Fair comment. There is genuine expertise of long …

Comment posted Crown Estate Commissioners hang on like limpets to Scottish rights by newsroom.

Fair comment. There is genuine expertise of long standing in those who work for the Crown Estate Commission. We hear favourable remarks on this on a regular basis.

newsroom also commented

  • We doubt if anyone would see a departure from Charlotte Square as anything other than a corporate diminution – which was allied to a change in accounting practice,removing the previous separate accounting for the Scottish operation. Together these sketch an indicative story that needs to be told.
    We take it that you are not suggesting that the Bells Brae Crown Estate Commission establishment remained identical in number and level in the aftermath of the move from Charlotte Square? You might care to detail both.
  • Thank you Andrew. We understood that they had produced separate accounts for Scotland but, in the early days after their decampment, they merged the accounts – although they did later move to disaggregate them in the way you describe.

    Your Excel table sounds a very valuable exercise. When you’ve added the 2012 figures, if you would like to email the table to me (lm.henderson@powdermills.com) we could put it in pdf format and add it as an downloadable attachment to this article under your name – along with an explanatory paragraph from you. This wold make it universally available.
    Lynda

Recent comments by newsroom

  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Bit of a ‘Doh’ moment. Confess to having forgotten that it’s an amphibian simply because of knowing it only as taking off and landing on the water.
    Being on the tarmac at Glasgow would make it a very seductive experience for both golf and scenery packages.
  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Absolutely – and getting as close to Glasgow Green as possible for The People’s Palace…
    As a city defined by the river, Glasgow turns its back on it to the point that very few have any idea of the city from the river and the access it would make possible in a well considered service.
  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Thank you.
    Re your airport idea – do you know if there is a viable berthing location at the airport?
    If there were and if Loch Lomond Seaplanes [or Skye Seaplanes as it now is at its new Skye base] were interested, there has always been a lure in a high-end charter pick-up service for arrivals at the airport to fly them off to Loch Lomond, Arran, Kintyre, Oban, Islay…
    So if an airport stop was achievable and the seaplane service went for this business opportunity, that would get double value from a river bus airport pontoon. It would be logical for Glasgow City Council to put in and maintain the infrastructure – under advice from experts including Brisbane City Council – and lease it to operators.
  • CalMac: the Douglas Fraser teaser
    The CalMac experience wiht CMAL over the Ballycastle-Rathline tender was one that we had originally included in this companion piece to this article and then edited out as it distracted from the main focus on CalMac’s early-days thinking about a Clyde River ferry. [http://forargyll.com/2014/04/interesting-business-scotland-interview-with-calmacs-martin-dorchester/]
    The Rathlin tender affair could not provide better evidence that the Scottish Government allowed CMAL to behave proactivey against CalMac’s interests in fighting to retain their Rathlin contract. This underlines the essential utter independence of the two state owned Scottish companies, one from another.
    The competing bid was an unable one. The bidder did not even have and could not find a boat to serve the route.
    CMAL stepped in and OFFERED him the use of the MV Canna – the very boat that CalMac was using for the service.
    This qualified the competing bid and made it look more capable. It won the contract.
    What CMAL and the Scottish Government were up to in shafting a state owned company, wholly owned by one of them and a sister of the other, also wholly state owned – is anyone’s guess. It looked very much like a backstairs political deal between the two governments concerned, with the Irish possibly interested in ‘Irishising’ the service.
    We are aware from authoritative sources in Northern Ireland that CalMac had – and knew they had – a strong legal case to challenge the award of the contract but were instructed by their sole shareholder not to do so.
    This curious incident does, though, underscore the fact that the CMAL fleet is CMAL’s asset and CMAL’s liability – and that CalMac has no ‘ownership’ or business reason to try to help out in finding ways to deploy CMAL’s upcoming surplus and ageing tonnage – an argument we make it the companion piece linked above and which just might apply in the case of the tender possibility punted as a possible CalMac itnerest in this article here.
  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    As you say, it is all about the right sort of service – and you too seem to feel that the right service could work.

