Keeping it private

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The members of the Arran Ferry Committee faced the public this week.

It is not a phrase we use often and will not repeat until this time next year. They deemed the public were worth 52 minutes of their time in 2018 – before shutting the doors on them as they left.

In this week’s Banner they recount all the good they have done over the past year, but how otherwise would we know? They meet in private, seldom speak in public and publish their minutes months after their last meeting, when everyone has lost interest in what they were discussing. The last publicly available minute we have found is from April.

Apart from the Independent Traveller’s position the committee is not elected so it is not surprising that they have, rightly or wrongly, been accused of self-interest in the past.

Unsurprising too that by failing to be ‘open and accountable’ as is expected in this day and age, they will be asked, as they were last Monday, ‘What is the use of this committee and why do you bother?’

Why bother indeed. Other ferry committees meet in public, so why can’t Arran? Any commercially sensitive items could easily be taken in private, just like any public body.