The most recent meeting was on October 7th and the main topic was the cost of freight. Various residents had kindly provided information on charges levied and it was noted that, as usual, none of our freight forwarders had responded to requests for tariff sheets. Contact was to be made with our public representatives and consideration was given to holding a Public Meeting, inviting Cllr. Robin Currie and an Oban Times representative to attend. It was agreed that ours is a particularly vulnerable community and that our isolated position, geographically and politically, was doing us no favours. It is believed that one customer is intending to challenge unilaterally imposed charges; there appears to be no other aspect of any industry which is completely unregulated – as was subsequently demonstrated when the EC imposed a tax of £1.7 billion in respect of UK’s thriving trade in prostitution and illicit drugs.
The CalMac timetables were reviewed and it was noted that the company has done all that it can to meet our stated needs; but it was pointed out that the Royal Mail will miss the Wednesday connection to Glasgow as transport will have departed during the operation of the later timetable. This means post will be delayed by a day, and this will be brought to the attention of CalMac.
William Joll had visited Coll on behalf of CCC, and had been highly impressed by their recycling and environmental projects. Work towards such enhancements for Colonsay is being undertaken by our LDOs, with the enthusiastic support of CCC. It was noted that there is no facility in Colonsay for the disposal of oil-waste; allowing for the number of tractors, diggers, boats and locally-serviced cars on the island, a very considerable quantity of oil must be being disposed of in an informal manner. There is, in any case, a legal obligation to provide waste-oil facilities at every harbour in the land so CCC intends to pursue the matter with the relevant authority (the harbour is owned by CFL but operated by CalMac with devolved responsibilities).