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NEIL ALEXANDER

3.30PM- 5.00PM – NEIL’S BREAK TO FIVE (ish)

With NEIL ALEXANDER – Neil brings you up to date with the latest topics in and around our community which to say the least has been a very eventful week for more than one reason and checking out the headlines from the local newspaper and what they say of recent events. Of course he shall be bringing you all the latest in book reviews and what’s is new in the world of DVDs and the Movies and what’s happening in our own West Coast Cinema here in Dunoon.

WEST COAST CINEMA

NEIL ALEXANDER –FERRY UPDATE

This is what Neil told us a couple of weeks ago  as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP met with the Dunoon –Gourock Ferry Action Group. Neil will be bringing us all up to date and will remind  us of the Scottish Government’s policy commitment in relation to the ferry service.

 

That there shall be a safe, reliable, frequent ,commuter ferry service between Dunoon town centre and the rail terminal at Gourock.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The service must be able to operate reliably throughout the year in the weather and sea conditions experienced on the Firth of Clyde and provide an acceptable level of comfort to meet the reasonal expectations of users including commuters, the elderly and disabled and tourist. It is the wish of Scottish ministers that the ferry service shall carry both vehicles and passengers

HEALTH Flu 185843 Swine flu

SPECIAL GUEST TO DISSCUSE THE FERRIES

 

NIEL -SUSAN

 

Dunoon Community radio presenter Neil Alexander has asked his listeners through his his presenters page to help him with a future programme when he wishes to to address the so called Facts and Myths that surround the current Ferry situation.

He is looking to present a simplified back story to the current issue,to look at the current feasibility MVA survey and to present the Facts and Myths

He is asking you to send him some good bullet points/ideas etc

He is  looking for folk to join him during his programme to express their views.

Full details on Neils presenters page    

http://www.dunooncommunityradio.org/programme-info/presenters/neil-alexander/#comments

or e-mail NEIL  : mail@dunooncommunityradio.org

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13 Comments

  1. FERRY UPDATE with MICK RICE says:

    3.30pm –5.00pm NEIL ALEXANDER –FERRY UPDATE with MICK RICE http://www.dunnoncommunityradio.org
    Mick Rice visits the DCR97.4 Studio to bring listeners the latest Ferry Update and possibly Neil may ask him for his comments on todays news that a new £500,000 fund has been launched to improve accessibility on Scotland’s ferry network which aims to make improvements to existing vessels and harbours that go beyond regulatory standards set for accessibility.The Ferries Accessibility Fund will be open to bids from the public and private sector.
    As shared with his listeners on his DCR Presenters Page Neil’s latest news from the DGFAG

  2. EXPERT FERRY COMMITTEE RESIGNATION says:

    EXPERT FERRY COMMITTEE RESIGNATION 3.30PM- 5.00PM – NEIL’S BREAK TILL 5.00ish.
    http://www.dunooncommunityradio.org
    With NEIL ALEXANDER – Neil brings you up to date with the latest topics in and around our community which to say the least has been a very eventful week for more than one reason and checking out the headlines from the local newspaper and what they say of recent events. Of course he shall be bringing you all the latest in book reviews and what’s is new in the world of DVDs and the Movies and what’s happening in our own West Coast Cinema here in Dunoon.
    NEIL ALEXANDER –FERRY UPDATE EXPERT FERRY COMMITTEE RESIGNATION
    Neil this afternoon told his listeners of the resignation of a member of the Expert Ferry Committee which has been the subject of much controversy in the fact that this group Do not publish agendas of meeting. Do not publish minutes or meetings and in fact up until now it was not made public who was a member of the committee.
    A little more of the committee’s activities have now come to light with the publication of Professor Neil Kay Letter of resignation to Mr Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Transport
    The letter is published below with permission
    As to be shared with his listeners on his DCR Presenters Page Neil’s latest news from the DGFAG http://www.dunooncommunityradio.org/programme-info/presenters/neil-alexander/comment-page-1/#comment-649916

