu Dhabi, UAE Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): Flights £5,105; hotel costs (two nights) £1,260; total £6,365 Destination of visit: Dubai Date of visit: 8-10 November 2014 Purpose of visit: Participation in summit of World Economic Forum and chairing sessions (Registered 19 December 2014)
    Not to mention 67k MP’s salary
  • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind caught offering to sell influence for cash
    According to his Parliamentary declaration of interests Rifkind receives around £85,000 as a part time director of Unilever and around £60,000 from other directorships.

    But a little bit added to what you’ve got means you can afford the odd irn bru

  • Castle Toward campaigners take note: Argyll & Bute Council is ‘working to support the ambitions of communities’
    Of course there were unfortunate accidents at Roseneath Castle and the Clynder Hotel which removed the overhead costs of the two structures.
  • Castle Toward campaigners take note: Argyll & Bute Council is ‘working to support the ambitions of communities’
    How much is a box of matches?

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30 Responses to How did the Kintyre fast express get to …

    • It’s a matter of opinion but at least there is now a brand logo for brand Argyll & the Isles.

      Onwards and upwards I say – you have to start somewhere, the fine tuning can always come later.

      Thought for Today: Positive Versus Negative
      Positive thinking and optimistic outlook will never produce bad results. Negative thinking and pessimistic approach will never produce good results. Positive thinkers will never fail. Negative thinkers will never succeed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  1. Well done to everyone who attended yesterday and especially the committee of the Argyll & Isles Stategic Tourism Partnership for their ambition, vision and courage to take the bull by the horns and make something positive happen for the tourism industry in Argyll & the Isles.

    Thought for Today: Positive Versus Negative

    Positive thinking and optimistic outlook will never produce bad results. Negative thinking and pessimistic approach will never produce good results. Positive thinkers will never fail. Negative thinkers will never succeed.

    Keep the momentum going and good luck in all your endeavours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. It would be good to see something positive come out of all the hoo ha, though I have my doubts with A&BC representatives involved

    Brian Keating has got it spot on with the airports issue. The operation of the publicly owned airports in Argyll, whether HIAL or A&BC, is a huge drag on moving forward with aviation tourism.

    In 1995/96 North Connel Airfield was attracting on average 50 visiting aircraft per year. In 1997 my company did a deal with ABC (all the risk and costs being on us of course)to day to day manage and promote the airfield. I encouraged them to change the name of the facility to Oban Airport to give it a better identity, which they did. By 2004,using industry knowledge and a genuine understanding of the market, the airport was attracting 2500 a/c per year bringing high spending self fly tourist from all over the UK and Europe. In 2002 & 2005 it was voted Airfield of The Year in the Flyer Magazine annual awards. In 2006 ABC (thinking they had a sure winner on their hands) took over the operation of the airport, spent £8M on facility, employed 11 staff and have now lost over 60% of the existing business ! They’re now on their third manager in five years, none of whom had/have the faintest idea how to operate a small GA airport and the use of the facility is still plummeting. The only new user they have attracted to Oban Airport is the one they pay £1M a year to fly from it under a PSO contract. And ABC’s only solution to the disaster is to reduce the opening hours and severely restrict out of hours use of the airport. They clearly don’t understand the law of diminishing returns.

    The same politicians who were responsible for the airport fiasco are also in charge of the council’s roads…

    A fair definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same actions over and over and expect a different result. ABC should stick to properly managing it’s statutory obligations and leave all else to those who know their business.

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  3. ‘ Positive thinking and optimistic outlook will never produce bad results’. I really think you want to read Paul Keegan’s letter again. If I remember rightly that very same ignorant attitude by certain councillors was the cause of the present dreadful state of North Connel Airfield.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Argyll & Bute Council is run primarily by elected councillors voted in by members of the public along with appointed council officials (allegedly employed because they were deemed to be the best person for the job!).

    I suspect (if past performance is anything to go by, and this is just my opinion),the majority of them have very little experience of running businesses or dealing with financial matters and council budgets. As they are spending other people’s money rather than their own – (in my experience this is usually the case when it comes to bad financial management), fiscal decisons are usually made based on where the votes are going to matter the most rather than where the money is actually needed!

    If the public are not happy with their councillors then don’t vote them in, otherwise a complacent public will always end up with the incompetent council they deserve.

