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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Transport announcement

I am very reliably informed that John Swinney, Finance Minister, is in Lewis on Monday and will be making an announcement about Transport Issues.

Will this be the immediate introduction of RET?

Perhaps an announcement that the ADS will continue past March 2008? (Assiduous readers of the Gazette will remember that Alasdair Allan wrote to the Transport Minister in May asking for confirmation that it would continue, but no PUBLIC answer has been forthcoming. Perhaps an FoI request might elicit some answers.)

My guess is an announcement that the study into RET promised in the manifesto will be undertaken before the end of the year; otherwise the Transport Minister himself would be here to get the glory (sic).

Be still my beating heart; hold me back; and constraint my desperate urges to whisper 'whoopee'. Delivering on a promise to get someone else to consider why the Executive should think about doing something is hardly a rallying call to action.

As always, I hope I am wrong and that we are having something delivered rather than being part of a consultants report, but the cynic in me says not.

Perhaps someone can send me the itinerary for the day?

Update 13/8/07: Thanks for the itinerary. Despite supposedly being about transport, I notice that the Chair of the Transportation Committee - and SNP Group Leader - is frozen out for most of the day.

Quite intriguingly the trip includes a visit to Arnish. Will Mr MacNeil go there, having previously refused to visit the site?


Anonymous said...

Isles Councillor demands Immediate 40% fare reduction

Vice Chair of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s transportation committee, Councillor Donald John MacSween said;

“Today’s announcement by the Finance Minister John Swinney is hugely disappointing.To have come to the islands to tell us he was initiating a study into the merits of road equivalent tariff is, frankly, insulting. For years the people of the Western Isles were told by the SNP that if they led the next Scottish administration, then RET would be introduced within a fortnight of election. I can’t understand why the SNP need to have a pilot study into a policy they have been promoting for years. If they genuinely believe in RET, today’s announcement should have been about a commencement date – not woolly rhetoric about a study.

I would now strongly urge the SNP Executive to immediately introduce the 40% ferry discount for all Scottish islanders, as pledged and budgeted for by the former first minister, Jack McConnell. The previous Executive introduced the excellent Air Discount Scheme and its benefits are all too obvious. The SNP should waste no more time on studies; all the necessary studies and research has already been done by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, indeed these studies have been on the Ministers desk for some time.

The Western Isles need Action, not announcements.

madrudhach said...

Good on you Donald John. We have been sick fed up over the years listening to the SNP telling us about RET. If we would have Labour led executive we would have had our 40% ferry discount scheme by now.

I think it is about time more councillors stood up and started asking the same questions that Cllr. Macsween is asking.

Anonymous said...

"For years the people of the Western Isles were told by the SNP that if they led the next Scottish administration, then RET would be introduced within a fortnight of election."

Is this true? The SNP manifesto (on which the public voted and on which the SNP MSP won) commits to "Commissioning a study into Road Equivalent Tariff with a pilot project to the Western Isles", which they promised to do so by the end of 2007.

I agree than an immediate implementation of RET would benefit the islands, but the SNP would appear to be simply following through on their manifesto.

Perhaps if the previous Executive had implemented RET (they only had 8 years to do so!), the Western Isles might still have a Labour MSP.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39pm, that may be what the manifesto said but it certainly wasn't the basis upon which Mr. Allen won the seat. I do believe that he had a poster in the campaign office window promising RET immediately. I wish I had taken a photograph now.

Anonymous said...

MacNeil and Absent Allan said we’d have RET within two weeks of an election. They lied about RET in the same way they lied about referendums on wind farms. They are both too frightened to say anything cos Wee Eck is preparing the ground for a separate state. I’m sure Barra MacNeil will be in the running for Scottish Ambassador to Ireland – or maybe cultural attaché for Shetland and Orkney would be more in keeping with his expertise and hard work so far. I also hear in SNP quarters, that ABM stands for, Anyone But MacNeil…..can anyone shed any light on this….? Surely he won’t be deselected – he’s such an asset…..

Anonymous said...

There is no-one but MacNeil, despite him being a huge embarassment. He is systematially excluding anyone of any standing in the local party to protect his back. First Angus N and now Donald Manford, and surrounding himself with fawning brown-nosers.

It'll end in tears....

Anonymous said...

"Absent Allan"

Did you miss his surgery at Bayhead last week? Or the one in Harris / Uist last month? They were advertised in the Gazette.

I know from friends who have contacted him that he's been very helpful and sorted out some problems they were having.

During the week, he'll be in Edinburgh at the parliament, but he's home most weekends. Drop him an e-mail and I'm sure he'll get in touch:

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Is someone trying to smear the SNP by suggesting some sort of rift within the local branch?

Having strived for so long to win back the Western Isles, I'm sure the local branch realise how important it is to stick together.

It is healthy to have debates, even disagreements, within political parties, and there will always be personality clashes in any sphere of life.

I am confident, though, that all members in the local branch will continue to stand strong, for Scotland, even if it means biting ones tongue sometimes. At heart, we all want what is best for our country.