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Views not heard
It was great to see the determined peaceful protest of some 40 Arran pensioner ladies in persistent rain reported on the front page of The Arran Banner last week, alongside the fuller report of the visit of the new Scottish transport minister Mr Graeme Dey.
The ladies came to personally voice their concerns over the difficulties they were experiencing due to the continuing Arran ferry issues.
As reported, unfortunately the ladies were snubbed by the minister as he attended the organised IoAFC meeting via the back door of the Ormidale Pavilion.
Considering all the ferry dramas Arran residents have all been experiencing over the past 18 months or so of the Covid-19 pandemic, surely the greater Arran public should have been given greater access to put their current ferry concerns to Mr Dey and the several NAC, Transport Scotland and Scottish government officials who accompanied him, albeit socially distanced?
In that regard it is pertinent to note the quote given by the chairman of IoAFC in the January 8 2021 issue of The Arran Banner.
This quote was made about one month after the multi-MSP Scottish government enquiry report of the RECC into the reasons behind the cost and build schedule overruns of the Glen Sannox project at the Ferguson shipyard, the famous ‘catastrophic failure’ report. Viz
‘IoAFC will continue to voice views from the community and work with all parties to ensure from this calamitous episode, lessons are learned and we can finally receive the levels of service and capacity which we have not enjoyed for some time.’
I have to say that there was not much evidence apparent on the occasion of Mr Dey’s visit of ‘views from the community’ being heard or ‘working with all parties’ or past ‘lessons being learned’.
Rather, the treatment of these retired Arran ladies seems typical of the IoAFC. Will that change going forward?