Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

Comment posted Was this a fair tender process? Government cuts Orkney ferry frequencies within days of Serco contract award by newsroom.

Many thanks. This is very helpful.

newsroom also commented

  • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

    If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

Recent comments by newsroom

  • Analysis of Gourock-Dunoon ferry services confirms imperative for change
    There is a technical problem with Argyll Flyer which amy account for this.
    It is not expected to be prolonged and the company has said that it expects MV Coruisk to sail for her core duty on the Summer season run between Mallaig and Armadale on Skye, which starts on Friday 3rd April.
    Coruisk has been acting as winter supplement on the Gourock-Dunoon service since December – as she did last year.
  • When is Council going to replace the A814′s missing warning for HGVs?
    As the article makes clear – large vehicles canot be prevented from using it because there will always be a genuine need for such vehicles to access a place or a property somewhere along that road.
    But a clear ‘limitation of use’ notice puts the onus on drivers and gives Police Scotland’s traffic division reason to stop inquire and act accordingly.
    Making the road one way for large vehicles, say south to north, would allow such access, deter casual convenience use by such vehicles and prevent stalemates when two meet.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We accept that this latest story is correct.
    However, an earlier one – that of a family fleeing the Highlands and movong to Edinburgh had so many questions – like the age of the boy concerned; and the fact that Edinburgh is nor necessarily free of state guardians as local authorities in that area were licensed to conduct pilot implementations of the system. Since the government intention is to implement the measure across Scotland, Edinburgh – if the family are not currently living in a place where pilot state guardianships are in train, Edinburgh can offer only short term sanctuary. The boy, we understand may have now reached normal maturity. Given that the state guardian measure was introduced by statute in 2014, the family’s move cannot have taken place much before this time.
    Examples with no more than a peripheral – and even questionable – relationship to the generality of the impact of the state guardian imposition cannot serve to clarify the core abuses this system inflicts on the great majority of safe, loving and responsible families.
    We had first nighlioghtd the ‘Edinburgh move’ story but when we interrogated fully its detail e withdrew the article and made our position clear.
    Nothing gains from insecure tactical claims.
    This is not a tactical issue. It is a moral and political one and its hits at the heart of the sort of family life most of us have been fortunate to enjoy.
    There are far less needlessly damaging, more easily and less expensively achievable means of protecting the fewer [but not few children] who are at risk.
    The Scottish Government introduced covert pilot implementations of this measure despite having assured the concerned Scottish Parliament that there would be no implementations without further consultation.
    It is to the Parliament’s profound discredit that, on so serious a socially transformative matter, it did not make a sustained attempt to hold the government to account on this.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We have used the word ‘fascist’ on some occasions to describe similar undemocratic interventions achieved by force majeure.
    People object to that as well – because everyone imagines fascism and fascists only exist elsewhere, somewhere else.
    However, you might find ‘fascist’ a more accurate and wholly defensible descriptor of your judgment of this particular intervention.
    The OED says of ;fasism’:
    ‘Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.’
  • Oban Bay Marine – and its 52 paid-up business supporters – go public for Oban’s marina
    The plan for the transit marina has kayak steps built into the town-facing shoreside rock armour, to support local kayak teaching and expedition businesses.

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8 Responses to Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

  1. Well I wait with baited breath to see how The Doc, DMH, Morag, Anne and the rest of the usual suspects put a positive spin on this, the latest bit of chicanery by the SNP!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. @ Newsroom: You will find up-to-date transport statistics on the Transport Scotland website. To save you from having to search for it yourselves, here’s the link to the 2011 figures.
    Given traffic levels on the Pentland Firth service mid-winter — the midday crossing usually only carries a handful of vehicles, often in single figures — I am left wondering if any other bidder saw savings to be made by omitting it when really it’s not needed. Yes, I know it’s supposedly a ‘Lifeline Service’, but be realistic about this — there are still two other NorthLink sailings and also Banksie’s catamaran running three times a day too. Did Northlink themselves (or anyone else) bid to run three runs every day? Without knowing that, criticising Serco is a bit harsh in this instance.

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  3. “When the change of service provider was announced following the tendering process, Orkney and Shetland were assured that they would see improvements to the services. Is this it?”

    I am sure Transport Scotland will find some way to claim its a better service. The claim does not need to have any basis in reality. Look at the improved service we got in Dunoon with bigger boats!

    Does the Orkney service include relief vessels or has that been “improved” so that sailings get cut in half anytime a vessels breaks down or needs serviced – as in Dunoon.

    It is a good point about the contract being changed immediately after companies bid, though presumably even Transport Scotland were not stupid enough to leave themselves exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. The forArgyll article stated “The issue with which we are concerned is whether this substantial change of required service provision, coming to son after the award of contract, invalidates the tender”

    But, as I now understand it, the tender specification essentially invited bidders to reduce from 3 to 2 return crossings per weekday for the non-peak period. The non-peak period was not specified and had to be defined by the bidder.

    So most of this article was un-researched forargyll speculation about an article read somewhere else and then regurgitated as news and information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

      If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Having watched Question Time the other night, I was astounded at the paucity of comment in favour of the union. Even Forsyth made an idiot of himself.

    It does appear, yet again, our very own SNP are leading the charge for a ‘NO’ vote in 2014. Their defense probably will be something to do with Green issues or European rules…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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