    To Mr Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Transport
    2nd February 2014
    Dear Minister
    Resignation from Expert Ferry Group
    I have to submit my resignation from the Expert Ferry Group on the grounds that the public interest is not served by the existence of this Group. It is now clear that the structure and working practices of the Group are designed to voice and promote producer interests, including that of (some) established operators. The interests of those users and communities dependent on those ferry services are and will be peripheral in such a forum when they should be central. While the title “Expert Ferry Group” may give the impression that this is a collection of independent experts, it would be better described as platform for lobbying and vested interests. What should be in some cases only arms-length relations with government are now institutionalised within the process of government itself.
    What makes this worse is that the Group will effectively operate in secret with a mandate to influence government strategy, but with free range for lobbying and assertion with no robust and transparent mechanisms in place to check facts and arguments. It is true that pressure from me and others means that the agenda and some form of minutes will be made public; however this was not the original intention, these concessions have been made unwillingly, and does not alter the fact that actual documents and discussion will remain secret.
    As I advised you before accepting your invitation to join the Group, I would have much preferred that you and this government had instead put in place robust governance structures for administering and regulating these essential services under EU law. However, I felt that on balance I might do more good by joining the Group rather than staying out. That was clearly a mistake and if my membership of the Group could be misconstrued by some as representing some attempt at balance, then that is just another reason for me to resign.
    My advice in his context is; please dissolve this Group and appoint instead a small task force of independent experts in regulatory economics and EU competition policy to advise you of options here. I have been arguing that case and the case for sound governance structures, including an independent regulator, to Parliament and successive Transport Ministers for years. Had that advice been taken it could at least have reduced the chances of successive expensive debacles in this context, the most recent evidence of which will quite possibly turn out to be the taking of Transport Scotland to court last week over its handling of the Northern Isles ferry contract.
    Yours Sincerely
    Professor Neil Kay

  3. ARGYLL & BUTE-POPULATION DECLINE says:

    Kenneth Barr Convener Dunoon Community Council calls into the Argyll Street Studio to chat to Neil regards the public meetings at The Pavillion Bute 17th January and the Queens Hall 20th January to discuss the projected population decline in Argyll and Bute
    Up to 2035, the total population of Scotland is projected to increase from 5.22 million to 5.7 million. However, the NRS sub-national projections indicate that there will be regional variations within Scotland. Of the 32 Scottish Local Authorities, 22 are expected to show population growth and 10 – including Argyll and Bute – are expected to experience population decline.
    As well as absolute population numbers in Argyll and Bute changing (falling from 89,200 to 82,754 over the projection period), the age profile of the population is expected to change, with proportions of 0 to 15s and working age populations decreasing, and the proportions of the pensionable-age population increasing.

  4. LATEST FROM FERRY FRONT says:

    Hello Everyone latest news on the Ferry Front is that David Stewart MSP has lodged a motion, marked for members business, in the Scottish Parliament regarding the Dunoon – Gourock Ferry Action Group.
    As you will know the DGFAG will be in Parliament next Thursday and David hopes his motion can secure cross party support in order to debate the motion in the chamber.

    He has asked if we could forward the motion text on to our members and listeners of DCR and ask them to write to their constituency and list MSPs asking them to sign the motion that way there is more chance of securing cross party support and therefore a debate in the chamber.

    Here are the details of the motion :

    S4M-07597

    Title: Dunoon-Gourock Ferry Action Group

    MSP: David Stewart

    That the Parliament supports the work of the Dunoon-Gourock Ferry Action Group (DGFAG), which aims to improve ferry services; understands that the DGFAG was formed on 24 November 2011 as a result of the strength of feeling in the community about the service; notes that its mission statement is to get the Scottish Government to deliver a frequent, safe, reliable, vehicle and passenger ferry service between Dunoon town centre and Gourock; understands that the DGFAG considers the current service to be inadequate; notes that it aims to lobby the Parliament on 19 September 2013 and believes that this will give members an opportunity to speak to the DGFAG about its concerns, and notes calls for the Scottish Government to take further steps to secure a passenger and vehicle ferry between Dunoon and Gourock.

