Comment posted Jackie Baillie MSP calls on SPT to ‘get a grip’ on Kilcreggan ferry situation by Councillor George Freeman.
MCA have been contacted on numerous occasions and have been fully involved in this saga.
Councillor George Freeman also commented
- Noted the comments from Harry above. I have already informed him that I have previoulsy requested a copy of the Pier Master’s report from Council officers. I have also ignored the second set of comments from Local River Worker 2 above unless he or she can identify theselves and not hide behind a pseudonym.
- I have attended meetings with the SPT Chief Executive and almost every Tom, Dick and Harry on this subject over the past 5 months.
The last meeting was a waste of time for everyone who attended as is clear from all the correpondence I continue to receive on this matter.
I have led on this subject since day 1 and have only received thanks and support from everyone for all that I have been doing. This has also been the case at all of the public meetings that I have spoken at on this subject. This is the first negative comment I have had from thousands of emails on the subject over the past 5 months.
This makes me wonder who Hamish Beaton is? He is certainly not from my area or at least he is not on the Electoral Register for my area. This is why he is probably not aware of all that has been going on with regards to this subject.
- As is the norm, this will again be ignored by SPT.
There have been calls for investigations on a number of occasions – nothing happens.
The matter has been raised with Ministers in the Scottish Government – nothing happens.
A motion was agreed in the Scottish Parliament – nothing happens.
Meeting have been held with the SPT Chief Executive and other senior SPT officials – nothing happens (I refused to go to the last meeting the the SPT Chief Executive as I stated that, based on previous experience, it would be a waste of time and nothing would happen.
I await information from Audit Scotland on the investigation that I requested into the tendering and contract award process. Audit Scotland did arrange for KPMG as SPT’s external auditors to look into this matter and to report back to them. The timescale for them responding back to me is before the end of the month.
Although external auditors often have cosy relationships with the internal auditors of the organisations that they audit, I am hopeful that KPMG will act totally responsibly and report the clear facts to Audit Scotland.
Unless we get action soon, this matter will be taken to the Ombudsman and further. Further motions to the Council are also being considered. We are not going to rest until this issue has been resolved.
Recent comments by Councillor George Freeman
- A83 closed both ways at Rest and Be Thankful
Here we go again. The problem is that, as a member of the regular travelling public on the A83, I can no longer depend on the route being open from one day to the next.
Land slips certainly appear to be occurring more frequently on the stretch of the A83 over the Rest and down beyond Butterbridge. The one good point is that the fencing that has been erected on the hillside at the Rest appears to have stopped larger rubble and boulders getting on to the road. This means that it should be possible to clear any material that gets on to the road much quicker which should minimise any closures.
Having said that, we should not forget that the rubble and boulders behind the fences will have to be removed at some stage and this will create further delays for the travelling public.
The latest update from BEAR at 10.45 am confirms that the emergency route through Glen Croe is now in operation. The problem being that they have highlighted that the delays in using this route will be up to 45 minutes. I am assuming that this is a conservative estimate.
Given the potential for a 45 minute delay, I would certainly be better just using the traditional detour via Crianlarich and Tyndrum as this only adds up to 30 minutes on to the journey to Lochgilphead. By using this route, at least I would be assured as to how long it was going to take me to travel to Lochgilphead and I could plan my journey accordingly.
It may be that I could arrive at the emergency route just as the convoy is leaving and would get through Glencroe with minimum delay (15 minutes). The problem is that it is likely that I would be at the end of a long stream of traffic including lorries / busses etc and would have to follow this long slow stream of traffic most of the way to Lochgilphead. If I arrive at Glencroe just after the convoy has left, then I know that I am going to have to wait at least 45 minutes before the next convoy can get me through Glencroe.
It really is time that the Scottish Government took this matter seriously and planned for investment that will address this problem once and for all. I should also point out that no extra trains are planes to Oban are going to assist me in any way when the A83 is closed and I need to travel to the Mid Argyll or Kintyre area.
- So how did this peninsular community NOT win the Creative Places award?
It was with great disappointment that I heard that the submission by the Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust to the Creative Places Awards was just pipped at the post.
Those members of the Trust who put in so much time and effort to take this bid forward on behalf of all the communities across the Rosneath Peninsula have got to be congratulated for getting to the final stage of the Creative Places Awards.
I would encourage everyone to view the outstanding video that was included as part of their submission. Dave Dunbar, who shot and cut the video, is to be congratulated for a great piece of work which the Trust will be able to use to promote the Rosneath Peninsula in the future.
Congratulation to everyone concerned.
- Storm in a bathtub as Neil Kay goes over the side of the Expert Ferry Group
I have tried via the Scottish Government’s website and Transport Scotland’s website to establish details of all members of this Group. Unfortunately I have had no success. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction?
It is noted that the report in today’s Herald and the FA report above states that there are two ferry operators represented on the Group. My understanding is that this is NOT correct. I have been told that Gordon MacLennan, Chief Executive of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is a member of the Group. As most readers will be aware, SPT is also a ferry operator as they are responsible for the Gourock – Kilcreggan ferry service.
Given the problems that our local communities experienced in the past relating to SPT and the Gourock – Kilcreggan ferry service, I am sure that this will raise some concerns locally as to what recommendations will eventually be forthcoming from this Group? Is this just a way of placing ferry issues on the back burner until after the next Scottish Government election?
No matter who is on this Group, it is essential that they are able to look at wider ferry issues and are not being parochial, and are not trying to influence decisions relating to a single ferry service.
- Shuffling the pack at Kilmory
Simon, although your comments are often spot on, on this occasion you have got it wrong. Although I know of others who have made such statements, I have never done so. Can you indicate where I made such a statement in the past please?
I believe that you should never burn your bridges as you never know when you will have to make a tactical retreat. A brief apology would suffice.
- Shift in perspective on Council Tax freeze – but is it being managed?
Graeme, you may not like it but the facts speak for themselves. I was there and I can confirm that of the 80 people in the room, only 6 supported the ongoing Council Tax freeze. This was not a hand-picked audience but were random individuals from all across Scotland. There was no comment or argument on the numbers from Rob Gibson SNP MSP who was on the political panel.
As an individual, I do not support the Council Tax freeze when I see services being cut as a result. As a property lawyer, you certainly would not be classed as vulnerable and will not have seen the worst of the service cuts. Why do you think the Council was proposing the closure of Struan Lodge Elderly Care Home? Why are we currently consulting on the massive cuts that have had to be imposed on the Amenity Services budget? The list goes on and on.
It is clear that without the Counil Tax freeze, service cuts would not be as severe as they are.
Although the freezing of the Council Tax sounds good, over the past seven years, the total saved by the average Band A Council Tax payer is only £258 (70p per week) whereas the wealthy in their Band H properties are saving £4-22p per week (six times the saving being achived by those at the lower end of the wealth scale).
I think that it is quite clear from these figures that it is the wealthy who benefit most from the SNPs policy on freezing the Council Tax.
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