Minutes of Initial Committee Meeting at the Ormidale Pavilion
Wednesday 15th May 2019

Present: Gavin Fulton (Chair), Robert Cumming, John Ford, Bob Haddow, Sharon Shenhav, Andrew Walsh, Chris Attkins (Secretary)

Apologies: Sally Campbell, Sam Bourne

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1. In terms of Aims and Strategy, the Chairman explained the desire for urgent action to question the proposed development at Ardrossan harbour. Robert Cumming read out a letter he had drafted to Kevin Hobbs, CEO of CMAL, to be copied to the First Minister, Cabinet Secretaries, local MSPs and Councillors, and sent separately to Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of CalMac, to be signed by the Action Group Chairman. The letter contained a formal Freedom of Information request for evidence that the proposed works will increase the reliability and resilience of the Ardrossan / Brodick ferry service, particularly in bad weather. The Group discussed the letter and agreed to fine-tune it to be as pleasant and positive as possible.

2. It was agreed that a letter of introduction should be sent to heads of CMAL, CalMac, North Ayrshire Council, Government Ministers and local MSPs.

In the light of NAC's refusal to recognise the Action Group, it was agreed that a further letter be sent to the Council, pointing out the overwhelming representation of the Group in comparison with the meagre attendance at any public meetings held by other organisations, such as the Ferry Committee. Sharon Shenhav was keen to follow up her contact with the Transport Minister.

Bob Haddow pointed out that with Arran only comprising less than 10% of North Ayrshire's population, the Council tended not to care about the island. He suggested a strategy of engaging with local Councillors, then with the leaders of both SNP and Labour, pointing out the potential risk of losing 1,000 votes.


3. It was agreed that the Action Group should attend the National Islands Planning meeting on evening of 22nd May, emphasising that unless the ferry problems are resolved, other island issues are irrelevant.


4. The Group were keen to make contact with other West Coast action groups with a view to arranging a well-publicised and widely attended event, with media presence. Bob Haddow was asked to prepare a contact list.


5. It was agreed to await the return of Sally Campbell and Sam Bourne to organise a further meeting to develop the Group's strategy to achieve its aims.

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