    Positive thinking was not at fault or responsible for the current state of the North Connel airfield – it was to do with incompetent councillors and officials. Fortunately the Argyll & Isles STP is in the hands of businesses who have the interests of the economic survival of Argyll & the Isles at heart and do not need to worry about whose vote they maybe losing or whose toes they may be stepping on! Handbagging their efforts in such a negative way is neither helpful or productive.

    Positive attitudes are not ignorant – it’s what gets things done in a time of eternal navel gazing and procrastination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. I can see the attraction of this to local business people but what has it to offer the man and woman in the street?

    A few minimum wage jobs that’s what.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • JimB – a few minimum wage jobs is better than no jobs and as a significant £40 million of tourism revenue was spent in the Argyll & Isles in 2010 then I suggest you stop turning your nose up at it.

      Negative thinking and pessimistic approach will never produce good results – that’s the second part of the Thought for Today :-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. JimB – do you actually mean this or are you trying to be provocative?
    15% of all employment in A&B is currently in the tourism industry, should this not be encouraged? Or should we all simply rely on the state to pay for everything?
    The majority of ‘local business people’ probably earn a lot less than the minimum wage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. As one of the team behind Argyll and the Isles Tourism, I wanted to add few figures and facts that might help folks see why we had to set AIT in motion.

    1) 17.9% of all fulltime jobs in Argyll and Bute are in tourism. Add in support services….tradesmen, suppliers,Food producers, transport etc, and the figure baloons.
    2) Direct Tourism revenues alone produce £218 million pounds in wages and profits in Argyll and Bute this adds up to 17% of ALL wages paid.
    3) Tourism is and is set to remain the largest single sector in Argyll and Bute.
    4) Tourism creates the shop window that showcases ALL Argyll and the Isles products

    Argyll and The Isles Tourism was set up by Industry, led by Industry and is run for the benefit of the Tourism industry in Argyll and Bute.
    We have created good public sector support, by working closly and demonstrating what industry really needs…not what local government thought it wanted…now they provide up with amazing support.
    Argyll and the Isles like many rural destinations has been losing market share and spend year on year since 2008/9 when the recession first hit home.
    We all need to massively increase the profile of Argyll and the Isles to be able to compete in a increasingly tough market.
    In short, we need everyone to get behind us and become an Argyll and the Isles brand ambassador.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. For Scruff.
    Do you mean the mean the hourly rate the owners would be working for is less than the minimum wage due to the hours they put in.Or are the overheads so tight they have less money to take personnally.Traditionally the hotels have been poor payers but compensating with accomadation thrown in.I would very much doubt that the gift shops and woollen mill shops in Oban are big payers and even the clothes shops must be struggling against the online market.So it would be interesting to see a survey of costs and wages across the whole sector to get a clearer picture.As one owner brought up a good point about the charity shops being excempt from rates but if you are the owner of that property and you rent to the charity you still pick up your cash.Is that a valid point?
    The BIDS project in Oban has stuttered so far, so we have to to wait to see what the local buisness people want to do.Tesco wanting to pull out has upset a lot of people so I am not upto date on the latest state of play.Anybody got the latest news.The latest story in the town has been over a possible move by the council to compulsory purchase EUSK and PIAZZA on the pier because OF THE lORN ARC project and the need to extend the pier.Hopefully this nonsense will prove to be unfounded because these are top class facilities and a big employer.A couple more cruise liners getting to come into the bay will not create any more jobs.
    Just fishing for information from business people or anyone who is self employed on what they think could help them survive and maybe expand their business.
    Power to the People.

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    • Neil – In my experience owners of small businesses don’t have the luxury of working for an hourly rate. By the time they pay staff salaries, employers NI contributions, insurances, rent, corporation tax, VAT, suppliers, telephone bills, electricity bills and so on, they feel fortunate if they are able to draw enough to personally survive at the end of the month.
      So many people like JimB think business owners must be earning a fortune because they work for themself but they have absolutely no idea of the reality of small business, it’s a day-to-day struggle to keep your head above water.
      The Council certainly doesn’t help. They say how good they are at working with local business but they don’t. The current administration have the belief that bigger is better and they will engineer their procurement process in such a way that local companies don’t stand a chance.
      National companies have departments purely dedicated to producing tender documents for bids, how can local owners who are responsible for doing everything in their business possibly compete against that.
      As Kats said, the Council is run by people who haven’t a clue about business or how they operate. They will take on companies who don’t give a stuff about A&B and it’s lack of employment. They will actively recruit people from outwith the area knowing fine well that they only come to do the work and then return to whence they came during their days off. And they don’t spend a single penny locally.
      Sorry if this goes against the main thrust of the thread in relation to what the Council has done with the day, which does sound very positive. Will they still have the same enthusiasm if the current administration are re-elected and don’t need to score any more brownie points with the electorate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Pingback: Argyll News: Lastest: Argyll and the Isles Strategic Tourism Partnership | For Argyll

