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

  • Breslin gets no confidence motion in Walsh and McQueen on Area Committee agenda
    And Argyll and Bute Council claiming that a bus shelter/gazebo/wind tunnel on the North Pier will generate 59 full time equivalent jobs?
    This sort of figure is almost invariably plucked from the air and ought to be regarded as a humourous aside – except in very rare cases where estimates are demonstrably accurate – as in a new transport company with a certain number of bus routes and buses – and therefore employing to emply a specific number of drivers.
  • Convenor of South Cowal Community Council puts last ditch case to all councillors
    An important distinction – and apologies for our error.
    We will correct the text above at once.
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    If any of us had other people’s money to spend, surely we could run an event and a street party?
    Your sense that this is evidence of an OK performance highlights the rock-bottom expectations Argyll now has of its council.
  • Astonishing infrastructural deficiency threatens Oban’s business development
    Your first remarks would discourage amy business developent whatsoever – which we’re sure is not your intention.
    Any 21st century entrepreneur is entitled to expect that the infrastructural provision of major towns is automatically business capable.
    We have never described the previous Executive Director responsible for Infrastructure and Economic Development as a star performer but at least he knew the field – a ‘square one’ necessity. Now the council has chosen not even to have level of competence available.
  • NHS Highland attempts heist on Campbeltown’s volunteer kidney support group
    We have some problems with the comment above.
    The first is an arguably unintended but careless smear on Councillor Kelly and on Jamie McGrigor MSP in saying: ‘councillor Kelly and Mr McGrigor hijacking a very positive cause for their own personal political gain’.
    Unless ‘personal gain’ is qualified as ‘personal political gain’, the immediate reading of such a comment is that money is involved.
    Beyond that, we stand to be corrected – but we find it unlikely that any community could be in a position to guarantee to raise funds allocated to issues over which it has no control and is not necessarily consulted upon – without question and at the dictat of an organisation which is not answerable to them.
    If this was a contract, it would be different, There would be accountability to those who pay the bills.
    This sort of confusion need not arise if relationships and responsibilities are clearly framed and agreed at the outset.
    The main issue here is the credit to the community in Campbeltown and to people like yourself who have donated to this very worthwhile alleviation of additional stress on people already suffering from a serious illness.
    We don’t know a lot about Councillor Kelly’s work in South Kintyre although we notice his involvement in a lot of community causes and projects, indicating a widespread engagement with community development; but we do know a lot about Jamie McGrigor’s work across the Highlands and Islands and anyone further from the caricature of ‘posturing politician’ would be very hard to find.
    Whatever his party, he is someone who is – unusually – unvaryingly focused on issues he knows to be important for his regional constituents. He also never routinely runs down other political parties or those who represent them when he disagrees with their policies or actions. That is unique in our experience and a welcome breath of fresh air.

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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.
    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/strategy-and-research/publications-and-consultations/j205779-00.htm
    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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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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