  5. FERRY PROTEST AT HOLYROOD says:

    “SHIPS NOT PROMISES”
    Hello every one here is the latest from the DGFAG; who are organising buses for protestors to go through to Holyrood
    I shall of course be talking about this on my next DCR97.4 fm programme and will of course bring you any updates-lookfoward to talking to you on Monday

    Big,big ferry protest by DGFAG; who are organising buses for protestors to go through to Holyrood
    with banners and bath tubs to meet the MSPS to let them know just how angry and fed up the people of Dunoon and Cowal, and Inverclyde are about the current status quo about the ferries. As Nicola Sturgeon said “they are not fit for purpose”, and” the status quo is not an option” You’ve said it NICOLA.
    “NO BOAT, VOTE’ NO’”

    It is hoped to have 2 bus loads ,at a cost of £12.50 for the day; tickets will be sold; details to follow.
    the protestors will meet MSPS, in a committee room and to lobby them. Also some will be at the assembly question time ; there will be slogans and banners;

    Also you can lobby against the status quo and the need for the Coruisk as a replacement; also protest against the shocking increase in harbour dues and berthing fees which will deter any private company from tendering ;

    So ,as said often on this website, get angry Dunoon and take action; here is your great chance to let the
    MSPS know how you feel!

    Watch this web for more information ; and listen to the DCR 97.4 fm and Neil’s afternoon program.
    NEIL A

  6. DGFAG CONVENOR URGES DEPUTY FIRST MINSTER says:

    Hello everyone as promised, the latest news from the DGFAG is that Susanna Rice
    The Convenor has written to the deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP urging her hold her policy that the current position is not an option and to try out the Coruisk before the autumn gales
    Susanna writes .

    Dear Nicola

    Replacement Interim Vessel for the MV Ali Cat
    As you are aware the imposition of a downgraded passenger only service from the end of June 2011 has caused very significant hardship and inconvenience to this community.
    Both in autumn 2011 and 2012 it was specifically requested that the MV Ali Cat be replaced in order that a more reliable service could be provided. In 2011 the community requested the use of Saturn which had been in use again in late August of that year. This was refused.
    The manner in which The Saturn was laid up has insured it is unusable except with significant expenditure. She would be the best choice being “tried and tested” but she seems to have become a victim of policy.
    In autumn 2012 the Ferry Action Group again requested the replacement of Ali Cat and it was indicated the Coruisk was under consideration. Once again no action was taken with disastrous consequences for the reliability of the service and all its resultant effects.
    At a recent public meeting it was evident that the community is in no mood to tolerate yet another winter of uncomfortable unreliable vessels. You have previously indicated the possibility of a long term winter trial of MV Coruisk on the route; accordingly we now formally request that this now takes place.
    Our rationale is given below.
    On completion of the current summer timetable for Malaig/Armadale when M V Coruisk returns to the Clyde she would be available for the Gourock/Dunoon service.
    Docking cover for the two Wemyss Bay/Rothesay ferries can be success fully provided by the M V Isle of Arran which, like M V Couruisk, is laid up during the winter months.
    In Winter 2012/2013 M V Coruisk was laid up in Troon with berthing costs paid to Clydeport. In addition she had standby crew-cover costs – deck officer, engineer, cook and two seamen. Crewing 24/7 is a requirement of Clydeport regulations – laid up vessels must have a minimum of 2 on board overnight. Additional costs occur as the vessel’s engines and generators are regularly run while the vessel is laid up.
    You stated that the reliability of M V Coruisk on the Wemyss Bay/Rothesay route was a key factor in your decision not to deploy the vessel during the winter of 2012/2013 on the Gourock/Dunoon route. This is irrelevant to the Gourock/Dunoon crossing. Wemyss Bay is exposed to anything from southerly to north-westerly wind and sea swell which neither the Gourock nor Dunoon terminals are – in fact sailings from Rothesay diver t to Gourock when such conditions prevail.
    M V Coruisk was built for the Gourock/Dunoon route in winter. She is fast, maneuverable and can maintain the required timetable. The previous problem on the route with MV Coruisk was solely due to side-loading and discharging, and there was no breakwater or bow/stern linkspan at the time. This is not now the case as she would be bow/stern loading and discharging at both terminals. This was confirmed back in 2003 by Cal Mac in a letter to Argyll and Bute Council apologizing for the problems that M V Coruisk had when berthing at Dunoon pier and indicating that when the shore side infrastructure was completed at Dunoon (the breakwater and linkspan) this should resolve the problem of timekeeping.
    I do hope that you will be able to agree an early sea trial for the MV Coruisk on the route.

