I voted for allowing Councillors and staff to have the option to attend conferences and courses on a Sunday if they so wished. This was defeated.
I voted for retaining the Comhairle policy that contractors are not allowed to work on Sundays except in the case of emergency; although the Vice Convener and the Chief Executive did state that "the local and cultural issues" would be allowed to affect this policy. For the uninitiated, this means that in Uist and Barra Sunday working is permitted. This was carried.
I voted for the Comhairle noting that whilst we might express a view about ferry services, we could not force Cal Mac to make any decision. This was defeated.
We now have a policy which is unclear, unenforceable and riddled with escape clauses. It is the worst type of decision, and one with which I neither agree nor disagree for the simple reasons it can mean anything to anyone.
I can attend a Sunday conference in breach of Council policy, as no-one can discipline me, but a Catholic teacher of RE in Castlebay could not attend a Sunday conference to discuss the delivery of RE in Catholic schools. Ludicrous. I posed the question of what would happen if we tried to stop a devout Muslim employee of the Comhairle attending a Sunday conference, and answer came there none.
The one thing missing from the whole debate was any consideration of others religious/cultural views, and I found this very disturbing.
Will any of this affect the Cal Mac Board? No.
Will any of this mean ferries sooner, later or never? In my view it won't have the slightest influence, and the Comhairle has served only to raised expectations in the community, with no power to deliver them.
Basically, it was a waste of time and effort, and didn't take us forward one step.