  10. Hi Jane Allan

    Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance is right in the middle. HOTA is a founding member, and your representitive Carron Tobin is a director of AISTP and her speech at the summit was microblogged on For Argyll

    Hope this helps

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Toilets would be handy in Oban right now. The poor visitors coming of the buses at the old bowling alley are doing a highland dance waiting at the railway station toilet, thats if its open.Clean well maintained public facilities and enough staff do the job properly give your local area pride before all the big projects.Remember the idea from the council, they would pay a toilet levy to shop owners for letting the public use their toilets.No toilets,no parking unless you know a local councillor for a permit.Thats a good one he could advise visitors how to get free parking when they visit Oban.As somebody who lives in Oban I am waiting to see how these grand plans materalize the track record for the council is not good, as Paul Keegan on the airport fiasco has excellently described.So we watch with interest and hope for the best.
    Power to the People.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. For Newsroom.
    Just to add a bit to the tourism debate.
    Sorry this is about Oban but just been given some figures about the passenger numbers from the cruise ships and the income we get from it.Last year 6,000 came ashore and gave us an income of £3,ooo.That was seemingly 75% of passengers which seems to me a very poor return?These are the councils own figures I am assured but I have done a FOI just to get confirmation.My question for debate surrounds the harbour project and the spending of £1.8 million to extend the pier and put in pontoons and for what return.Will it make any difference?Do we need 2 sets of pontoons?Could the money be spent on better projects?Love to get a bit of feedback and I will put the results of my FOI up as soon as I get it.

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  13. How did the Kintyre fast express get to Portavadie from Islay?

    Round the Mull?

    That’s about 80 miles, quite a trip!

    Through the Canal?

    Bit slow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. For Phil,

    “How did 6,000 passengers only leave £3,000 income for the town”

    Two visits to the toilets each @ 25p a time? Its called something fancy now, “In income stream”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. I see in today’s Oban Times that the ‘War Chest’ fund – which is essentially public money – will be used in part to fund ‘a portal website’ . Is this a sensible investment when so much public money has already been poured into the VisitScotland website, and will the project be put out to tender or is the deal already sewn up I wonder?

    I note from the same Oban Times article that another use of these public funds is to be ‘familiarisation trips for industry figures’. Sounds a little like jollies for the boys at the tax-and-ratepayers’ expense to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. In response to the questions from “Scots Renewables”,who raises some very good points, I thought I might give you some information from the horses mouth so to speak.

    The Tourism Industry in Argyll and the Isles, by way of the 28 Marketing groups and the National Park, identified that it wanted to see an area specific website, that would attract business to Argyll and the Isles, not just Scotland in general.

    The web portal will be developed to act for the 28 marketing groups in Argyll and The Isles, to give their specific areas more visibility. It will also act as a database of all points of interest, activities, historical interests, high class imagery and locally designed familiarisation trips for wholesale travel agents, travel journalists and overseas buyers who can bring valuable spend to our area. The database will also be used by local businesses to help put together attractive itineraries for guests, to create “A Journey Through Argyll”

    There is indeed public money in the war chest, but a full 25% of it was raised by the buy in of local marketing groups.

    As AISTP has funded all its works for the last two years from the pockets of the members, we know how important it is to have a duty of care to make sure the tax payers monies and the private sector monies are well spent, all work we undertake will go out to proper tender.

    I appreciate all the fantastic support we are getting from Industry, The Media and the public purse, and as an industry led body, we will always endeavour to get best value.

    Mike Story
    Argyll and The Isles Tourism

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  17. That’s all good news Mike. I note that the existing website was created by a Glasgow-based company. It would be good if the new portal was created by an Argyll-based business – there are, after all, more than a few web design businesses in Argyll.

    Will there be any way of measuring or quantifying the financial return from the website?

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  18. Hello Scots Renewable.

    I must confess that I had not looked at who initially produced the current Argyll and the Isles website. When we set the group up we actually borrowed the current site from Argyll Food Producers and Food from Argyll who were kind enough to come to our aid. We as a group are very aware of the importance of local provenance, right across Argyll and the Isles, and where possible we will be buying services locally.

    Aye

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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