Summary of interim Steering Group Meeting
on Wednesday 1st May 2019

Present: Gavin Fulton (Chair), Robert Cumming, Sally Campbell, John Ford, Bob Haddow, Roger Garratt (Legal Advisor), Chris Attkins (Secretary)

Apologies: Ken Thorburn, Russ McLean

The primary purpose of this meeting was to consider the draft Constitution prepared by Roger Garratt following his careful consideration of the aims and objectives of the Action Group.

The Action Group

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Where are our ferries?

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1. The Steering Group expressed their dismay at the go-ahead having been announced for work to begin on Ardrossan Harbour without any evidence of how this would improve reliability and resilience. Members were keen to obtain such evidence prior to further money being wasted.

2. The draft constitution document was scrutinised line by line and it was unanimously agreed that it provided an excellent framework for the Action Group to operate, with sufficient flexibility for the future.

There was earnest discussion about the proposed size of the committee, with most members keen to keep this as small as possible. It was acknowledged that Action Group members with specific expertise might prefer to advise the committee, without standing for election. However, following a strenuous case being made for the inclusion of additional members with particular skills, it was eventually agreed to increase the maximum size of the committee to 10 (including office bearers), with the option of appointing two additional co-optees if necessary. Consideration was then given to the length of time any member might serve on the committee. Following further discussion, the provisions of the draft constitution, with annual re-election, were accepted as the most flexible way of working.

It was thought that the minimum number of members required to be quorate at a public meeting should be 20.

It was agreed that Roger Garratt would redraft the Constitution accordingly and circulate this for approval by the Steering Group prior to publishing it on the website. At this point Roger Garratt left the meeting.

3. In advance of the next public meeting, it was agreed to contact all supporters of the Action Group who had submitted their e-mail address, inviting nominations to serve on the committee. This invitation would also be included in the press advertisement announcing the meeting. It was agreed that nominees with specific expertise to further the aims of the Action Group should be sought. Potential nominees would be asked to contact the interim secretary, who would issue a nomination form for completion and return. Current members of the Steering Group would include themselves in this process. Each nominee would be required to obtain a proposer and seconder prior to submitting their application.

4. Subject to agreement with Roger Garratt, it was agreed that the next public meeting would first adopt the Constitution and then become the inaugural Annual General Meeting.

5. It was agreed that in the event of more than the agreed limit of ten committee nominees standing for election, ballot papers would be pre-printed with the names of all seconded nominees to permit an election at the next public meeting.

6. The Steering Group was clear that the second public meeting should not be a re-run of the first; it was being called to formally constitute the Arran Ferry Action Group, which would then begin to act on the various issues previously raised by the public.

7. It was estimated that around 500 people had already signed up their support for the Action Group. With the overwhelming majority of residents voicing their support, various means of at least doubling this number of signatories were considered and would be adopted following formal constitution of the Action Group.

8. Members of the Steering Group had numerous ideas they were keen to put into action, but it was agreed that these should follow an agreed strategy to be developed following the Group's constitution. The first action would be to send letters of introduction to all key decision makers.

9. Further letters to the Arran Banner were considered. It was agreed to include a reference to the next public meeting in the edition immediately prior to it, to complement the advertisement.

10. It was agreed to maintain a digital archive of press and web articles, and key correspondence.

11. While determined to establish the Action Group independently, with ongoing openness and inclusivity, the Steering Group acknowledged the ultimate benefits of liaising with other groups representing ferry users and looks forward to future collaboration with them.

12. It was agreed to create dedicated e-mail addresses for Steering Group members to help separate the ever-increasing burden of digital correspondence. To further ease inter-group communication, all members would exchange telephone numbers.

13. It was agreed that all written articles would be circulated to the Group for correction and approval prior to publication.

The Steering Group agreed to meet again at Blairbeg House on Monday 13th May at 7pm.

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