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12 Responses to Fair comment. There is genuine expertise of long …

  1. Good to see that you are still pursuing and publishing on the Crown Estate. But one variation from the article. The Crown Estate’s Annual Report and Accounts do provide material for the whole UK under each of its main budget areas. Its Scottish Report provides data about Scottish income and expenditure under the same budget headings, so it is possible to analyse its performance in Scotland on its own and against the position for the UK as a whole. A year ago I created an Excel table to complete a Scottish/UK analysis and comparison for 2001 and 2011, and will update that with the 2012 figures – happy to provide that to anyone interested in the statistics if they e-mail me on: andrewmreid@btinternet.com;
    andrew

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Thank you Andrew. We understood that they had produced separate accounts for Scotland but, in the early days after their decampment, they merged the accounts – although they did later move to disaggregate them in the way you describe.

      Your Excel table sounds a very valuable exercise. When you’ve added the 2012 figures, if you would like to email the table to me (lm.henderson@powdermills.com) we could put it in pdf format and add it as an downloadable attachment to this article under your name – along with an explanatory paragraph from you. This wold make it universally available.
      Lynda

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Pingback: Argyll News: Community Land Scotland see case for change to Crown Estate Commission ‘undiminished’ | For Argyll

  3. While supporting the thinking that monies collected by the Crown Estate in Scotland should remain in Scotland and that administration of Scottish waters should be based in Scotland, I have concerns about what sort of body will replace the CEC should its powers be taken over.

    As a seafarer and mooring holder, I dread to think what would happen if the likes of Argyll and Bute Council got hold of the rights to collect the rent. A system of sea bed administration which works well, however unfairly from a Scottish perspective, will be demolished at a stroke to be replaced by inept, short term political greed – seeing every mooring as a cash cow. Chaos and anarchy would ensue as rents would be unpaid, moorings laid anywhere without control and there would be a complete lack of policing. The cash cow would quickly become a burden to the council tax payer.

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    • Fair comment. There is genuine expertise of long standing in those who work for the Crown Estate Commission. We hear favourable remarks on this on a regular basis.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • It would be interesting to know what happens in places like Norway or the Aland islands, where the pattern of activity in coastal waters must be similar to that in Argyll.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Not sure if this is usefull to the discusion or not but in Dundee control of the shore was handed to the local council who then upped the rent local sailing clubs were paying for their slipways by around 400%.

      Tony Gill raises a very good point and I dread to think what would happen if the councils were given control of the seabed as well.

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  4. Pingback: Argyll News: Correctionlon on ‘reforms’ to Crown Estate Commission Scottish operation | For Argyll

  5. I do think it matters if responsible jounalists get their facts right when writing critical articles of this nature. The Crown Estate Office in Edinburgh has never been closed. It merely moved premises from Charlotte Square to Bells Brae in 2003. True some functions -control of the urban estate-moved to London but that is an entirely different matter.

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    • We doubt if anyone would see a departure from Charlotte Square as anything other than a corporate diminution – which was allied to a change in accounting practice,removing the previous separate accounting for the Scottish operation. Together these sketch an indicative story that needs to be told.
      We take it that you are not suggesting that the Bells Brae Crown Estate Commission establishment remained identical in number and level in the aftermath of the move from Charlotte Square? You might care to detail both.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. I’m looking forward to a continuation of the story. I must admit when I formulated a reply to the Crown estate Consultation on behalf of the Scottish Islands Federation, which is available in full as a book and as far as I know online, the conclusion I drew is that although the Crown estate where perhaps not fully transparent, the formation of an independent Scottish advisory board to act according to Existing Scottish law on behalf of Scottish people. I mean people who are perhaps retired but who have a great knowledge of the various subjects to be considered, particularly maritime affairs, but who are independent of businesses. In September the Scottish Islands Federation (SIF) are hosting the AGM of the European Small Islands Network (ESIN) on Mull so we could gather together information on how it’s done elsewhere. The independent islands seem to be more empowered. Unfortunately local authorities have often disempowered local coastal inhabitants.

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  7. Your article stated quite clearly that the Crown Estate had shut its Edinburgh Office. Why can’t you admit you were wrong instead of trying to muddy the waters? Who cares where their office is so long as they have one and as for staff numbers they like many other organisations have flucuated through the years.
    You make some perfectly reasonable points in your article and then spoil it with a lack of balance.Why not mention some positive points? Without the Crown Estate fish farming would never have seen the light of day in Scotland and many fragile West Coast communities would have died along with the deep sea fishing industry. Secondly the tenanted farms on the Crowns’s rural holdings are the best equipped anywhere in Scotland as any visitor to Glenlivet or Fochabers will tell you.But you don’t want your readers to know that do you?

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