Please find the response TCC sent to CalMac below.
The representations in the letter are based on the 25 responses we received to our own survey. Of these 25, 84% of these were island residents; the notable exceptions being tourism business owners and a Coll resident.
While some respondents felt that the proposed changes were reasonable; the majority (75%) were against the changes.
Among the reasons cited were that the measures feel disproportionate for the Tiree-Coll route specifically, where no-shows are less common. Many respondents also drew attention to the fact that the lack of refund for short-notice cancellations is counterintuitive to the policy’s aims – without incentive to cancel, no-shows and ineffective use of deck space will remain an issue.
Specific concerns were also raised about how the policy may disproportionately affect crofting communities, where moving livestock brings a host of additional considerations.
We hope that this feedback will inform discussion going forward, and would like to thank those who filled out the survey.
The Argyll and Bute Council is consulting on local air transport services on the West Coast area, linking Oban, Tiree, Coll, Colonsay and Islay. This consultation will inform the next contract for the service and shall consider issues including:
• Current use of the air service
• Preferred flight times and days
• The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver services
The last item is under active consideration following successful trials of UAVs to deliver supplies during the pandemic, resulting in significant savings for the NHS. Active work is in development to create a UAV Hub at Oban airport, with Royal Mail also interested in the possible applications.
The First Minister announced a website set up by Scottish Government seeking input on a “framework for decision making” in response to COVID-19. Individual members of the public and community groups and organisations can submit ideas.
This includes proposed changes and options about:
staying at home
visiting other households
resuming care and support for those most affected by the current restrictions
businesses that have been subject to restrictions or closure
allowing pupils to return to school
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the need for transparency when she launched the framework and invited the people of Scotland to engage in this conversation to help us take the next steps to navigate to a new normal.
Our first public meeting of the Community Council since this situation began was held on May 6th, and the deadline is on May 11th so there is little time left for TCC to develop a full response to this on behalf of the community – but we are looking at doing what we can. However we’d encourage anyone with thoughts to submit these as an individual:
The site can be found here: https://www.ideas.gov.scot/covid-19-a-framework-for-decision-making