Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to support the Minister for Transport and the Islands and his team at Transport Scotland in working with CalMac and CMAL to respond to and address concerns expressed in the recent Audit Scotland report, Transport Scotland’s Ferry Services, over demonstrating best value.
The Committee agreed that all public sector bodies need to demonstrate that best value is being achieved, particularly in the context of challenging financial pressures and competing priorities from other sectors at a national level.
Speaking at today’s Committee meeting, Chair Uisdean Robertson said: "We recognise the importance of the work carried out by Audit Scotland and welcome the opportunity the audit team gave to communities across the network to provide input to the review process.
The audit report points out the significant levels of investment made by the Scottish Government, not only in terms of new vessels and infrastructure improvements but also in the level of subsidy provided to the operator and we can see the economic and wider benefits realised through the introduction of RET. Whilst there are a number of further improvements we continue to campaign on, we welcome this continuing level of support for the islands and its communities.
There is no doubt that the lifeline ferry services to and within the Western Isles are crucial to the social and economic well-being and sustainable growth of the islands and I would therefore seek the Comhairle’s agreement in supporting the Minister for Transport and the Islands and his team at Transport Scotland in working with CalMac and CMAL to respond to and address the concerns expressed in the Audit Scotland report."