Comhairle unites to protest at no island appointments to CalMac Board

At its recent meeting Comhairle nan Eilean Siar unanimously supported a motion expressing disappointment at the lack of island based members appointed to the Calmac Board and supported a call for a review of the appointments process.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Donald Crichton, Loch a Tuath, and seconded by Cllr Finlay Stewart, Point, at last evening's meeting of the full Comhairle.  The motion, unanimously agreed by Members, was as follows:

“That the Comhairle expresses its disappointment that despite strong representations from the Comhairle, no islands-based candidates were appointed to the post of Chairman or as non-executive Directors to the Caledonian MacBrayne Board.

With the appointment of the new Transport Minister, the Comhairle further calls on the Minister to immediately review the appointments process so that in future there is more equitable representation across CalMac and CMAL Boards that reflects the experience and skills of the island communities they serve. This is with a view to providing local expertise and better informing the decision-making process for the delivery of ferry services to our communities.”

Speaking to the motion, Councillor Crichton said: " It is right that the Comhairle reiterate its disappointment that no island based appointments were made to the CalMac Board, despite strong representations for this to happen and assurances that the communities would be represented.  Instead we have a Chairman from Copenhagan who has been awarded for his failure as Chairman of CMAL and the debacle that is well documented about the procurement of our ferries.  We need people appointed from our communities to all public sector boards with responsibilities for our islands that live and work in our communities and actually care for them. I hope this is a motion we can all unite behind."

It was agreed that the Convener of the Comahirle, Cllr Norman A Macdonald, would write to the new Transport Minister and the Commissioner for Public Appointments expressing the united view of the Comhairle.