    Yours truly

    Susanna Rice
    Convenor

  7. AS REQUESTED CONTACTS FOR FERRIES COMMENTS says:

    Hello Every one, as requested by many listeners here are some addresses+e-mails of vital contacts for our listeners who wish to coment on the Ferries .

    list of good contacts

    Alan Reid MP reida@parliament.uk or,

    post 95Alexandra Parade,
    Argyll PA23 8LQ

    Nicola Sturgeon dfm@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or,

    post 627 Pollockshaws rd.
    Glasgow g41 2qg. or,

    Holyrood,
    Edinburgh , EH99 ISP

    Mike Russell, MSP mike.russell@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or,

    post 81 Argyll St.
    Dunoon, pa23 7dh or,

    Holyrood,
    Edinburgh,
    EH99 1SP

    Transport Scotland Richard.hadfield@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk

    the minister keith.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

    CAL-MAC customer mailto:customercare@calmac.co.uk

    Argyll/local cllrs dick-walsh@argyll-bute.gov.uk
    mike.breslin@argyll-bute
    Gordon.blair@argll-bute.gov.uk

  8. DUNOON—GOUROCK FERRY ACTION GROUP says:

    DUNOON—GOUROCK FERRY ACTION GROUP
    As reported on Niel Alexandra’s Monday afternoon programme a special Public meeting of The Dunoon –Gourock Ferry Action Group has been called for on Thursday 11th evening at 7.30.pm at the Dunoon Queens Hall.
    Unfortunately it was too short notice for Nicola Sturgeon the Deputy First Minister to attend and along with Scott Leithham both send their apologies
    The proposed agenda is at this time
    Welcome and Introductions – Purpose of Meeting – Susanna
    1. The Feasibility Study – What the Report says – Neil Kay
    2. Is the Report too cautious? – Ken Barr
    3. Issues Harbour Charges – Ronnie Smith
    4. Interim Vessels – Jane Basford & John Paterson
    5. How do we get new vessels? – Robert Trybis and Neil Kay
    6. Membership – Mick
    7. Questions from the floor.
    8. Next Steps – Susanna

  9. DECISION MAKERS TAKING HEED says:

    Looking forward to what you and your listeners say about this shambles, why has it become so complicated, and is there any evidence that the decision makers in the Scottish Parliament are listening or taking heed Mrs R W

  10. A REQUEST FROM NEIL TO LISTENERS says:

    Dunoon Community radio presenter Neil Alexander has asked his listeners through his his presenters page to help him with a future programme when he wishes to to address the so called Facts and Myths that surround the current Ferry situation.

    He is looking to present a simplified back story to the current issue,to look at the current feasibility MVA survey and to present the Facts and Myths

    He is asking you to send him some good bullet points/ideas etc

    He is looking for folk to join him during his programme to express their views.

    Full details on Neils presenters page

    http://www.dunooncommunityradio.org/programme-info/presenters/neil-alexander/#comments

    or e-mail NEIL : mail@dunooncommunityradio.org

  11. macswan says:

    great! lets hope there are many responses; this farce has gone on too long

  12. FERRY FACT & FICTION says:

    Hi all,
    SOS. my station radio boss would like me to do a Web article and more interviews on the ferry issue as it seems there is a growing momentum of interest by the hits.
    A) the simplified back story to the current issue; ie. from the streakers to the bathtubs;the main facts.
    B) the current feasibility MVA survey , the salient points only; in simple form.
    C) a summing up; Facts v Myths; eg. the belief that the Coruisk is so top heavy and slow that it can’t do the sailing in time,
    eg; the Coruisk has been tried before and failed dismally. etc.

    So fact v fiction to scotch the bad propaganda!
    D)Interviews , like Susannas , which went over well and made impact. Many hits

    so ,studio will make suitable times for interview ,15/30 mins.
    it will keep up the growing momentum

    Please send me some bullet points/ideas etc and will back up the interviews and web articles to create more momentum. also looking for more interviewees.
    neil a



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